Q: What is the relationship between the literature review and the problem statement?

1 Answer to this question

This would partly depend on whether you are talking about the literature review as only one section of a paper or as the entire paper (a review paper). Because in the case of the latter, as you can guess, the problem statement pertains to the entire literature review (paper).

However, in case you are talking about the literature review section, even then, the literature review is closely connected with the problem statement. In fact, the literature review section, and before that, the action of undertaking the literature review, is meant to feed into the paper and even the research as a whole. This is because the literature review is done to find out what the existing literature says about your topic (in other words, what is the current published knowledge about your topic), what are the gaps to be found in existing literature that you could possibly address through your research, and sometimes, even direct suggestions for next research. As you can gauge, once you do a comprehensive literature search and review, this would lead to your research problem and then the statement of the problem, which would subsequently guide your entire research.

One final thing: both are written in the Introduction part of the paper.

For more insights on the literature review and the problem statement, you may go through the resources provided below.

Note: A couple are from R Upskill, a related platform offering a suite of courses and learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work.

Hope that helps. And if you are planning a paper, all the best for first the search and then the paper!