How to frame the right research objectives?

By on September 30, 2013

In my previous article, I had shed light on the importance of framing good research objectives. This article explains the basics of how the objectives of a research are designed. Most of the time, scholars fail to secure good grades in their research work because they are unable to lay the research objectives clearly in their papers. In the absence of clearly laid objectives, the whole research seems fragmented and scattered; data lacks flow and the analysis seems to be reaching nowhere. The research loses its direction if the objectives are not well-defined.

While writing the objectives of any research, the following should be kept in mind:

  • There should be one main ‘aim’ of the research and not more than 5-6 underlying objectives. This is because if there are too many objectives of the research, there are fair chances of data overload and data mismanagement making the study goes vague and ambiguous.
  • The objectives of the research should be clear, concise, attainable, measurable, and quantifiable.

Framing the research objectives

Following guidelines can be of help in this regard. To facilitate a better understanding of the guidelines, an example has been utilized. For example, the topic of research is “Impact of television advertising on consumers’ buying behaviour.”

  • Firstly, read the title of the research very carefully and write down whatever you understand by the title. This can be done easily by extracting a few main terms from the title. If we consider the example here, the main terms we can identify in the title are:
    • Television advertising
    • Consumers’ buying behavior
  • The previous step gives us a fair idea of the direction of the research. We can easily say that the research will revolve around the concepts of television advertising and consumers’ buying behaviour. Start stating the research objectives by exploring and understanding the main terms. As such in the present case, our first 2 research objectives will be:
    • To explore and understand the concept of television advertising in detail.
    • To explore the meaning and various aspects of the concept of consumers’ buying behaviour.
  • Now, focus on the basic purpose of the research. In the present example, the main purpose of the research is to study the impact of television advertising on consumers’ buying behaviour. It is important to adopt a critical attitude towards the research subject i.e. try to validate if there exists any relation between the main terms. So, the third objective will be:
    • To identify if any relationship exists between television advertising and consumers’ buying behaviour.
  • The next objective should directly pinpoint the purpose of the research in hand. It is to be remembered here that any research should bring into focus both positive and negative aspects of the research subject. Critical analysis is an important part of any research. Hence the next objective will be:
    • To identify and critically analyze the impact of television advertising on consumers’ buying behaviour.
  • Finally, the last objective in most of the research relates to identifying the challenges/loopholes/shortcomings and making recommendations to improve the situation. This objective is written keeping in mind what the researcher is looking forward i.e. what is the final destination. As such the final objective of the current research will be:
    • To identify the challenges involved in television advertising and recommend marketers the solutions to secure better consumers’ buying behaviour.


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