The Problem is the chunk of the broader issue that you’re addressing in your area of expertise. It’s your piece of the pie, reflecting your work and expert knowledge. Think about your research questions and what aspect of the specific problem you’re addressing would matter to your audience. The Problem is also where you set up the So What and describe the situation you see and want to address. 

Questions to ask yourself as you define the Problem:

  • As I'm conducting my research, what am I seeing that makes me want to communicate?

  • How does it affect people?
     

See Kathy Zeller's Initial and Refined Problem Section examples

Common questions about the Problem Section from our training and coaching sessions with researchers.

See how researchers from different fields use the Message Box to communicate with a variety of audiences

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