Problem formulation is all about coming up with a great topic for research, something that is actually going to help change the thinking process in the subject to a great extent. So, who comes up with these problems that can be used as research topics or how do they come about. Well, the usual trend is that these problems come from practical ideas that are a result of the everyday experiences in the field of action. Usually, researchers are directly involved in practical world- these can be social and political- but in the presence of actual work, they come across problems on a daily basis and thus problem formulation is easy as they would be looking for a solution and that problem can be used as a research topic. It all depends on observation and application. For instance, as an outsider the fact that the nursing staff in hospitals suffer from back injuries will not really strike as a big problem. But for someone within the system and for someone who is observing, they will be able to research and find out that the back injuries and problems that most nursing staff in most hospitals face is a natural result of pushing and pulling and lifting heavy objects all the time. However, the long-term problems are that there is an increased rate of absenteeism and this loss of money as well. Problem formulation was thus based on practical observation, a simple example since there are so many more complicated problems in all fields of profession and study that can be dealt with. Of course, another source for problem formulation would have to be the literature that is available in the field of study and this can be used to observe problems. This is the way researchers get ideas for their research as well.
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