Social Sciences: Background of the Problem

The Background of the Problem in Social Sciences is the area in which you fully describe what is known about the research question associated with the problem you identified in Social Sciences: Research Problem.

  • The focus of this review should be your specific questions that deal with the problem and not the field or subfield as a whole
  • The scope of this review can be discerned when your citations of relevant studies begin to be repeated, instead of adding new ones

Discuss the existing research in terms of how it is relevant to your research problem.

  • Also discuss how the context of the research - and its implications - may be relevant to your proposed research

Upon completion of this literature review, one should have a clear idea of what is already known about the research problem you have defined.

  • Your literature review should highlight - not simply the current state of knowledge about the research problem - but also its deficiencies or gaps in current knowledge
  • After you have identified and discussed these gaps, your research questions should flow directly from this discussion, as well as your tentative propositions or hypotheses to fill in the gaps

Your literature review should conclude with an outline of your research questions.

  • This leads directly to Research Methods, in which you will describe how you propose to address your questions