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    Problem Statement and Purpose Statement

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    What's the difference between a purpose statement and a problem statement. I need to write both (quantitatively) in regards to mental health stigma (mental illness in general). I need to clearly define a narrowly-focused problem to be studied and show that there's a gap in the knowledge base. Please help me do so.

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    This is a great question, and an important to one to any researcher who is in the design stage of a study.

    Basically, a problem statement is necessary in order to distinguish what exactly you are hoping to add to the existing body of knowledge in any given area. In essence, we have to remember that all research is designed to uncover something new. This does not mean that once a study is completed then nobody should ever study it again, but it does mean that the goal should be to add something new and unique to the results. This is what your professor means by a 'gap in the knowledge base'. So, a problem statement needs to clearly define exactly what problem you notice in regards to your topic. In the case of mental illness stigma, there are many different directions you could take. Let me provide you with two possible problem statements:

    Example Problem Statement 1: The problem is that there is a negative stigma attached to individuals that have a mental ...