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Problem Statements Handout Instruction


These resources discuss the importance of problem crafting strong problem statements when presenting and writing up your research. 

Contributors:Patti Poblete, Tristan Abbott
Last Edited: 2018-04-03 01:38:42

Problem Statements Handout Instruction

The following activities are designed to be sequential. They can be done in combination with the Problem Statement PowerPoint Slide Presentation, but they can also be conducted separately. The handouts assume that all the audience participants are working on their projects, and that they might not be entirely familiar with the kinds of research that their peers are conducting.

Instructions for the participants are included in the handouts themselves, but presenters should briefly review the instructions in order to help participants organize their time.


Problem Statement Handout 1: Situating Your Work

This exercise is designed to help workshop participants discuss how the work they’ve already done fits in with the work of other scholars. It includes quick writing about important aspects about a participant’s project, small group discussion that requires participants to summarize their projects, and listen actively as others describe their projects. This first exercise will take at least fifteen minutes to complete.

If necessary, question #6 in the first exercise, which asks participants to briefly write about their projects, can be skipped or reserved for post-workshop reflection.


Problem Statement Handout 2: Reading a Project Poster

This exercise is designed to simulate the effect of having to read about someone’s project on a poster, rather than listening to the researcher’s explanation at length. It includes quick writing to summarize the participant’s own project, reading the summaries of other participants, and discussing the assumptions the participant makes based on those summarizes. This second exercise will take at least ten minutes to complete.

If necessary, question #5 in the second exercise, which asks the participants to briefly write about how they might reframe their projects for different audiences, can be skipped or reserved for post-workshop reflection.

Depending on the time available, presenters could leave time for the final questions from each handout to be filled out, or they could lead a larger group discussion about how participants’ expectations may or may not have been fulfilled.

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