Q: What is the difference between the research background, problem statement, and literature review?

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I am preparing the research proposal on topic of "malnutrition and associated factor" but I find it difficult to identify the difference between the background, problem statement, and the literature review.

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Answer:

Writing a convincing grant proposal is a stepping stone to getting funded! Therefore, it is really important to understand the significance of each component of the proposal so that you can write it clearly and concisely. Let me clear your confusion by explaining each of these parts one by one.

The background is written to establish the significance of your research. It forms part of the Introduction section and provides context of the study in a brief and concise manner. It introduces the research topic and leads the readers to the gaps in knowledge that have remained unaddressed.

Problem statement is a brief explanation of an issue, a condition, or a situation that you wish to study. It helps you clearly identify the purpose of your project by highlighting the gap between an ideal situation and the reality, and why it is important to bridge that gap. Clearly defining the problem that your research will address is essential to convince the funders that your project is worth funding.

The literature review is another important part of the proposal and is written to show that you have done adequate preliminary research. It is written to evaluate the progress of knowledge in your research area and eventually help the readers identify the exact gaps in research that your study will address. It is more detailed than the background and tracks the existing knowledge in a field. While the background and the problem statement are always part of the Introduction section, the literature can be written as a separate section.

I hope you now have a better understanding of these parts of a grant proposal.

All the best for your proposal!

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