Australian research on The Doctoral Experience concluded that time taken for topic (or problem) definition was clearly seen as needing to be reduced. This unit aims to assist candidates to clarify their research problem by analysing the context from which it is derived and by deconstructing the tentative conceptual issues to illuminate and amplify the problem. Candidates are introduced to and guided to use a comprehensive array of data bases and be mentored through critical reflective experiences to generate a logical narrative, culminating in the justified articulation of their research problem as they appreciate it at this early stage. This understanding in turn is employed flexibly in the incipient investigation of the scholarly literature to generate a literature map with a major annotated literature framework accompanying it. The framework represents an initial synthesised understanding of the substantive content knowledge which underpins the research pursuit. This stage determines the prerequisite experience needed to generate a systhesised literature review to be attempted in the following unit. The outcome of this unit is the basic scaffolding for three chapters of a thesis or dissertation.