Assignment 1: Problem and Justification
Research Problem and Justification

In this assignment you will do the following:

  1. Provide an introductory paragraph that clearly states a research problem of interest to you. You should be able to state the "purpose" of your proposed research or design problem in this statement.
  2. Provide text (a few paragraphs) that justifies your research problem.
  3. Finally, provide a description about how you might go about addressing this research or design problem (i.e., will you investigate a set of literature? Will you build a prototype? Will you use some data or analysis?).

Very Important Notes: We want you to think about what a good problem statement would be for a research topic of interest to you. This assignment is designed to get you thinking about a project that you might want to do for this class, but we expect that some of you may change your mind — which is fine. You are not locking yourself into anything by doing this assignment. Even if you are not sure what you might do for the class project/paper, you still have to do this exercise!

As you write this assignment, think about the following statements: Would this make sense to anyone who read this problem and justification? Am I using too much jargon (i.e. have you defined your concepts or terms clearly)? Would my justification statement convince a non-expert in my area of interest that this is worth doing?

Format and Due Date
Your assignment should be 1 to 2 pages long (double-spaced, 12-point font). Please print and bring TWO copies (stapled if necessary) to class. The papers are due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, Sept. 18th. We'll discuss these assignments in individual meetings to be scheduled after you turn them in.
Sample assignments from past students