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What Are Research Objectives in Academic Writing?

At the beginning of every academic research, you need to indicate what your research is about and what you mean to achieve by it. You need to make out objectives based on the approach and the overall purpose of your work.

The introductory part of the paper is the best place for formulating objectives. They should go after the problem statement and perform the following functions:

  • ✔️ explain the depth and size of the project
  • ✔️ add more information about the research design
  • ✔️ demonstrate how well your project corresponds to the existing data and knowledge

What Stands Behind a Research Objective?

When you formulate research objectives, you attempt to explain what you want to tell the audience when you write paper. Every next step of your research should correlate with the objectives, including data collection, making an argument, and formulating conclusions.

You may change the research objectives a bit within the process of research, but they should always be close to the procedure and content of the research.

What Is a Research Aim?

This term is often confused with research objectives. However, you need to know the difference between these two notions.

  • The aim is a broader term that implies the project's overall purpose. You complete your problem statement with it before you start formulating the objectives.
  • Research objectives mean a narrower concept referring to a specific focus and chosen approaches.

You always need only one distinct research aim, though there may be several research objectives for the paper.

Let’s consider the examples:

Research aim: This research aims to investigate the employee experiences of computer use and work transformation in marketing.

Research objectives:

  1. To observe the marketing department employees via their computer use and work transformation practices.
  2. To assess the employees’ understanding of the need for computer use and work transformation related to it in marketing.
  3. To identify the obstacles and helpers for computer use and work transformation in marketing.

The Importance of Correct Research Objectives

You cannot doubt that research objectives play a crucial role in your research process because they:

  • improve research without spending much time on unnecessary things, so your methods and conclusions will be closely related and easily understood (it means that you always know the scope and depth of your entire project);
  • choose the most appropriate methods for your research process, so your research design will always be clear and straightforward;
  • demonstrate your deep knowledge of the previous research findings, current methods and techniques, and existing problems that should be solved, so you can extend the research and contribute to the further debate.

Making Out Research Aims and Objectives

First, you need to formulate the research problem you intend to work with. Then, think about how you are going to deal with this problem. A research aim and its objectives are the next steps. So, you need to create them in a clear, consistent, and understandable way. Here are some stages and tips on how to do it properly.

Think About an Overall Aim

The research aim should correlate with the research problem, contribute to it, and extend it if possible.


✔️ The study sets out to evaluate the levels of correlation between students’ independence and self-education in natural science graduate students.

Define the Specific Objectives

Your overall aim needs several parts and steps to achieve it if you want to resolve your research problem successfully. That is why you should think about some specific aspects of the problem and the aim you want to investigate or understand.


✔️ To measure the levels of correlation between students’ independence and self-education in natural science graduate students.

Make Out Aims and Objectives Clearly

When you understand what kind of aim and objectives you need for your research, you have to explain them to the reader. Your explanation should be clear and concise to keep the audience's attention.

Use your introduction to do it at the end of the problem statement. Use the appropriate language and terms to give a characteristic to your further work over the project.


✔️ The aim of this research is to assess the levels of correlation and possible divergences between students’ independence in decision-making and their self-education opportunities in natural science graduate students. Utilizing the quantitative method, I will measure the correlation and divergences between student self-esteem, independence of decision-making, and the number of graduate students in natural science who have used their new ideas and solutions for self-education and further academic progress. I will also test their ability to make the right decisions about the choice of self-training methods, sources, and techniques.

What Is SMART Related to Research Objectives

SMART is an acronym here. It refers to research objectives to characterize their adequacy and relevance. Therefore, the objectives should be characterized as:

  • Specific. You need to avoid vague and unclear objectives because it will be impossible to get positive results from your research if you don’t know for sure what you are looking for.
  • Measurable. You should understand how you can define whether the objectives you have formulated are achieved or not. Define a certain measure for the possible outcomes of the research process.
  • Achievable. The objectives may be difficult to achieve, but it should always be possible. That is why you need to know whether all the necessary groundwork has been done before and whether there are enough primary and secondary sources to base your research on them. You may also need to check whether you have all the necessary resources, tools, and facilities for your research and achieving the results, for example, databases, labs, or experimental opportunities.
  • Relevant. Your objectives should directly address the research problem you are working with and want to resolve, so they have to contribute effectively to the current scope of knowledge and findings on the problem or the available data in this field.
  • Time-based. Your research project should remain on track no matter how many difficulties you will face, so set clear deadlines for every objective to be sure that you will manage all the tasks on time.

Final Thoughts

Research objectives are an important part of your research project. Do not underestimate the importance of formulating them clearly and correctly. Remember that they should be directly related to the aim of your research and its problem(s).

Now that you know how to formulate your research aim and objectives properly, it will be easier for you to work on your project and achieve the results you are searching for.

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