- December 22, 2016 at 6:41 pm #3481
So you are struggling with the research aims and objectives which are the important issues in the research! They act as signposts for you as a research student at Masters or Doctoral level and helps to you to tackle your research attempt. Let us take one example, so if you want to know if you are going in the right direction when you walk around a new city or a town, you look at a signpost, or seek landmarks. It’s the same with a research dissertation, a thesis or a project. Therefore in academics, if you want to know if you are going the right way, first take a good look at research objectives. If you are digressing away from the research which you intended to do then then please stop, and concentrate your thoughts to get back on track.
So how do really we set any research objectives for a project or a dissertation ? First of all, we start with the defining the aim of research project, or what it is that it is trying to achieve. This is what you are going to do so set a clear objective beginning with the word ‘to’ and words like ‘find out’, ‘evaluate’, ‘measure’.
For example, you might have chosen to study the link between the evaluate the use of Facebook for B2B connectivity. This is your aim. It begins with the words “To … (do something) “. It is WHAT you are going to do. To evaluate the Facebook use and its effectiveness in making B2B relationship work.
It starts to get interesting at this point in the research as from a bigger goal you need to find out smaller goals which are also linked. You can now convert each of your research objectives into a WHAT, and then create sub–objectives to create new HOWs. You can continue this process indefinitely for the research but limiting is recommended as too many variables (independent and dependent) makes it complex. In fact, it makes sense to do so, because if you spend time doing this WHAT–HOW–WHAT–HOW process, you produce a plan for your project. The following chart shows this.
You should work hard to make your objectives SMART which is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. To ensure that the objective is SMART, ask the following questions:
The answer to ‘which’ or ‘what kind?’ will tell you whether the objective is sufficiently specific;
Ask ‘by how much?’ or ‘how many?’ or ‘how well?’ to determine whether the objective is sufficiently measurable;
And ‘by when?’ answers the time bound question.
One final point. Setting good objectives is difficult. It takes time so spend time in the research early phase to make it worthwhile as later stage rectification will make it tougher to amend.
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