PhD Problem Identification

Stark Technovision Assists You to Identify Issues and Research Scopes with an Optimal Problem Formulation and Respective Solutions.

Problem Identification

At Stark Technovision, we enable you to identify both industry and problem in the literature review. Both these would ensure to identify the gap for your phd thesis. The following are the structure, we follow at Stark Technovision.

Three Phases of Literature Review

Phase Chief Sources Purpose
Broad scan Review of the literature To assist the researcher in identifying a research problem.
Focused Review ERIC To develop a proposal prospects and research proposal
Comprehensive critique All sources To provide a scholarly foundation for the study

Steps and strategies for writing a Literature review:

Steps Strategies
Locate or identify relevant literature Key authors and journals has to be identified Use Google scholar Use state of the art articles Use Computerized searches Scan tables of content from key journals Use reference lists from articles, chapters and books Read primary sources Avoid the popular press
Read the literature critically Themes of the literature has to be identified In all individual articles need to identify their strengths and weakness As a whole, you need to identify their strengths and weakness Photocopies of the articles has to be collected
Prepare to write Investigate expected length and format of the literature review Make a preliminary outline Organize the literature you will cover Limit the scope of the review to the topic at hand
Write the review Write the introduction Write subsections Use transition markets and meta text Synthesise and critically evaluate the literature Be careful not to plagiarise
Indicate Practice summarising and paraphrasing actives Use the review to lead to your study and research question/s

Move 1: Establishing a Thematic Territory

  • Making topic generalization (current state of the art of knowledge or pactice)
  • Claiming centrality
  • Giving background information

Move 2: Surveying and Summarizing Previous research

  • Constructing reference to the published work
  • Making positive and/or negative evaluation
  • Making summary statements

Move 3: Creating a research niche (preparing for present research)

  • Counter Claiming
  • Gap indicating

Some Sample Passage for Gap indicating elements "Further research is needed in order to determine whether and how voice plays a role in academic writing".

  • Asserting the relevancy
  • Establishing or synthesizing a theoretical Position or framework

Move 4: Occupying the research niche

  • Announcing the aims or research questions

"with respect to... the study aimed to address the following research questions: 1"

  • Announcing theoretical framework or positions
  • Indicating RA structure
  • Announcing the adoption or terminology definitions
  • Indicating possible findings
  • Announcing research design or process

Coverage: Justifies inclusion and exclusion of literature from the review Synthesis:

  • Distinguishes what has been done in the field from what needs to be done
  • Places the topic or problem in the broader scholarly literature
  • Places the research in the historical context of the field
  • Has a command of key terms and notions, discusses and resolves ambiguities in definitions
  • Articulates important variables and phenomena relevant to the topic
  • Synthesizes and gains a new perspective on the literature


  • identifies main methodologies and research techniques that have been used in the field, their advantages and disadvantages
  • Relates ideas and theories in the field to research methodologies


  • Rationalizes the practical significance of the research problem
  • Rationalizes the scholarly significance of the research problem

Rhetoric : Writing has a coherent, clear structure that supports the review Reading, summarizing and critiquing previous studies.

  • What are the major research questions or hypotheses in the study?
  • What were the main findings of the study?
  • Why was it important to carry out the research?
  • What is the relationship between this study and the your own project?
  • What other research studies were conducted in the same area?
  • What is the relationship between these studies and your own project?
  • What research design was used in the study?
  • What were the main Technology, Engineering Domain and Performance variables in the study?
  • What Simulation Framework was Developed and how data was collected for the study?
  • Describe the System Implementation, System Analysis and population, sample, and selection procedures for the sample
  • Describe the Model Development or data collection procedures used in the study
  • How were the Performance Variables were Evaluated and data collection procedures developed?
  • Were the System Accomplished Expected Results and Achieved issues of reliability and validity considered?
  • How was the System developed and resulting data analysed in the study ?
  • Were the analytic procedures emperical, quantitative, qualitative or both ?
  • Would you be able to re-analyse the developed model and data on the basis of the information provided about the analytic procedures and implementation techniques ?
  • What were the main findings of the study?
  • How do the findings relate to previous research on the topic?
  • What conclusions does the researcher reach on the basis of their findings?
  • What are the implications of the findings?
  • What recommendations does the researcher make based on the findings?
  • What recommendations does the researcher draw from the results of their study?
  • Is the research problem clearly stated?
  • Are the variables clearly described and defined?
  • Is the design of the study appropriate for the particular research question?
  • Are the research the instruments appropriate for the particular study?
  • Are the data analysis procedures appropriate for the particular study?
  • Was the author consistent in the way they analysed their results?
  • Are the conclusions, implications, and recommendations warranted by the results?
  • Is the article peer reviewed / referred?
  • Is the author affiliated to a university?
  • Are in-text references used?
  • Is there an abstract (for a journal article) and a bibliography?
  • Is the bibliography complete
  • What does the text look like?
  • Is the writing divided into sections such as Introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion and reference list
  • Does the writer use the technical language and discuss research that has been done?
  • Is the article of reasonable length
  • Is the publisher a recognized academic publisher?
  • Does the website have an author and/or a date?
  • Was the piece of writing recommended by another researcher?


  • Good arguments
  • Shows evidence for claims
  • Reliable
  • Shows Limitations
  • Biased
  • Strong Content
  • Weak content

Context in disciplin:e

  • Landmark article
  • Useful contribution to field
  • Agrees with current thought
  • Contradicts current thought
  • Good Introduction to field


  • Strong reasoning
  • Replication possible
  • Adequate sample size


  • Good academic standing
  • Refers to other authors
  • Writing easy to understand


  • Recent Publication
  • Reliable source
  • Same purpose as your own research
  • Relevant to your study
  • Country where research was conducted relates to your own research
  • Group related studies together
  • Review brieful any weaker studies or studies that share similar methods. Devote more attention to ground breaking, stronger studies
  • Organize studies by findings
  • Organize by methodology
  • Organize by theory

What criticism does examiners makes while looking at your literature review

  • Landmark studies are not included
  • Outdated material is given too prominent a place
  • Recent literature is not included
  • The perspective is not wide enough
  • The review is not sufficiently analytical
  • The write has not discriminated between relevant and irrelevant material
  • There is no coherence
  • The literature is not related to the research question or hypothesis
  • Sources are not correctly interpreted.

Tense Example Simple present - Stephen (1989) shows that ..................... " Simple past - Stephen (1989) showed that ...................." Present perfect - Research has shown that ....... ..............." Choices of tense and reasons for their use Choice of tense Reason Present simple –

  • A generalisation is being made
  • A reference is being made to the state of current knowledge
  • Previous findings are being presented/are accepted as facts

Simple past

  • A reference is being made to a single study
  • A specific piece of research and its findings are being referred to

Present perfect

  • A general area of investigation or inquiry is being referred to
  • A general statement is made about previous research

How to decide your research topic / question?

  • Which specific issues have been most often studied?
  • Which seem to warrant further research?
  • Which authors and which studies are most often cited?
  • What instruments are available?
  • Which methods are frequently used?

One of the best ways to conduct the broad scan us to concentrate on research reviews. A research review is a scholarly article on a topic that reviews the major research studies about that topic in order to give readers a broad picture of what is known. May be you can look for the term meta-analysis. A Meta analysis is a research review that uses complex statistical processes to determine overall effects of a given intervention.