8 junio, 2024

Background of the problem: concept and examples

The History of the problem in a research work they are a conceptual synthesis of the investigations or works carried out previously on the formulated problem.

They have to do with the work done previously in relation to the object of study. In the antecedents, the approaches that other authors have had towards the object of study are discovered.

Background information saves the researcher considerable time because it assures him that he will invest his efforts in approaching the problem from an original perspective and using proven methods.

For the reader of the work, it is a necessary context to understand what type of investigation you are dealing with and what you can expect from your review. Likewise, the background describes the reasons why the object to be investigated deserves attention.

It is in the antecedents where the methodology to be used and the reasons for its choice are anticipated. It is advisable that the background is written in chronological order, so that the evolution of the investigation is clearly exposed.

What does the background of an investigation problem contain?

Background to the problem includes:

The results of other studies or investigations. What is its importance in relation to the work that is being developed.
Title and authors of the work mentioned.
How the problem was posed at that time with its objectives and hypotheses.
Methodology used in the work.

With all this, the author is expected to relate his research to the works selected to appear in the background.

The amount of information that a research paper must contain only depends on the requirement of the entity that is sponsoring, promoting or requiring the study.

Normally there is talk of five antecedents to include. To obtain these data, research, degree projects, press reports, monographs, essays, videos and reports are generally used.

Background classification

There is no consensus on how to classify the antecedents of an investigation. However, here are three possible ways to do it:

– According to the approach to the sources

theoretical background

They expose the name of the work and its author, followed by a summary of the relevant information together with the conclusions.

field background

In this case, the methodology used to collect and analyze the data is delved into, as well as a confrontation between its objectives and conclusions.

– According to the geographical scope of the sources

– Nationals

– International

– Regional

– According to the objectives set

– Generals

– Specific

How to search for the background of an investigation?

The answer to this question lies in the very nature of the problem studied. Ideally, the sources consulted, live or bibliographic, are closely linked to the problem to be studied.

Likewise, it is convenient to list the most authorized sources to speak in relation to that particular object of study.

Libraries and/or digital repositories of universities or research institutes, scientific journals and official documents (from governments or multilateral institutions) should appear on that list.

In the same way, it is convenient to delimit the geographical and temporal scope of the search. Knowing if national or foreign sources will be consulted and knowing the range of dates to locate, a faster and more organized job will be done.

Of course, this implies a deep knowledge of the object of study, since it is what will indicate which geographical area and which date would be relevant for the investigation.

How to present the background of an investigation?

This depends on the need and interest of the researcher. The following is a suggested presentation structure that may be useful:

– Introductory paragraph

They are the lines with which the antecedents begin. In these, the importance and originality of their own research are exposed, advancing the scope of the background check that justifies it.

– Details about previous investigations

In this section, all possible information about the different previous research works is emptied.

– Comparison between what was done and what was proposed

After showing what has been done so far, it is time to confront it directly with the purpose of the investigation that is being carried out.

In this way it will be clear what is the real contribution of each investigation (the previous ones and the new one), to the selected field of study.

What are the most common errors in the background?

Some of the most common errors when locating the background of an investigation are:

– Search for research with a name similar to that of the study itself.

– Limit reading to the summary of the investigations.

– Discard research on the same object but from the perspective of other scientific disciplines.

– Dismiss papers just because their authors are below or above the academic level of the person doing the research.

Why is background information important in an investigation?

As indicated in previous lines, the importance of reviewing the background of an investigation lies in the fact that it ensures a novel approach to the problem in question.

They also allow generating a critical analysis of previous research to specify its relevance and point out its fundamental differences with the work that is being proposed.

It also offers solid argumentative bases to the work that is starting.


Cordoba, Jesus (2007). Background of the investigation. Retrieved from: mailxmail.com
Step up, Thais. Background of the investigation. Retrieved from: learnlyx.com
Hernandez, R. and others (1999). Investigation methodology. Mexico. mcgraw-hill
APA Standards (s/f) Antecedents of an investigation. Recovered from: normasapa.net
Moreno, Eliseo (2017). The background in a scientific investigation. Retrieved from: thesis-investigacion-cientifica.blogspot.com
University of Southern California Libraries. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Background Information. Retrieved from: libguides.usc.edu

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