EDDD 8113 Week 2 Tools for Doctoral Research Success Research
Module 1 Week 2: The Research Problem: Beginning Your Search
As you begin the process of conducting independent research at the doctoral level, you might be wondering where to start. The answer begins with identifying your research problem—and this week you will begin that search. It may take many months to identify, articulate, and refine this problem but this is an excellent time to start this process.
As you start work this week, review the activities and assignments in your calendar. Begin by completing the readings, which will prepare you in your search for a strong problem statement.
Notes on Readings
In this week’s readings, note Single’s diagram of the dissertation process. While Single uses the term “focus statement,” think instead of “problem statement” to align Single’s diagram with your Walden experience. Also, replace the terms “dissertation” with “capstone study” and “topic” with “problem statement.”
Review Single’s metaphor of entering a conversation (2010, pp. 34–38) and her process of reading general sources, such as textbooks, to become familiar with the topic. Consider how you will progress, as she suggests, to increasingly specific sources of research.
Note the importance of the problem statement and the expectation that it will undergo numerous revisions (Single, 2010, pp. 87–89). A problem statement must be clear, concise, and compelling.
In Butin’s (2010) terminology, a problem statement is a topic. He explains that the problem statement may change many times but, despite those changes, you should not lose your passion. He also discusses scholarly writing, which he calls “academic-speak,” and which is an all-too-common stumbling block for doctoral students.
For the Thomas (2017) reading, recognize that you will need to translate his terminology into Walden vocabulary. For the term BIS (background, issue, solution), substitute Walden’s use of BPP (background, problem, purpose).
- Apply Boolean logic to literature searches
- Analyze sample problem statements
- Apply knowledge of APA references
- Apply knowledge of doctoral study
Single, P. B. (2010). Demystifying dissertation writing: A streamlined process from choice of topic to final text. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. Chapter 1.4, “The Single System” (p. 16)
Chapter 2.4, “Entering the Conversation” (pp. 34–38)
Chapter 5.1, “Useful Focus Statements” (pp. 87–89)
Butin, D. W. (2010). The education dissertation: A guide for practitioner scholars. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Chapter 3, “Articulating a problem in Academic Speak” (pp. 42–43)
Thomas, G. (2017). How to do your research project: A guide for students (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Chapter 1, “Where do I begin?” (pp. 2–7)
The following links are the same document…a checklist for the assignment
One is in word and the other pdf. Please let me know if you can’t open at least one of them.
I need some guidance in what my problem statement will be. If you accept this assignment, perhaps you can help me with my research topic and problem statement moving forward. I am interested in researching topics in special educations. I’d like to research differentiation. But I don’t know what my problem statement should be.
Your first task as a doctoral researcher is to begin a search for your research problem. Consider your passion. What do you care about? What problem in your educational specialization interests you the most? Try to express this in a single sentence that begins with the words, “The problem is…” This can be your starting point in developing your research problem.
Note that your research problem must also be considered a problem in the educational discipline by published researchers. Your work builds on, and adds to, the work other scholars have done. To determine if your research problem is current, you need to search the most recent peer-reviewed literature. At this point in your study, seek reference literature that has been published within the last 5 years.
Your topic must be aligned to the specialization to which you are assigned. For example, if your specialization is Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA) then your topic must deal with either Curriculum, Instruction, or Assessment. You -would not be able to choose “teacher retention” or any other non-CIA topic.
- Review the required readings, media, and resources.
- Use your citation management software and Boolean logic, as you seek evidence from the literature that justifies pursuing this research problem.
- Download the Writing Assignment Template and Exemplar from the Week 2 course announcement.
BY DAY 7
The Week 2 Assignment should be written in correct APA style and should include the following:
In your prospectus document include:
- The working title
- Problem statement
- Three to five key citations that highlight the relevance and currency of the problem (these should be current—within the last 5 years)
- Evidence of the problem in the research literature (and locally, for the project study)