Logical Narrative Description of the Problem

Hone in on your problem. Define it and clarify it before you start to write. Do not include extraneous problems. Suppose you have a high teen pregnancy rate in your community. Suppose it is growing and you want to initiate an education and counseling project to work with young women and young men in the community to help them understand the impact of their decisions. Stick to that subject.

Do not include that perhaps this is why the crime rate is higher in your community or perhaps this is the reason there are so many accidental deaths in children in the community. Do not include that there are an increasing number of people unemployed in your community. These are all related problems but cloud the issue as far as your project is concerned. You are not directly attacking the crime problem with your project. You are not counseling the young parents on preventing accidents with their children. You are not directly providing job counseling. Do not confuse your proposal readers. What you are doing is providing an education and counseling program to young people in the community to make them aware of the impact of their decisions. Lay the groundwork carefully for the project you intend to do, not for a variety of projects that could be done on related problems.

Here is an example of part of a problem statement that would lay a good foundation for the teenage pregnancy counseling and education project example above.

The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all developed countries. About 1 million teenagers become pregnant each year; 95% of those pregnancies are unintended, and almost one third end in abortions. Public costs from teenage childbearing totaled $120 billion from 1985-1990; $48 billion could have been saved if each birth had been postponed until the mother was at least 20 years old.

Though birth rates for teenagers declined for all races and ethnic groups in the United States in past years, the rates are growing in our community (see following table). They are growing in all social groups and in all ethnic groups.

Teen Pregnancy Rates (Pregnancies Per 1,000 Girls)

Our State

Our State Rank

United States

Our Community

15 to 19 year olds

-11%

29

-13%

+23%

Girls age 14 or younger

-23%

10

-11%

+ 13%

15 to 17 year olds

-10%

33

-13%

+25%

18 to 19 year olds

-11%

28

-11%

+30%

In a survey of all youths age 14 to 19, there was an appalling lack of understanding of how decisions made today affect one's life in the future. Moreover, there was a general feeling that someone else would deal with the consequences of their decisions. Following is a chart of the questions and percentages of young people answering each option as well as a chart of the most common comments by those questioned.

In a survey of all youths age 14 to 19, there was an appalling lack of understanding of how decisions made today affect one's life in the future. Moreover, there was a general feeling that someone else would deal with the consequences of their decisions. Following is a chart of the questions and percentages of young people answering each option as well as a chart of the most common comments by those questioned.

As you can see, the problem statement directly points to the solution we are offering to the problem.

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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