Significance And Meaning Of Research Objectives

Research Objectives

According to Locke et al. (2007: 9), a research objective means to show ”why you want to do research and what you want to achieve.” Unfortunately, current research proposals rarely pay attention to research objectives. The authors of the research methodology also often include the purpose of this research in other parts, such as the formulation of the problem or hypothesis. 

Wilkinson (1991), for example, describes objectives in the context of problem formulation and research objectives. Other authors refer to it as one aspect of the research problem (Casstetter & Heisler, 1997). However, their discussion in general still shows that the purpose of research is the core idea of a study.

It is known by the term research purpose because it describes the goals/intentions of the research in one or several sentences. In the proposal, the researcher must clearly distinguish between research objectives, research problems, and research formulations. 

The purpose of the study indicates the purpose of the study and not the problems or issues that can lead to the necessity of the study (see Chapter 5). The purpose of the study is not the formulation of a problem in which there are a number of questions that will be answered based on the collected research data (see Chapter 7). 

However, the purpose of research is a collection of statements that explain the goals, intentions, or general ideas of the holding of a study. This idea is built on a need (research problem) and refined again in specific questions (problem formulation). 

So important is the purpose of this study, that the researcher needs to write it separately from other aspects of his research proposal and he also needs to frame it in one sentence or paragraph that is easily understood by the reader. Although the research objectives for qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods studies are written with the same content, each of the research objectives for these three studies actually still has its own different properties and ways of writing, as will be illustrated in the following paragraphs.

Objectives Of Qualitative Research 

The objectives of qualitative research generally include information about the main phenomena explored in the study, research participants, and research sites. The purpose of qualitative research can also state the chosen research design. This purpose is written with the terms” technical " research derived from the language of qualitative research (Schwandt,2007). For this reason, researchers need to pay attention to several fundamental things in writing qualitative research objectives, such as the following:

  1. Use words such as purpose, intent, or goal to mark the purpose of the research you are writing. Write the purpose of the study in separate sentences or paragraphs, and use research language, such as “the purpose (intent or objective) of this study is....” Researchers usually use the present verb tense and the past verb tense for research proposals because they are presenting a research plan that will—not yet be done.
  2. Focus on one main phenomenon (or concept or idea). Narrow your research down to a single idea to explore and understand. This focus means that the objective of qualitative research should not be to show two or more closely related variables, or instead to compare two or more specific categories, as is often the case in quantitative research. 
  3. Use action verbs to indicate that there is a learning process in your research. Action verbs or phrases, such as describing, understanding, developing, researching meaning, or observing, will leave your research open to other possibilities: a characteristic that indicates that your research is qualitative research.
  4. Use neutral words and phrases-indirect language-such as, instead of using the words “successful experiences of individuals.“It is better to use the words "experienced individuals" rather than overuse problematic phrases, such as useful, positive, and informative words that appear to have meaning that may or may not appear. 
  5. Present a general definition of the main phenomenon or idea, especially if the phenomenon is a term that is not understood by a broad readership. Because it is included in the rhetoric of qualitative research, this definition should not be rigid, but tentative and developed during research based on information from participants. 
  6. Use strategic technical words/research theories that are used when it comes to the data collection, data analysis, and research process, such as: whether the research uses ethnographic theory, grounded theory, case studies, phenomenology, the narrative approach, or other strategies. Use words that are often used in the theories above.
  7. Describe the participants involved in the research, such as: whether your research participants consist of one or more individuals, a group of people, or an organization.
  8. Indicate where the research is conducted, such as a home, class, organization, program, or specific event. Describe this place in detail so that the reader really knows where the research was carried out.
  9. As a final step in qualitative research objectives, use some language that limits the scope of the participle or the location of the research. For example, the study could have been limited to women only, or one specific geographic area. The main phenomenon can be restricted to individuals within a business organization, more specifically those who are members of a creative team. Such restrictions will help researchers to further describe the parameters of their research.


Creswell, J.W. (1999) Mixed method research: Introduction and application. In G.J. Cizek (Ed.). Handbook of educational policy (pp. 455-472). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choos¬ing among Five Approaches ( 3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational Research: Ptoming, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Creswell, J.W. & Brown, M.L. (1992, Fall). How chairpersons enhance faculty research: A grounded theory study. The Review of Higher Education, 16(1), 41-62.
Creswell, J.W., & Miller, D. (2000). Determining validity in qualita¬tive inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130.
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.
Creswell, J.W. & Piano Clark, V.L. (2007). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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