Selection of a Social Problem :The most important thing in the beginning of a social research is the selection of a fruitful and functional social problem and before arranging the research design it is very necessary to decide about the social problem which a researcher is going to study. Although there is no dearth of social problems and the world is full of social information but the lack of time sources of a researcher are the real matters. Before undertaking a research, this must be considered whether the problem being researched is interesting or can be acted upon of whatever importance there may be. If that does not correspond to the time and sources of the researcher that should not be selected.
In the choice of a problem, according to Merton, four steps are of importance.
(i) Selection of area of interest
(ii) Statement of this interest in the form of research questions
(iii) Formulation of hypothesis keeping in view the research question Idea -research questions - Hypothesis.
If you succeed in arranging these three steps in a pretty manner even then there is no guarantee of the matter that you have selected a fruitful and actually problem corresponding to your time and sources but there is still, a step to advance keeping in view your idea, research question and hypothesis.
(iv) Review of relevant literature is necessary because it is possible that this study may change your idea, research question or hypothesis and its reason may be illogical variables existence or something else.
It means that you should not select a problem on the first sight.
Research question____research hypothesis
When you have taken the above steps and there is satisfaction with your selection of the problem, then use these criteria for more checking up that the research problem. corresponds to the requirement.
Suggested Criteria for Research Problem
1. Have a review of relation of concepts with hypothesis, research question of research problem and see that addition to the present knowledge.
2. The variables used in the research hypothesis have the importance that have been used in the previous theories and in the hypothesis there is an ability to become a theory.
3. A research hypothesis 'can be tested by tools of research and the available research method of social science.
4. This research will be fully utilized from LL; concepts of related discipline, themes, consequence and research techniques.
5. Other researchers can get help from it and this can be repeated in other cultures also.
If the problem selected for research is according to the stated steps and reviews, it means you have completed the first step of research in a good manner and your remaining research process has good chances of being completed in a better way.