How to write the rationale of the study in a research paper?

By Priya Chetty on November 12, 2019

The rationale of the study is written to describe the reasons for any research paper. It proffers a problem with apt solutions. It is a vital portion of any research paper as it explains the novelty and significance. It justifies the idea behind the research paper and is also called the justification of the study. The rationale is formed around the background of the study. All prior data present on the topic is presented to identify the gaps present in the literature. Rationale sets the tone and ideas of the study. A rationale needs to be meticulous and precise.

A rationale of the study eliminates from the literature

It is of utmost importance that the research paper should aid in eliminating the gaps present in the current literature. Moreover, it is compulsory to fill the voids present in the current pool of literature and revamp the present studies. But this does not mean that something totally new has to be invented in the field or the questions in the discussion. The idea is to provide fresh perspectives and angles which have not been discussed before.

Solving a specific problem

Research is conducted to solve the current problem. It can lay down a base for the implication of the specific problem and also highlight the benefits of solving such a problem with a specific solution. It should also be noted that at the time of conducting research it is not obligatory for research to be associated with a specific solution. The disquisition can be pure theory-based in nature.

Aiding a business

Research acts as a vantage point in identifying specific problems in a business structure. Research can aid in solving such problems and give a good advantage over competitors. Many businesses based on agriculture, engineering, and utility services thrive on innovation and needs constant jolts of novelty to keep floating. Many businesses conduct research to make consumer goods better and more efficient. Solving such problems can curb any hindrances which have been identified in the study or implement new solutions offered in the study to boost profitability.

It helps in knowledge creation

Identifying the gaps in the literature, providing solutions and discussing the precise problem in intricate detail expands the current pool of the literature. Analyzing the current methods and utilizing them to find new paths aids in the expansion of perspective. The disquisition can also act as a precursor for many new ideas and study cases. New or current opportunities can be gauged, seized and ultimately cashed on by research.

Development of relevant skills

Research helps in nourishing critical thinking, and inculcates creativity and time efficiency to enhance analytical skills. Conducting a study is mentally stimulating which is better for efficiency. Such a gamut of skills has long-lasting implications. Research helps in disclosing the truth and separating fabricated and underlying lies, the skills developed are essential for aspired career paths. The jolts of the invention enhance the intelligence quotient (IQ). These skills help in bringing revolution and help to make technological advancement a reality.

Professional development

The research lays down the rudimental base for the researcher’s career aspiration in the long term. Choosing an apt topic that is aligned with the study interest and career aspiration is important. Research answers in-depth knowledge on a particular topic contributes to increasing the chances of opportunities in a chosen career path. Furthermore, research is a great vacant point to identify a niche in the industry and gain ample and precise information regarding the subject and various aspects of the chosen industry.

Steps to follow while writing the rationale of the study

  1. The first few lines of the rationale of the study provide the background of the topic in such a way that it tingles the curiosity of the reader. Also, introduce the problem that has to be discussed.
  2. Briefly explain the problem that has to be addressed and what the research paper outcomes are. The detailed synopsis of the problem and what the study would tackle.
  3. Using bibliographic citations to strengthen the reasonings for conducting the research, also highlight the intended audience which will scrutinize the research or use it for further studies.
  4. The purpose of the work and how it will be utilized further.
  5. Writing should be as concise as possible, it should be written in such a way that it avoids pretentious writing and could be readily understood by the intended audience.
  6. Avoid using specialized complex jargon or technical terms lingering around the problem. Describe the problem thoroughly and keep the information specific.
  7. In a few lines also discuss the impact of the intended research and its implications and impact in the real world.
  8. Also, highlight the additional references and methodology utilized for the research. Do not assimilate them too much in the writing. Focus on providing concise information and arguments foremost.

The rationale of the study holds great importance as it sets the tone of the research and also intrigues a reader’s curiosity to dive into the work. It is necessary to formulate a robust rationale for any dissertation to enhance dissertations’ impact factor.

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An example of how to write the rationale of the study

Topic: Role of international university partners in ensuring the quality of education in Indian Private Higher Education Institutes (PHEIs’).

Education is the backbone of a good society, as education provides the chance to have a good professional career as well as an improved quality of life in terms of economic and social well-being. Quality in education has received much attention in the last decade or so, seeing as there is an increased awareness among people to get educated to a high level of degree (Wilkins, 2010). This has led to an increased number of universities, state-owned as well as privately funded. As privately funded educational institutions have many stakeholders and have been established for a two-point agenda- impart education and gain profits- sometimes quality of education may not remain the most important priority. In India, there has been a steady increase in the number of private higher educational institutions, and these increased numbers of PHEIs’ have led to the substandard impartation of education, leading the students to gain incomplete skills and decreased chances of employability on the global front. Also, the role of foreign universities has been prominent in Indian higher education, but the extent of their role in quality education has not been properly examined. This study provides a chance to assess the quality of education and how these foreign universities are adding value to education through the internationalization of education. This study can, thus, become a benchmark in providing an understanding of how standards are set in Indian higher education institutions, as well as provide an assessment of how foreign university partners can help in assuring the quality of teaching in the universities and colleges of India. Thus, this study will help provide a detailed overview of the Indian PHEIs’ and assess their status in terms of the quality of teaching for imparting education in a better way.

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).



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