Paper 1: Problem Analysis
Researching the Problem
Your strategy brief should address several key questions regarding the problem you choose to
1. Why is this problem/opportunity important and/or why should we care about it?
2. What do we already know about the problem: its underlying causes, who is impacted and
how, and what if any is already being done about it?
Your answer to these questions must be based on relevant research evidence, not impressions or
opinions. Consider that for each of the sample topics above, there exists a large and diverse
research literature than is expected to inform your perspective and proposed strategic plan. For
this reason, it is important that you ensure that you can access relevant research on the topic of
interest before settling on a problem. You want to search for and use relevant research that can
help you answer the two key questions listed above.
Recommended Organization of Your Paper
I. Problem Statement and Description
• Describe the problem or opportunity you are interested in addressing – what is happening
now, what should happen, who is impacted, and why is it important?
TIP: This information is typically provided in the introduction section of relevant peerreviewed publications on this topic.
II. Problem Analysis
• What explanations have been offered regarding the problem? What factors and/or
circumstances were consistently found to be associated with underlying motivations and
behaviors? How did others approached the solution to the problem and which solutions
TIP: Look for systematic reviews on this topic. This type of article summarizes findings
of many studies and generate conclusions that you can use to guide your own
understanding of the problem.
• Offer a realistic assessment of what you have written. What challenges or barriers exist to
changing the desired attitudes or behaviors? What opportunities are there to promoting
this type of change? How receptive are audiences to information about the problem? etc.
V. References (APA style)
• List a minimum of five (5) peer-reviewed journal articles that are directly relevant to your
topic and that you used in the preparation of the paper (make sure to cite these sources in