Q: What is the difference between a research problem and research topic?
Thank you for this interesting question! A research topic is generally broader in scope than a specific research problem. So, for example, our research topic may be the effects of the pandemic on rural development in Country X. The research problem will need to be more specific. It can be practical in nature; for example, perhaps the pandemic has affected the operations and processes of organizations committed to rural development, which in turn, hampers rural development. This could form the basis of our research problem. It could also be theoretical in nature; for instance, given that the current situation is unprecedented, we have limited literature to rely on (that is, we’ve identified a gap in the literature). Of course, a problem can be both practical and theoretical at the same time. The problem is generally identified once we have a broader topic in mind.
If you want to know more about a research problem, you might find the resources are useful:
Also, you might find this in-depth course helpful:
Hope that helped! All the best for your study!