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Write Science Paper Effectively: Write Problem Statement


The statement of the problem to be solved must be clearly written for a good introduction. The general statement and research description shall help the reader to grasp the area of your research. Now, here we should be more specific on the issue to be solved. The problem statement should be constructive. Applied the following step to write a compelling problem statement.

General statement of the problem & research question

In the beginning, create a general statement on the issue or problem in a bigger context. Then elaborates on the issue which leads to your specific problem. If your research is based on the comparison, state the available alternatives, methods, or processes as a general statement. Then, chose the preferred alternative and elaborates your selection by rising a research question. For example;

“Urea and glycerol are the most promising hydrogen bond donor for the formation of deep eutectic solvent with choline chloride. They are less viscous than other types of deep eutectic solvent, makes them a popular choice for the enzymatic reaction. Which of them the best media remain debatable.”

Propose a solution, research hypothesis & objective

Once the problem is identified, propose a solution to the problem or why you choose that particular alternative. Support your proposal with facts or hypotheses. Then, highlight the main objective of your research which must inline with the stated problem. For example;

“The performance of the enzyme-catalyzed reaction can be evaluated by the value of the kinetic constants. An equation such us Michaelis Menten equation is able to quantify the affinity of the substrate to the enzyme and the maximum potential of reaction rate which represented by KM and VMax value, regardless of the reaction media. Hence, the main objective of this research is to find the best deep eutectic solvent for the enzyme-catalyzed reaction between urea and glycerol as hydrogen bond donors. The outcomes shall be determined by the viscosity of the reaction media. Since the motion of molecules in the media is restricted in viscous media due to high flow resistance”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Add a brief methodology of research

Afterward, write on how you are going to prove the hypothesis or to achieve the main objective. How the research shall be carried out? This should be brief since the detailed methodology is written in a separate chapter or section. For instance;

“In the present work, the deep eutectic solvent of urea/choline chloride and glycerol/choline chloride shall be prepared and used as a reaction media. Lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis and transesterification reaction shall be carried in both media to ensure the consistency of the result. Meanwhile, water shall be added to the reaction media to investigate the effect of viscosity on the reaction performance while comparing the result between deep eutectic solvent with urea and glycerol.”

Why it relevant & expected outcomes

To end the problem statement, it is best to restate the problem by saying why it is relevant. Alternatively, emphasize the expected outcomes of the research or identified who going to get the benefit from the research. For example;

“Understanding the kinetic behavior of enzyme-catalyzed reaction could help us to choose the best setup for the reaction. Besides, the kinetic data obtained could be used for simulation-based optimization”

The problem statement is highly technical. You need to have ample knowledge in a very specific field before you start writing the problem statement in your introduction.

In case you missed, read the post on writing a good introduction for overall tip and guide.