thesis aims and objectives examples

  • Aims and Objectives – A Guide for Academic Writing
  • Doing a PhD

One of the most important aspects of a thesis, dissertation or research paper is the correct formulation of the aims and objectives. This is because your aims and objectives will establish the scope, depth and direction that your research will ultimately take. An effective set of aims and objectives will give your research focus and your reader clarity, with your aims indicating what is to be achieved, and your objectives indicating how it will be achieved.


There is no getting away from the importance of the aims and objectives in determining the success of your research project. Unfortunately, however, it is an aspect that many students struggle with, and ultimately end up doing poorly. Given their importance, if you suspect that there is even the smallest possibility that you belong to this group of students, we strongly recommend you read this page in full.

This page describes what research aims and objectives are, how they differ from each other, how to write them correctly, and the common mistakes students make and how to avoid them. An example of a good aim and objectives from a past thesis has also been deconstructed to help your understanding.

What Are Aims and Objectives?

Research aims.

A research aim describes the main goal or the overarching purpose of your research project.

In doing so, it acts as a focal point for your research and provides your readers with clarity as to what your study is all about. Because of this, research aims are almost always located within its own subsection under the introduction section of a research document, regardless of whether it’s a thesis , a dissertation, or a research paper .

A research aim is usually formulated as a broad statement of the main goal of the research and can range in length from a single sentence to a short paragraph. Although the exact format may vary according to preference, they should all describe why your research is needed (i.e. the context), what it sets out to accomplish (the actual aim) and, briefly, how it intends to accomplish it (overview of your objectives).

To give an example, we have extracted the following research aim from a real PhD thesis:

Example of a Research Aim

The role of diametrical cup deformation as a factor to unsatisfactory implant performance has not been widely reported. The aim of this thesis was to gain an understanding of the diametrical deformation behaviour of acetabular cups and shells following impaction into the reamed acetabulum. The influence of a range of factors on deformation was investigated to ascertain if cup and shell deformation may be high enough to potentially contribute to early failure and high wear rates in metal-on-metal implants.

Note: Extracted with permission from thesis titled “T he Impact And Deformation Of Press-Fit Metal Acetabular Components ” produced by Dr H Hothi of previously Queen Mary University of London.

Research Objectives

Where a research aim specifies what your study will answer, research objectives specify how your study will answer it.

They divide your research aim into several smaller parts, each of which represents a key section of your research project. As a result, almost all research objectives take the form of a numbered list, with each item usually receiving its own chapter in a dissertation or thesis.

Following the example of the research aim shared above, here are it’s real research objectives as an example:

Example of a Research Objective

  • Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.
  • Investigate the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup.
  • Determine the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types.
  • Investigate the influence of non-uniform cup support and varying the orientation of the component in the cavity on deformation.
  • Examine the influence of errors during reaming of the acetabulum which introduce ovality to the cavity.
  • Determine the relationship between changes in the geometry of the component and deformation for different cup designs.
  • Develop three dimensional pelvis models with non-uniform bone material properties from a range of patients with varying bone quality.
  • Use the key parameters that influence deformation, as identified in the foam models to determine the range of deformations that may occur clinically using the anatomic models and if these deformations are clinically significant.

It’s worth noting that researchers sometimes use research questions instead of research objectives, or in other cases both. From a high-level perspective, research questions and research objectives make the same statements, but just in different formats.

Taking the first three research objectives as an example, they can be restructured into research questions as follows:

Restructuring Research Objectives as Research Questions

  • Can finite element models using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum together with explicit dynamics be used to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion?
  • What is the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup?
  • What is the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types?

Difference Between Aims and Objectives

Hopefully the above explanations make clear the differences between aims and objectives, but to clarify:

  • The research aim focus on what the research project is intended to achieve; research objectives focus on how the aim will be achieved.
  • Research aims are relatively broad; research objectives are specific.
  • Research aims focus on a project’s long-term outcomes; research objectives focus on its immediate, short-term outcomes.
  • A research aim can be written in a single sentence or short paragraph; research objectives should be written as a numbered list.

How to Write Aims and Objectives

Before we discuss how to write a clear set of research aims and objectives, we should make it clear that there is no single way they must be written. Each researcher will approach their aims and objectives slightly differently, and often your supervisor will influence the formulation of yours on the basis of their own preferences.

Regardless, there are some basic principles that you should observe for good practice; these principles are described below.

Your aim should be made up of three parts that answer the below questions:

  • Why is this research required?
  • What is this research about?
  • How are you going to do it?

The easiest way to achieve this would be to address each question in its own sentence, although it does not matter whether you combine them or write multiple sentences for each, the key is to address each one.

The first question, why , provides context to your research project, the second question, what , describes the aim of your research, and the last question, how , acts as an introduction to your objectives which will immediately follow.

Scroll through the image set below to see the ‘why, what and how’ associated with our research aim example.

Explaining aims vs objectives

Note: Your research aims need not be limited to one. Some individuals per to define one broad ‘overarching aim’ of a project and then adopt two or three specific research aims for their thesis or dissertation. Remember, however, that in order for your assessors to consider your research project complete, you will need to prove you have fulfilled all of the aims you set out to achieve. Therefore, while having more than one research aim is not necessarily disadvantageous, consider whether a single overarching one will do.

Research Objectives

Each of your research objectives should be SMART :

  • Specific – is there any ambiguity in the action you are going to undertake, or is it focused and well-defined?
  • Measurable – how will you measure progress and determine when you have achieved the action?
  • Achievable – do you have the support, resources and facilities required to carry out the action?
  • Relevant – is the action essential to the achievement of your research aim?
  • Timebound – can you realistically complete the action in the available time alongside your other research tasks?

In addition to being SMART, your research objectives should start with a verb that helps communicate your intent. Common research verbs include:

Table of Research Verbs to Use in Aims and Objectives

Last, format your objectives into a numbered list. This is because when you write your thesis or dissertation, you will at times need to make reference to a specific research objective; structuring your research objectives in a numbered list will provide a clear way of doing this.

To bring all this together, let’s compare the first research objective in the previous example with the above guidance:

Checking Research Objective Example Against Recommended Approach

Research Objective:

1. Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.

Checking Against Recommended Approach:

Q: Is it specific? A: Yes, it is clear what the student intends to do (produce a finite element model), why they intend to do it (mimic cup/shell blows) and their parameters have been well-defined ( using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum ).

Q: Is it measurable? A: Yes, it is clear that the research objective will be achieved once the finite element model is complete.

Q: Is it achievable? A: Yes, provided the student has access to a computer lab, modelling software and laboratory data.

Q: Is it relevant? A: Yes, mimicking impacts to a cup/shell is fundamental to the overall aim of understanding how they deform when impacted upon.

Q: Is it timebound? A: Yes, it is possible to create a limited-scope finite element model in a relatively short time, especially if you already have experience in modelling.

Q: Does it start with a verb? A: Yes, it starts with ‘develop’, which makes the intent of the objective immediately clear.

Q: Is it a numbered list? A: Yes, it is the first research objective in a list of eight.

Mistakes in Writing Research Aims and Objectives

1. making your research aim too broad.

Having a research aim too broad becomes very difficult to achieve. Normally, this occurs when a student develops their research aim before they have a good understanding of what they want to research. Remember that at the end of your project and during your viva defence , you will have to prove that you have achieved your research aims; if they are too broad, this will be an almost impossible task. In the early stages of your research project, your priority should be to narrow your study to a specific area. A good way to do this is to take the time to study existing literature, question their current approaches, findings and limitations, and consider whether there are any recurring gaps that could be investigated .

Note: Achieving a set of aims does not necessarily mean proving or disproving a theory or hypothesis, even if your research aim was to, but having done enough work to provide a useful and original insight into the principles that underlie your research aim.

2. Making Your Research Objectives Too Ambitious

Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available. It is natural to want to set ambitious research objectives that require sophisticated data collection and analysis, but only completing this with six months before the end of your PhD registration period is not a worthwhile trade-off.

3. Formulating Repetitive Research Objectives

Each research objective should have its own purpose and distinct measurable outcome. To this effect, a common mistake is to form research objectives which have large amounts of overlap. This makes it difficult to determine when an objective is truly complete, and also presents challenges in estimating the duration of objectives when creating your project timeline. It also makes it difficult to structure your thesis into unique chapters, making it more challenging for you to write and for your audience to read.

Fortunately, this oversight can be easily avoided by using SMART objectives.

Hopefully, you now have a good idea of how to create an effective set of aims and objectives for your research project, whether it be a thesis, dissertation or research paper. While it may be tempting to dive directly into your research, spending time on getting your aims and objectives right will give your research clear direction. This won’t only reduce the likelihood of problems arising later down the line, but will also lead to a more thorough and coherent research project.

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Research Aims, Objectives & Questions

The “Golden Thread” Explained Simply (+ Examples)

By: David Phair (PhD) and Alexandra Shaeffer (PhD) | June 2022

The research aims , objectives and research questions (collectively called the “golden thread”) are arguably the most important thing you need to get right when you’re crafting a research proposal , dissertation or thesis . We receive questions almost every day about this “holy trinity” of research and there’s certainly a lot of confusion out there, so we’ve crafted this post to help you navigate your way through the fog.

Overview: The Golden Thread

  • What is the golden thread
  • What are research aims ( examples )
  • What are research objectives ( examples )
  • What are research questions ( examples )
  • The importance of alignment in the golden thread

What is the “golden thread”?  

The golden thread simply refers to the collective research aims , research objectives , and research questions for any given project (i.e., a dissertation, thesis, or research paper ). These three elements are bundled together because it’s extremely important that they align with each other, and that the entire research project aligns with them.

Importantly, the golden thread needs to weave its way through the entirety of any research project , from start to end. In other words, it needs to be very clearly defined right at the beginning of the project (the topic ideation and proposal stage) and it needs to inform almost every decision throughout the rest of the project. For example, your research design and methodology will be heavily influenced by the golden thread (we’ll explain this in more detail later), as well as your literature review.

The research aims, objectives and research questions (the golden thread) define the focus and scope ( the delimitations ) of your research project. In other words, they help ringfence your dissertation or thesis to a relatively narrow domain, so that you can “go deep” and really dig into a specific problem or opportunity. They also help keep you on track , as they act as a litmus test for relevance. In other words, if you’re ever unsure whether to include something in your document, simply ask yourself the question, “does this contribute toward my research aims, objectives or questions?”. If it doesn’t, chances are you can drop it.

Alright, enough of the fluffy, conceptual stuff. Let’s get down to business and look at what exactly the research aims, objectives and questions are and outline a few examples to bring these concepts to life.

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Research Aims: What are they?

Simply put, the research aim(s) is a statement that reflects the broad overarching goal (s) of the research project. Research aims are fairly high-level (low resolution) as they outline the general direction of the research and what it’s trying to achieve .

Research Aims: Examples  

True to the name, research aims usually start with the wording “this research aims to…”, “this research seeks to…”, and so on. For example:

“This research aims to explore employee experiences of digital transformation in retail HR.”   “This study sets out to assess the interaction between student support and self-care on well-being in engineering graduate students”  

As you can see, these research aims provide a high-level description of what the study is about and what it seeks to achieve. They’re not hyper-specific or action-oriented, but they’re clear about what the study’s focus is and what is being investigated.

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thesis aims and objectives examples

Research Objectives: What are they?

The research objectives take the research aims and make them more practical and actionable . In other words, the research objectives showcase the steps that the researcher will take to achieve the research aims.

The research objectives need to be far more specific (higher resolution) and actionable than the research aims. In fact, it’s always a good idea to craft your research objectives using the “SMART” criteria. In other words, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound”.

Research Objectives: Examples  

Let’s look at two examples of research objectives. We’ll stick with the topic and research aims we mentioned previously.  

For the digital transformation topic:

To observe the retail HR employees throughout the digital transformation. To assess employee perceptions of digital transformation in retail HR. To identify the barriers and facilitators of digital transformation in retail HR.

And for the student wellness topic:

To determine whether student self-care predicts the well-being score of engineering graduate students. To determine whether student support predicts the well-being score of engineering students. To assess the interaction between student self-care and student support when predicting well-being in engineering graduate students.

  As you can see, these research objectives clearly align with the previously mentioned research aims and effectively translate the low-resolution aims into (comparatively) higher-resolution objectives and action points . They give the research project a clear focus and present something that resembles a research-based “to-do” list.

The research objectives detail the specific steps that you, as the researcher, will take to achieve the research aims you laid out.

Research Questions: What are they?

Finally, we arrive at the all-important research questions. The research questions are, as the name suggests, the key questions that your study will seek to answer . Simply put, they are the core purpose of your dissertation, thesis, or research project. You’ll present them at the beginning of your document (either in the introduction chapter or literature review chapter) and you’ll answer them at the end of your document (typically in the discussion and conclusion chapters).  

The research questions will be the driving force throughout the research process. For example, in the literature review chapter, you’ll assess the relevance of any given resource based on whether it helps you move towards answering your research questions. Similarly, your methodology and research design will be heavily influenced by the nature of your research questions. For instance, research questions that are exploratory in nature will usually make use of a qualitative approach, whereas questions that relate to measurement or relationship testing will make use of a quantitative approach.  

Let’s look at some examples of research questions to make this more tangible.

Research Questions: Examples  

Again, we’ll stick with the research aims and research objectives we mentioned previously.  

For the digital transformation topic (which would be qualitative in nature):

How do employees perceive digital transformation in retail HR? What are the barriers and facilitators of digital transformation in retail HR?  

And for the student wellness topic (which would be quantitative in nature):

Does student self-care predict the well-being scores of engineering graduate students? Does student support predict the well-being scores of engineering students? Do student self-care and student support interact when predicting well-being in engineering graduate students?  

You’ll probably notice that there’s quite a formulaic approach to this. In other words, the research questions are basically the research objectives “converted” into question format. While that is true most of the time, it’s not always the case. For example, the first research objective for the digital transformation topic was more or less a step on the path toward the other objectives, and as such, it didn’t warrant its own research question.  

So, don’t rush your research questions and sloppily reword your objectives as questions. Carefully think about what exactly you’re trying to achieve (i.e. your research aim) and the objectives you’ve set out, then craft a set of well-aligned research questions . Also, keep in mind that this can be a somewhat iterative process , where you go back and tweak research objectives and aims to ensure tight alignment throughout the golden thread.

The importance of strong alignment 

Alignment is the keyword here and we have to stress its importance . Simply put, you need to make sure that there is a very tight alignment between all three pieces of the golden thread. If your research aims and research questions don’t align, for example, your project will be pulling in different directions and will lack focus . This is a common problem students face and can cause many headaches (and tears), so be warned.

Take the time to carefully craft your research aims, objectives and research questions before you run off down the research path. Ideally, get your research supervisor/advisor to review and comment on your golden thread before you invest significant time into your project, and certainly before you start collecting data .  

Recap: The golden thread

In this post, we unpacked the golden thread of research, consisting of the research aims , research objectives and research questions . You can jump back to any section using the links below.

As always, feel free to leave a comment below – we always love to hear from you. Also, if you’re interested in 1-on-1 support, take a look at our private coaching service here.

thesis aims and objectives examples

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This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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Isaac Levi

Thank you very much for your great effort put. As an Undergraduate taking Demographic Research & Methodology, I’ve been trying so hard to understand clearly what is a Research Question, Research Aim and the Objectives in a research and the relationship between them etc. But as for now I’m thankful that you’ve solved my problem.

Hatimu Bah

Well appreciated. This has helped me greatly in doing my dissertation.

Dr. Abdallah Kheri

An so delighted with this wonderful information thank you a lot.

so impressive i have benefited a lot looking forward to learn more on research.

Ekwunife, Chukwunonso Onyeka Steve

I am very happy to have carefully gone through this well researched article.

Infact,I used to be phobia about anything research, because of my poor understanding of the concepts.

Now,I get to know that my research question is the same as my research objective(s) rephrased in question format.

I please I would need a follow up on the subject,as I intends to join the team of researchers. Thanks once again.


Thanks so much. This was really helpful.


i found this document so useful towards my study in research methods. thanks so much.

Michael L. Andrion

This is my 2nd read topic in your course and I should commend the simplified explanations of each part. I’m beginning to understand and absorb the use of each part of a dissertation/thesis. I’ll keep on reading your free course and might be able to avail the training course! Kudos!


Thank you! Better put that my lecture and helped to easily understand the basics which I feel often get brushed over when beginning dissertation work.

Enoch Tindiwegi

This is quite helpful. I like how the Golden thread has been explained and the needed alignment.

Sora Dido Boru

This is quite helpful. I really appreciate!


The article made it simple for researcher students to differentiate between three concepts.

Afowosire Wasiu Adekunle

Very innovative and educational in approach to conducting research.

Sàlihu Abubakar Dayyabu

I am very impressed with all these terminology, as I am a fresh student for post graduate, I am highly guided and I promised to continue making consultation when the need arise. Thanks a lot.

Mohammed Shamsudeen

A very helpful piece. thanks, I really appreciate it .

Sonam Jyrwa

Very well explained, and it might be helpful to many people like me.


Wish i had found this (and other) resource(s) at the beginning of my PhD journey… not in my writing up year… 😩 Anyways… just a quick question as i’m having some issues ordering my “golden thread”…. does it matter in what order you mention them? i.e., is it always first aims, then objectives, and finally the questions? or can you first mention the research questions and then the aims and objectives?


Thank you for a very simple explanation that builds upon the concepts in a very logical manner. Just prior to this, I read the research hypothesis article, which was equally very good. This met my primary objective.

My secondary objective was to understand the difference between research questions and research hypothesis, and in which context to use which one. However, I am still not clear on this. Can you kindly please guide?

Derek Jansen

In research, a research question is a clear and specific inquiry that the researcher wants to answer, while a research hypothesis is a tentative statement or prediction about the relationship between variables or the expected outcome of the study. Research questions are broader and guide the overall study, while hypotheses are specific and testable statements used in quantitative research. Research questions identify the problem, while hypotheses provide a focus for testing in the study.

Saen Fanai

Exactly what I need in this research journey, I look forward to more of your coaching videos.

Abubakar Rofiat Opeyemi

This helped a lot. Thanks so much for the effort put into explaining it.

Lamin Tarawally

What data source in writing dissertation/Thesis requires?

What is data source covers when writing dessertation/thesis

Latifat Muhammed

This is quite useful thanks


I’m excited and thankful. I got so much value which will help me progress in my thesis.

Amer Al-Rashid

where are the locations of the reserch statement, research objective and research question in a reserach paper? Can you write an ouline that defines their places in the researh paper?


Very helpful and important tips on Aims, Objectives and Questions.

Refiloe Raselane

Thank you so much for making research aim, research objectives and research question so clear. This will be helpful to me as i continue with my thesis.

Annabelle Roda-Dafielmoto

Thanks much for this content. I learned a lot. And I am inspired to learn more. I am still struggling with my preparation for dissertation outline/proposal. But I consistently follow contents and tutorials and the new FB of GRAD Coach. Hope to really become confident in writing my dissertation and successfully defend it.


As a researcher and lecturer, I find splitting research goals into research aims, objectives, and questions is unnecessarily bureaucratic and confusing for students. For most biomedical research projects, including ‘real research’, 1-3 research questions will suffice (numbers may differ by discipline).


Awesome! Very important resources and presented in an informative way to easily understand the golden thread. Indeed, thank you so much.


Well explained

New Growth Care Group

The blog article on research aims, objectives, and questions by Grad Coach is a clear and insightful guide that aligns with my experiences in academic research. The article effectively breaks down the often complex concepts of research aims and objectives, providing a straightforward and accessible explanation. Drawing from my own research endeavors, I appreciate the practical tips offered, such as the need for specificity and clarity when formulating research questions. The article serves as a valuable resource for students and researchers, offering a concise roadmap for crafting well-defined research goals and objectives. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced researcher, this article provides practical insights that contribute to the foundational aspects of a successful research endeavor.

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How to Write the Dissertation Aims and Objectives – Guide & Examples

Published by Grace Graffin at January 27th, 2023 , Revised On October 9, 2023

Aims and objectives are among the essential aspects of a dissertation. If you write aims and objectives effectively, they can act as a foundation to give your research clarity and focus.

This article will provide you with all the necessary information regarding aims and objectives, their differences, writing tips , and the common mistakes you should avoid while writing them.

The aim is often a single sentence or a short paragraph that describes your dissertation’s main goal and intent. It tells what you hope to achieve at the end. You should write the aim so that it becomes identifiable when it is achieved with the completion of your dissertation .

The aim is written in a subsection of the introduction to clarify the overall purpose of the dissertation .

Example: It is often observed that employees in culturally diverse workplaces struggle to work effectively in a team. A probable cause of this issue is bullying at the workplace. This research investigates the impact of bullying on employee job satisfaction at culturally diverse workplaces and the resulting loss of employee productivity. This research will use surveys and case study analysis to analyze the impact of bullying on employees.

The objectives in a dissertation describe the ways through which you intend to achieve the research aim. They are specific statements that break down the aim into several smaller key sections of the overall research. Suitable objectives can help you stay focused and conduct research in the direction of your aim.

The number of objectives should be realistic; usually, between three to six, and each one should be possible to achieve. The following example shows the objectives for the previously-mentioned dissertation aim.

1. identification of the behaviors that are considered as bullying 2. exploring the factors that cause bullying at a culturally diverse workplace 3. analyzing the relationship between bullying and job satisfaction of employees 4. providing suitable recommendations on minimizing the bullying at the workplace

The objectives of a dissertation should be SMART.

  • Specific: should be precise, focused, and well-defined
  • Measurable: the progress should be measurable, and you should be able to determine when you have achieved an objective.
  • Achievable: you should be able to carry out the required action within your available resources
  • Relevant: should be related to the dissertation aim
  • Time-bound: should be possible within the available time

Differences between aims and objectives

Aims and objectives are often mixed, but there are clear differences between them.

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How to write aims and objectives?

There is no particular way or standard to write the aims and objectives. Different researchers have different writing styles, and often it can be influenced by your research supervisor. However, you should follow certain basic principles while writing aims and objectives in a dissertation.

Writing the aim statement

The aim statement should cover the following essential elements.

  • Why is the research necessary? (covers the underlying problem on which the study is to be conducted)
  • What is the research about? (description of the research title)
  • How are you going to conduct it? (a brief statement of intended research methods)

An appropriate aim clearly defines the research purpose without confusing the reader. If you struggle to explain your research and its importance in simpler terms, you should consider refining your research to clarify it further.

Writing objectives

The objectives describe how you would achieve your research aim. You can do this through the following steps,

  • The first one to two objectives can be applied to the literature review . (Verbs to be used: investigate, examine, study)
  • One objective can be applied to the methodology portion. (Verbs to be used: collect, select, demonstrate, estimate)
  • Two to three objectives can cover the critical evaluation or discussion chapters (Verbs to be used: analyze, compare, evaluate)
  • The final objective will cover the conclusion or recommendation portion. (Verbs to be used: conclude, recommend)

Instead of writing like a paragraph, the objectives should be written as a numbered list to give them more clarity.

How many aims and objectives should be there?

It depends upon the topic of your research and mainly upon your supervisor’s requirements. Generally, a dissertation has a single broad statement as the research aim. However, it is acceptable to include a main aim along with two to three subsidiary aims.

Similarly, the number of objectives should be realistic and sufficient to measure the progress regarding the achievement of the research aim. Their number can generally vary from three to six depending upon the aim.

Common mistakes to avoid while writing research aims and objectives

  • Writing a broad research aim

Writing a broad research aim is a common mistake, and it often becomes difficult to achieve. It may create a problem when you are asked to prove how you have achieved your aims during your  viva defense . It would be best to narrow your study to a specific area in the early stages of the dissertation.

  • Formulating overlapping research objectives

The objectives should be written such that they are measurable and distinct from each other. If they overlap, it makes it difficult to structure your dissertation properly in specific chapters.

  • Setting unrealistic aims

Students often get over-ambitious while describing the research aim and face problems afterward in achieving those aims. You should avoid this mistake and be realistic about what you can achieve in the available time and resources.

Aims and objectives are the sections that require significant time and attention to avoid future hassles while conducting research and writing your dissertation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to set dissertation aims and objectives.

To set dissertation aims and objectives, define your research goals clearly. Aims state what you want to achieve, while objectives outline specific, measurable steps to reach those goals. Ensure they align with your research question and contribute to your study’s significance.

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Formulating Research Aims and Objectives

Formulating research aim and objectives in an appropriate manner is one of the most important aspects of your thesis. This is because research aim and objectives determine the scope, depth and the overall direction of the research. Research question is the central question of the study that has to be answered on the basis of research findings.

Research aim emphasizes what needs to be achieved within the scope of the research, by the end of the research process. Achievement of research aim provides answer to the research question.

Research objectives divide research aim into several parts and address each part separately. Research aim specifies WHAT needs to be studied and research objectives comprise a number of steps that address HOW research aim will be achieved.

As a rule of dumb, there would be one research aim and several research objectives. Achievement of each research objective will lead to the achievement of the research aim.

Consider the following as an example:

Research title: Effects of organizational culture on business profitability: a case study of Virgin Atlantic

Research aim: To assess the effects of Virgin Atlantic organizational culture on business profitability

Following research objectives would facilitate the achievement of this aim:

  • Analyzing the nature of organizational culture at Virgin Atlantic by September 1, 2022
  • Identifying factors impacting Virgin Atlantic organizational culture by September 16, 2022
  • Analyzing impacts of Virgin Atlantic organizational culture on employee performances by September 30, 2022
  • Providing recommendations to Virgin Atlantic strategic level management in terms of increasing the level of effectiveness of organizational culture by October 5, 2022

Figure below illustrates additional examples in formulating research aims and objectives:

Formulating Research Aims and Objectives

Formulation of research question, aim and objectives

Common mistakes in the formulation of research aim relate to the following:

1. Choosing the topic too broadly . This is the most common mistake. For example, a research title of “an analysis of leadership practices” can be classified as too broad because the title fails to answer the following questions:

a) Which aspects of leadership practices? Leadership has many aspects such as employee motivation, ethical behaviour, strategic planning, change management etc. An attempt to cover all of these aspects of organizational leadership within a single research will result in an unfocused and poor work.

b) An analysis of leadership practices in which country? Leadership practices tend to be different in various countries due to cross-cultural differences, legislations and a range of other region-specific factors. Therefore, a study of leadership practices needs to be country-specific.

c) Analysis of leadership practices in which company or industry? Similar to the point above, analysis of leadership practices needs to take into account industry-specific and/or company-specific differences, and there is no way to conduct a leadership research that relates to all industries and organizations in an equal manner.

Accordingly, as an example “a study into the impacts of ethical behaviour of a leader on the level of employee motivation in US healthcare sector” would be a more appropriate title than simply “An analysis of leadership practices”.

2. Setting an unrealistic aim . Formulation of a research aim that involves in-depth interviews with Apple strategic level management by an undergraduate level student can be specified as a bit over-ambitious. This is because securing an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook or members of Apple Board of Directors might not be easy. This is an extreme example of course, but you got the idea. Instead, you may aim to interview the manager of your local Apple store and adopt a more feasible strategy to get your dissertation completed.

3. Choosing research methods incompatible with the timeframe available . Conducting interviews with 20 sample group members and collecting primary data through 2 focus groups when only three months left until submission of your dissertation can be very difficult, if not impossible. Accordingly, timeframe available need to be taken into account when formulating research aims and objectives and selecting research methods.

Moreover, research objectives need to be formulated according to SMART principle,

 where the abbreviation stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Examples of SMART research objectives

At the conclusion part of your research project you will need to reflect on the level of achievement of research aims and objectives. In case your research aims and objectives are not fully achieved by the end of the study, you will need to discuss the reasons. These may include initial inappropriate formulation of research aims and objectives, effects of other variables that were not considered at the beginning of the research or changes in some circumstances during the research process.

Research Aims and Objectives

John Dudovskiy

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Aims and Objectives for Master’s Dissertations

Aims and Objectives

Aims and Objectives for Master’s Dissertations. This blog will look at writing an ‘Aim’ statement and ‘Objectives’ for a Master’s thesis. It should also be helpful for final year projects at undergraduate level.

I have done 2 previous blogs on ‘Topic Selection’ and ‘Dissertation Title Writing’ that may also be of interest.

Here is a short video clip on writing the Aims and Objectives.

Where should the Aims and Objectives be?

The Aims and Objectives for your  Master’s Dissertations need to be in chapter 1, the introduction to the research project. Chapter 1 should be an introduction to the project, and not an introduction to the topic. The topic is covered in the Literature Review, usually chapter 2. However, there needs to be a few pages of background introduction to set the scene and the reasons for the research. Therefore, the Aims and Objectives should be around page 2, 3, or 4.

Tips for Writing the AIM Statement

There will be one overall AIM statement as described here. Sometimes a research project may contain several distinct aims. However, they need to fit together to an overall research AIM.

The AIM is really just a longer and more explanatory version of the research title. The AIM can be an expansion of the title to 3 to 6 sentences. Make sure you cover these three elements:

  • Why is this research necessary – some background showing a problem.
  • What is this research about – an expansion of the title.
  • How is the research to be performed – a brief statement of the intended research methods.

Initially aim for 1 sentence for each item. Expanding to two sentences for each will be OK. The AIM statement should not exceed a paragraph or a quarter to a third of a page.

Example of an Aim Statement

Example: I will take a project title: “An investigation into Project Management Life-Cycles in the Automotive Industry: Honda as a case study.”

The AIM will need to include:

  • Why: Oversupply and unfilled manufacturing capacity, and increasing innovation in the industry are causing all automotive companies problems. This states the problem.
  • What: This project seeks to examine how Project Life Cycles are implemented in the Honda Motor Company.
  • How: By case study analysis and comparison with other automotive companies.

Put those three sentences together and the AIM statement becomes:

Aim Statement: Oversupply and unfilled manufacturing capacity is leading to increasing innovation in the automotive industry. This requires all automotive companies to reduce their project life cycles to remain competitive. This project seeks to examine how Project Life Cycles are implemented in the Honda Motor Company. The research will use case study analysis and comparison of Honda Project Life Cycles implementation with that of other automotive companies.

The first part of the aim statement – the problem – is what needs to be covered in the first 2 or 3 pages of the introduction chapter. Some researchers may then introduce a secondary aim statement to complement the first.  In this example there may be a secondary AIM to distribute or publish the research findings.

Writing Objectives for a Master’s Dissertation

Number Nine

Nine Objectives

I suggest that 6-9 Objectives is an initial target. There are often comments that 9 may be too many. However, as a Project Manager my natural inclination is to break a project into manageable chunks of work. Also, if there are 9 objectives and one objective is not met, then there are still 8 objectives that are met.

The objectives when read alone should tell a story through the dissertation. This can be done by ensuring:

  • 2 or 3 Objectives apply to the Literature Review – Demonstrating knowledge.  Verbs such as Research, Examine, Study, and Investigate are suitable.
  • 1 Objectives apply to the Research Methodology – How the research is performed. These might include: Collect data, Select interviewees, Analyse results as examples.
  • 2 or 3 Objectives focus on the Critical Evaluation or Discussion chapters. Verbs such as Analyse, Compare, Discuss, and Evaluate would be appropriate.
  • There may be one or two final objectives. To Conclude, and/or To Recommend.

I have already issued blogs about the requirements of a Master’s Dissertation from the QAA perspective and the three elements of a Master’s Dissertation . Using the above approach to write the objectives will demonstrate that these requirements have been met.

When writing objectives, keep to just one verb, and avoid the use of ‘and’. If you are using ‘and’ then perhaps this objective should be broken into two separate objectives.

Don’t forget that the objectives will need to be repeated and commented on in the conclusion chapter of the dissertation.

Examples of Research Objectives

For the example AIM from earlier, here are some suggested project objectives. Note how they start broad, and become more specific:

  • To examine the current status of the Automotive Industry
  • Study Project Management as it applies to the Automotive Industry
  • To research Project Life Cycles specifically as used within the Automotive Industry
  • Identify suitable case studies concerning Automotive Project Life Cycles for evaluation
  • To analyse the case studies
  • Compare Project Life Cycles as demonstrated b the case study companies
  • To critical evaluate the use of Project Life Cycles at Honda Motor Company
  • Recommend improvements to the Honda Motor Company in their use of Project Life Cycles

Just reading the verbs tells a story through the dissertation. To examine, to study, to research, to identify, to analyse, to compare, to evaluate and to recommend.

Honda Motor Car

Honda Motor Car

Higher Level Verbs

Don’t forget to use Blooms Higher level verbs when looking at the critical evaluation section. It is also important not to duplicate a verb. There are around 40-50 different verbs that you could use to write your objectives, and therefore it looks lazy to use the same verb more than once.

The Project Aim is an expansion of the title covering Why, What and How. The objectives should cover the whole dissertation from the Literature Review, through the Research Methodology, and to the Critical Evaluation and Conclusions.

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21 Research Objectives Examples (Copy and Paste)

research aim and research objectives, explained below

Research objectives refer to the definitive statements made by researchers at the beginning of a research project detailing exactly what a research project aims to achieve.

These objectives are explicit goals clearly and concisely projected by the researcher to present a clear intention or course of action for his or her qualitative or quantitative study. 

Research objectives are typically nested under one overarching research aim. The objectives are the steps you’ll need to take in order to achieve the aim (see the examples below, for example, which demonstrate an aim followed by 3 objectives, which is what I recommend to my research students).

Research Objectives vs Research Aims

Research aim and research objectives are fundamental constituents of any study, fitting together like two pieces of the same puzzle.

The ‘research aim’ describes the overarching goal or purpose of the study (Kumar, 2019). This is usually a broad, high-level purpose statement, summing up the central question that the research intends to answer.

Example of an Overarching Research Aim:

“The aim of this study is to explore the impact of climate change on crop productivity.” 

Comparatively, ‘research objectives’ are concrete goals that underpin the research aim, providing stepwise actions to achieve the aim.

Objectives break the primary aim into manageable, focused pieces, and are usually characterized as being more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Examples of Specific Research Objectives:

1. “To examine the effects of rising temperatures on the yield of rice crops during the upcoming growth season.” 2. “To assess changes in rainfall patterns in major agricultural regions over the first decade of the twenty-first century (2000-2010).” 3. “To analyze the impact of changing weather patterns on crop diseases within the same timeframe.”

The distinction between these two terms, though subtle, is significant for successfully conducting a study. The research aim provides the study with direction, while the research objectives set the path to achieving this aim, thereby ensuring the study’s efficiency and effectiveness.

How to Write Research Objectives

I usually recommend to my students that they use the SMART framework to create their research objectives.

SMART is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It provides a clear method of defining solid research objectives and helps students know where to start in writing their objectives (Locke & Latham, 2013).

Each element of this acronym adds a distinct dimension to the framework, aiding in the creation of comprehensive, well-delineated objectives.

Here is each step:

  • Specific : We need to avoid ambiguity in our objectives. They need to be clear and precise (Doran, 1981). For instance, rather than stating the objective as “to study the effects of social media,” a more focused detail would be “to examine the effects of social media use (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) on the academic performance of college students.”
  • Measurable: The measurable attribute provides a clear criterion to determine if the objective has been met (Locke & Latham, 2013). A quantifiable element, such as a percentage or a number, adds a measurable quality. For example, “to increase response rate to the annual customer survey by 10%,” makes it easier to ascertain achievement.
  • Achievable: The achievable aspect encourages researchers to craft realistic objectives, resembling a self-check mechanism to ensure the objectives align with the scope and resources at disposal (Doran, 1981). For example, “to interview 25 participants selected randomly from a population of 100” is an attainable objective as long as the researcher has access to these participants.
  • Relevance : Relevance, the fourth element, compels the researcher to tailor the objectives in alignment with overarching goals of the study (Locke & Latham, 2013). This is extremely important – each objective must help you meet your overall one-sentence ‘aim’ in your study.
  • Time-Bound: Lastly, the time-bound element fosters a sense of urgency and prioritization, preventing procrastination and enhancing productivity (Doran, 1981). “To analyze the effect of laptop use in lectures on student engagement over the course of two semesters this year” expresses a clear deadline, thus serving as a motivator for timely completion.

You’re not expected to fit every single element of the SMART framework in one objective, but across your objectives, try to touch on each of the five components.

Research Objectives Examples

1. Field: Psychology

Aim: To explore the impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance in college students.

  • Objective 1: To compare cognitive test scores of students with less than six hours of sleep and those with 8 or more hours of sleep.
  • Objective 2: To investigate the relationship between class grades and reported sleep duration.
  • Objective 3: To survey student perceptions and experiences on how sleep deprivation affects their cognitive capabilities.

2. Field: Environmental Science

Aim: To understand the effects of urban green spaces on human well-being in a metropolitan city.

  • Objective 1: To assess the physical and mental health benefits of regular exposure to urban green spaces.
  • Objective 2: To evaluate the social impacts of urban green spaces on community interactions.
  • Objective 3: To examine patterns of use for different types of urban green spaces. 

3. Field: Technology

Aim: To investigate the influence of using social media on productivity in the workplace.

  • Objective 1: To measure the amount of time spent on social media during work hours.
  • Objective 2: To evaluate the perceived impact of social media use on task completion and work efficiency.
  • Objective 3: To explore whether company policies on social media usage correlate with different patterns of productivity.

4. Field: Education

Aim: To examine the effectiveness of online vs traditional face-to-face learning on student engagement and achievement.

  • Objective 1: To compare student grades between the groups exposed to online and traditional face-to-face learning.
  • Objective 2: To assess student engagement levels in both learning environments.
  • Objective 3: To collate student perceptions and preferences regarding both learning methods.

5. Field: Health

Aim: To determine the impact of a Mediterranean diet on cardiac health among adults over 50.

  • Objective 1: To assess changes in cardiovascular health metrics after following a Mediterranean diet for six months.
  • Objective 2: To compare these health metrics with a similar group who follow their regular diet.
  • Objective 3: To document participants’ experiences and adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

6. Field: Environmental Science

Aim: To analyze the impact of urban farming on community sustainability.

  • Objective 1: To document the types and quantity of food produced through urban farming initiatives.
  • Objective 2: To assess the effect of urban farming on local communities’ access to fresh produce.
  • Objective 3: To examine the social dynamics and cooperative relationships in the creating and maintaining of urban farms.

7. Field: Sociology

Aim: To investigate the influence of home offices on work-life balance during remote work.

  • Objective 1: To survey remote workers on their perceptions of work-life balance since setting up home offices.
  • Objective 2: To conduct an observational study of daily work routines and family interactions in a home office setting.
  • Objective 3: To assess the correlation, if any, between physical boundaries of workspaces and mental boundaries for work in the home setting.

8. Field: Economics

Aim: To evaluate the effects of minimum wage increases on small businesses.

  • Objective 1: To analyze cost structures, pricing changes, and profitability of small businesses before and after minimum wage increases.
  • Objective 2: To survey small business owners on the strategies they employ to navigate minimum wage increases.
  • Objective 3: To examine employment trends in small businesses in response to wage increase legislation.

9. Field: Education

Aim: To explore the role of extracurricular activities in promoting soft skills among high school students.

  • Objective 1: To assess the variety of soft skills developed through different types of extracurricular activities.
  • Objective 2: To compare self-reported soft skills between students who participate in extracurricular activities and those who do not.
  • Objective 3: To investigate the teachers’ perspectives on the contribution of extracurricular activities to students’ skill development.

10. Field: Technology

Aim: To assess the impact of virtual reality (VR) technology on the tourism industry.

  • Objective 1: To document the types and popularity of VR experiences available in the tourism market.
  • Objective 2: To survey tourists on their interest levels and satisfaction rates with VR tourism experiences.
  • Objective 3: To determine whether VR tourism experiences correlate with increased interest in real-life travel to the simulated destinations.

11. Field: Biochemistry

Aim: To examine the role of antioxidants in preventing cellular damage.

  • Objective 1: To identify the types and quantities of antioxidants in common fruits and vegetables.
  • Objective 2: To determine the effects of various antioxidants on free radical neutralization in controlled lab tests.
  • Objective 3: To investigate potential beneficial impacts of antioxidant-rich diets on long-term cellular health.

12. Field: Linguistics

Aim: To determine the influence of early exposure to multiple languages on cognitive development in children.

  • Objective 1: To assess cognitive development milestones in monolingual and multilingual children.
  • Objective 2: To document the number and intensity of language exposures for each group in the study.
  • Objective 3: To investigate the specific cognitive advantages, if any, enjoyed by multilingual children.

13. Field: Art History

Aim: To explore the impact of the Renaissance period on modern-day art trends.

  • Objective 1: To identify key characteristics and styles of Renaissance art.
  • Objective 2: To analyze modern art pieces for the influence of the Renaissance style.
  • Objective 3: To survey modern-day artists for their inspirations and the influence of historical art movements on their work.

14. Field: Cybersecurity

Aim: To assess the effectiveness of two-factor authentication (2FA) in preventing unauthorized system access.

  • Objective 1: To measure the frequency of unauthorized access attempts before and after the introduction of 2FA.
  • Objective 2: To survey users about their experiences and challenges with 2FA implementation.
  • Objective 3: To evaluate the efficacy of different types of 2FA (SMS-based, authenticator apps, biometrics, etc.).

15. Field: Cultural Studies

Aim: To analyze the role of music in cultural identity formation among ethnic minorities.

  • Objective 1: To document the types and frequency of traditional music practices within selected ethnic minority communities.
  • Objective 2: To survey community members on the role of music in their personal and communal identity.
  • Objective 3: To explore the resilience and transmission of traditional music practices in contemporary society.

16. Field: Astronomy

Aim: To explore the impact of solar activity on satellite communication.

  • Objective 1: To categorize different types of solar activities and their frequencies of occurrence.
  • Objective 2: To ascertain how variations in solar activity may influence satellite communication.
  • Objective 3: To investigate preventative and damage-control measures currently in place during periods of high solar activity.

17. Field: Literature

Aim: To examine narrative techniques in contemporary graphic novels.

  • Objective 1: To identify a range of narrative techniques employed in this genre.
  • Objective 2: To analyze the ways in which these narrative techniques engage readers and affect story interpretation.
  • Objective 3: To compare narrative techniques in graphic novels to those found in traditional printed novels.

18. Field: Renewable Energy

Aim: To investigate the feasibility of solar energy as a primary renewable resource within urban areas.

  • Objective 1: To quantify the average sunlight hours across urban areas in different climatic zones. 
  • Objective 2: To calculate the potential solar energy that could be harnessed within these areas.
  • Objective 3: To identify barriers or challenges to widespread solar energy implementation in urban settings and potential solutions.

19. Field: Sports Science

Aim: To evaluate the role of pre-game rituals in athlete performance.

  • Objective 1: To identify the variety and frequency of pre-game rituals among professional athletes in several sports.
  • Objective 2: To measure the impact of pre-game rituals on individual athletes’ performance metrics.
  • Objective 3: To examine the psychological mechanisms that might explain the effects (if any) of pre-game ritual on performance.

20. Field: Ecology

Aim: To investigate the effects of urban noise pollution on bird populations.

  • Objective 1: To record and quantify urban noise levels in various bird habitats.
  • Objective 2: To measure bird population densities in relation to noise levels.
  • Objective 3: To determine any changes in bird behavior or vocalization linked to noise levels.

21. Field: Food Science

Aim: To examine the influence of cooking methods on the nutritional value of vegetables.

  • Objective 1: To identify the nutrient content of various vegetables both raw and after different cooking processes.
  • Objective 2: To compare the effect of various cooking methods on the nutrient retention of these vegetables.
  • Objective 3: To propose cooking strategies that optimize nutrient retention.

The Importance of Research Objectives

The importance of research objectives cannot be overstated. In essence, these guideposts articulate what the researcher aims to discover, understand, or examine (Kothari, 2014).

When drafting research objectives, it’s essential to make them simple and comprehensible, specific to the point of being quantifiable where possible, achievable in a practical sense, relevant to the chosen research question, and time-constrained to ensure efficient progress (Kumar, 2019). 

Remember that a good research objective is integral to the success of your project, offering a clear path forward for setting out a research design , and serving as the bedrock of your study plan. Each objective must distinctly address a different dimension of your research question or problem (Kothari, 2014). Always bear in mind that the ultimate purpose of your research objectives is to succinctly encapsulate your aims in the clearest way possible, facilitating a coherent, comprehensive and rational approach to your planned study, and furnishing a scientific roadmap for your journey into the depths of knowledge and research (Kumar, 2019). 

Kothari, C.R (2014). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques . New Delhi: New Age International.

Kumar, R. (2019). Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners .New York: SAGE Publications.

Doran, G. T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Management review, 70 (11), 35-36.

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2013). New Developments in Goal Setting and Task Performance . New York: Routledge.


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Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between research aims and objectives.

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

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  • Indian J Anaesth
  • v.60(9); 2016 Sep

How to write a research proposal?

Department of Anaesthesiology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Devika Rani Duggappa

Writing the proposal of a research work in the present era is a challenging task due to the constantly evolving trends in the qualitative research design and the need to incorporate medical advances into the methodology. The proposal is a detailed plan or ‘blueprint’ for the intended study, and once it is completed, the research project should flow smoothly. Even today, many of the proposals at post-graduate evaluation committees and application proposals for funding are substandard. A search was conducted with keywords such as research proposal, writing proposal and qualitative using search engines, namely, PubMed and Google Scholar, and an attempt has been made to provide broad guidelines for writing a scientifically appropriate research proposal.


A clean, well-thought-out proposal forms the backbone for the research itself and hence becomes the most important step in the process of conduct of research.[ 1 ] The objective of preparing a research proposal would be to obtain approvals from various committees including ethics committee [details under ‘Research methodology II’ section [ Table 1 ] in this issue of IJA) and to request for grants. However, there are very few universally accepted guidelines for preparation of a good quality research proposal. A search was performed with keywords such as research proposal, funding, qualitative and writing proposals using search engines, namely, PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus.

Five ‘C’s while writing a literature review

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A proposal needs to show how your work fits into what is already known about the topic and what new paradigm will it add to the literature, while specifying the question that the research will answer, establishing its significance, and the implications of the answer.[ 2 ] The proposal must be capable of convincing the evaluation committee about the credibility, achievability, practicality and reproducibility (repeatability) of the research design.[ 3 ] Four categories of audience with different expectations may be present in the evaluation committees, namely academic colleagues, policy-makers, practitioners and lay audiences who evaluate the research proposal. Tips for preparation of a good research proposal include; ‘be practical, be persuasive, make broader links, aim for crystal clarity and plan before you write’. A researcher must be balanced, with a realistic understanding of what can be achieved. Being persuasive implies that researcher must be able to convince other researchers, research funding agencies, educational institutions and supervisors that the research is worth getting approval. The aim of the researcher should be clearly stated in simple language that describes the research in a way that non-specialists can comprehend, without use of jargons. The proposal must not only demonstrate that it is based on an intelligent understanding of the existing literature but also show that the writer has thought about the time needed to conduct each stage of the research.[ 4 , 5 ]


The contents or formats of a research proposal vary depending on the requirements of evaluation committee and are generally provided by the evaluation committee or the institution.

In general, a cover page should contain the (i) title of the proposal, (ii) name and affiliation of the researcher (principal investigator) and co-investigators, (iii) institutional affiliation (degree of the investigator and the name of institution where the study will be performed), details of contact such as phone numbers, E-mail id's and lines for signatures of investigators.

The main contents of the proposal may be presented under the following headings: (i) introduction, (ii) review of literature, (iii) aims and objectives, (iv) research design and methods, (v) ethical considerations, (vi) budget, (vii) appendices and (viii) citations.[ 4 ]


It is also sometimes termed as ‘need for study’ or ‘abstract’. Introduction is an initial pitch of an idea; it sets the scene and puts the research in context.[ 6 ] The introduction should be designed to create interest in the reader about the topic and proposal. It should convey to the reader, what you want to do, what necessitates the study and your passion for the topic.[ 7 ] Some questions that can be used to assess the significance of the study are: (i) Who has an interest in the domain of inquiry? (ii) What do we already know about the topic? (iii) What has not been answered adequately in previous research and practice? (iv) How will this research add to knowledge, practice and policy in this area? Some of the evaluation committees, expect the last two questions, elaborated under a separate heading of ‘background and significance’.[ 8 ] Introduction should also contain the hypothesis behind the research design. If hypothesis cannot be constructed, the line of inquiry to be used in the research must be indicated.

Review of literature

It refers to all sources of scientific evidence pertaining to the topic in interest. In the present era of digitalisation and easy accessibility, there is an enormous amount of relevant data available, making it a challenge for the researcher to include all of it in his/her review.[ 9 ] It is crucial to structure this section intelligently so that the reader can grasp the argument related to your study in relation to that of other researchers, while still demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative. It is preferable to summarise each article in a paragraph, highlighting the details pertinent to the topic of interest. The progression of review can move from the more general to the more focused studies, or a historical progression can be used to develop the story, without making it exhaustive.[ 1 ] Literature should include supporting data, disagreements and controversies. Five ‘C's may be kept in mind while writing a literature review[ 10 ] [ Table 1 ].

Aims and objectives

The research purpose (or goal or aim) gives a broad indication of what the researcher wishes to achieve in the research. The hypothesis to be tested can be the aim of the study. The objectives related to parameters or tools used to achieve the aim are generally categorised as primary and secondary objectives.

Research design and method

The objective here is to convince the reader that the overall research design and methods of analysis will correctly address the research problem and to impress upon the reader that the methodology/sources chosen are appropriate for the specific topic. It should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study.

In this section, the methods and sources used to conduct the research must be discussed, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that will be indispensable to the project. There should be specific mention about the methodological approaches to be undertaken to gather information, about the techniques to be used to analyse it and about the tests of external validity to which researcher is committed.[ 10 , 11 ]

The components of this section include the following:[ 4 ]

Population and sample

Population refers to all the elements (individuals, objects or substances) that meet certain criteria for inclusion in a given universe,[ 12 ] and sample refers to subset of population which meets the inclusion criteria for enrolment into the study. The inclusion and exclusion criteria should be clearly defined. The details pertaining to sample size are discussed in the article “Sample size calculation: Basic priniciples” published in this issue of IJA.

Data collection

The researcher is expected to give a detailed account of the methodology adopted for collection of data, which include the time frame required for the research. The methodology should be tested for its validity and ensure that, in pursuit of achieving the results, the participant's life is not jeopardised. The author should anticipate and acknowledge any potential barrier and pitfall in carrying out the research design and explain plans to address them, thereby avoiding lacunae due to incomplete data collection. If the researcher is planning to acquire data through interviews or questionnaires, copy of the questions used for the same should be attached as an annexure with the proposal.

Rigor (soundness of the research)

This addresses the strength of the research with respect to its neutrality, consistency and applicability. Rigor must be reflected throughout the proposal.

It refers to the robustness of a research method against bias. The author should convey the measures taken to avoid bias, viz. blinding and randomisation, in an elaborate way, thus ensuring that the result obtained from the adopted method is purely as chance and not influenced by other confounding variables.


Consistency considers whether the findings will be consistent if the inquiry was replicated with the same participants and in a similar context. This can be achieved by adopting standard and universally accepted methods and scales.


Applicability refers to the degree to which the findings can be applied to different contexts and groups.[ 13 ]

Data analysis

This section deals with the reduction and reconstruction of data and its analysis including sample size calculation. The researcher is expected to explain the steps adopted for coding and sorting the data obtained. Various tests to be used to analyse the data for its robustness, significance should be clearly stated. Author should also mention the names of statistician and suitable software which will be used in due course of data analysis and their contribution to data analysis and sample calculation.[ 9 ]

Ethical considerations

Medical research introduces special moral and ethical problems that are not usually encountered by other researchers during data collection, and hence, the researcher should take special care in ensuring that ethical standards are met. Ethical considerations refer to the protection of the participants' rights (right to self-determination, right to privacy, right to autonomy and confidentiality, right to fair treatment and right to protection from discomfort and harm), obtaining informed consent and the institutional review process (ethical approval). The researcher needs to provide adequate information on each of these aspects.

Informed consent needs to be obtained from the participants (details discussed in further chapters), as well as the research site and the relevant authorities.

When the researcher prepares a research budget, he/she should predict and cost all aspects of the research and then add an additional allowance for unpredictable disasters, delays and rising costs. All items in the budget should be justified.

Appendices are documents that support the proposal and application. The appendices will be specific for each proposal but documents that are usually required include informed consent form, supporting documents, questionnaires, measurement tools and patient information of the study in layman's language.

As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your proposal. Although the words ‘references and bibliography’ are different, they are used interchangeably. It refers to all references cited in the research proposal.

Successful, qualitative research proposals should communicate the researcher's knowledge of the field and method and convey the emergent nature of the qualitative design. The proposal should follow a discernible logic from the introduction to presentation of the appendices.

Financial support and sponsorship

Conflicts of interest.

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 21, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:


Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
  • Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

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What is a Digital Government Strategic Plan? Definition, Process, and Examples

By Nick Jain

Published on: February 23, 2024

strategic planning

What is a Digital Government Strategic Plan

A digital government strategic plan is defined as the vision, goals, objectives, and strategies for leveraging digital technologies to transform government operations, enhance service delivery, and improve citizen engagement. 

Here are the key components typically included in a digital government strategic plan:

  • Vision and Mission Statement: The plan begins with a clear and concise vision statement that articulates the desired future state of digital government and how it aligns with the broader goals of the organization. A mission statement outlines the purpose and scope of the digital transformation initiative.
  • Goals and Objectives: The strategic plan identifies specific goals and objectives that the government aims to achieve through digital transformation. These goals may include improving service delivery, enhancing citizen engagement, optimizing internal operations, and fostering innovation.
  • Stakeholder Analysis: The plan assesses the needs, expectations, and priorities of key stakeholders, including citizens, businesses, government employees, and partner organizations. Understanding stakeholder perspectives helps inform the development of digital initiatives and ensures alignment with stakeholder interests.
  • Environmental Scan: The plan conducts an environmental scan to assess the current state of digital government, identify emerging trends, and analyze internal and external factors that may impact digital transformation efforts. This includes evaluating technological capabilities, regulatory requirements, market dynamics, and competitive landscape.
  • SWOT Analysis: A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis identifies internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats, related to digital transformation. This analysis helps inform strategic decision-making and prioritization of initiatives.
  • Strategic Priorities and Initiatives: Based on the goals, objectives, stakeholder analysis, and environmental scan, the plan outlines strategic priorities and initiatives for digital transformation. These initiatives may include modernizing IT infrastructure, implementing digital service delivery channels, enhancing cybersecurity measures, and promoting data-driven decision-making.
  • Implementation Roadmap: The plan includes an implementation roadmap that outlines the timeline, milestones, responsibilities, and resources required to execute digital transformation initiatives. This roadmap provides a clear path forward for implementing the strategic plan and ensures accountability for achieving goals and objectives.
  • Performance Metrics and Evaluation: The plan establishes key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure progress, track performance, and evaluate the impact of digital transformation initiatives. This includes indicators related to service delivery, citizen satisfaction, operational efficiency, and innovation.
  • Governance and Oversight: The plan defines governance structures, roles, and responsibilities for overseeing the implementation of digital transformation initiatives. This may include establishing steering committees, working groups, and project teams to coordinate efforts, monitor progress, and address challenges.
  • Risk Management: The plan identifies potential risks and challenges associated with digital transformation and outlines strategies for mitigating these risks. This includes addressing cybersecurity threats, data privacy concerns, change management issues, and budget constraints.

Overall, a digital government strategic plan provides a roadmap for harnessing digital technologies to achieve government objectives, deliver value to citizens, and drive innovation and efficiency in the public sector. It serves as a guiding document for aligning resources, priorities, and actions to realize the vision of a modern, responsive, and citizen-centric government.

Government Strategic Planning Process

The government strategic planning process involves several key steps to develop a comprehensive and actionable strategic plan. Here’s an overview of the typical process:

1. Initiation and Preparation:

  • Define the scope and objectives of the strategic planning process.
  • Establish a steering committee or leadership team to oversee the planning process.
  • Allocate resources and designate personnel responsible for facilitating the planning process.

2. Environmental Scan and Stakeholder Analysis:

  • Conduct an environmental scan to assess the internal and external factors that may impact the government’s strategic priorities and objectives.
  • Identify key stakeholders, including citizens, businesses, government agencies, and community organizations.
  • Engage stakeholders through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and workshops to gather input, insights, and feedback on strategic priorities and challenges.

3. Vision and Mission Development:

  • Develop a clear and compelling vision statement that articulates the desired future state of the government and its overarching goals and aspirations.
  • Define a mission statement that outlines the purpose and scope of the government’s activities and its commitment to serving citizens and achieving public value.

4. Goal Setting and Objective Definition:

  • Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals and objectives aligned with the government’s vision and mission.
  • Prioritize goals and objectives based on their importance, urgency, and potential impact on citizens, stakeholders, and organizational performance.

5. SWOT Analysis:

  • Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to assess the government’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats.
  • Identify strategic priorities and areas for improvement based on the findings of the SWOT analysis.

6. Strategy Formulation:

  • Develop strategies and action plans to achieve the government’s goals and objectives.
  • Consider various strategic approaches, such as innovation, collaboration, partnership, and capacity building, to address identified challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
  • Ensure alignment between strategies, resources, and organizational capabilities to support effective implementation.

7. Implementation Planning:

  • Develop an implementation plan that outlines the specific activities, timelines, responsibilities, and resources required to execute the government’s strategic initiatives.
  • Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure progress, track performance, and evaluate the impact of strategic initiatives.
  • Identify potential risks and challenges and develop mitigation strategies to address them proactively.

8. Communication and Engagement:

  • Communicate the government’s strategic priorities, goals, and objectives to internal and external stakeholders through various channels, such as town hall meetings, newsletters, and digital platforms.
  • Engage stakeholders in the implementation process by soliciting feedback, providing updates, and fostering collaboration and participation.

9. Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Monitor progress against established KPIs and milestones to track the implementation of strategic initiatives.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of strategic initiatives through periodic reviews, performance assessments, and stakeholder feedback.
  • Use lessons learned from monitoring and evaluation activities to inform continuous improvement and refine the government’s strategic approach over time.

10. Review and Revision:

  • Periodically review and update the government’s strategic plan to reflect changing priorities, emerging trends, and lessons learned from implementation.
  • Engage stakeholders in the review process to ensure ongoing alignment between the government’s strategic objectives and stakeholder needs and expectations.

By following these steps, governments can develop a robust and adaptive strategic plan that guides their actions, drives performance improvement, and delivers value to citizens and stakeholders.

Government Strategic Plan Examples

While specific government strategic plans vary based on the objectives, priorities, and context of each jurisdiction, here are examples of elements commonly found in government strategic plans:

  • United States Federal Government Strategic Plan:

The U.S. Federal Government Strategic Plan outlines the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of the federal government across various priority areas, such as economic growth, national security, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. It includes specific strategies and performance measures to achieve these objectives, as well as mechanisms for monitoring progress and evaluating outcomes.

  • United Kingdom Government Digital Service (GDS) Strategy:

The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) Strategy focuses on transforming digital services to make them simpler, clearer, and faster for citizens and businesses. It emphasizes user-centric design, data-driven decision-making, and agile delivery methods to improve service delivery across government agencies. The GDS Strategy includes initiatives such as the GOV.UK website, digital identity platform, and cloud-first policy.

  • Singapore Smart Nation Initiative:

The Smart Nation Initiative in Singapore aims to harness digital technologies and data to improve the quality of life for citizens, enhance economic competitiveness, and create a more efficient and sustainable urban environment. It includes strategic pillars such as digital government, digital economy, digital society, and digital infrastructure, with initiatives spanning areas such as e-government services, digital innovation, and connectivity infrastructure.

  • Estonia e-Estonia Strategy:

The e-Estonia Strategy outlines Estonia’s vision for becoming a leading digital society, where citizens can access government services online securely and conveniently. It includes initiatives such as the e-Residency program, digital identity system (ID card), and digital government services (e.g., e-tax, e-voting, e-health). The strategy focuses on leveraging digital technologies to enhance transparency, efficiency, and citizen engagement in governance.

  • Australia Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) Strategy:

The Australian Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) Strategy focuses on transforming government services to be simpler, clearer, and faster for citizens and businesses. It emphasizes user-centric design, digital by default principles, and agile delivery methods to improve service delivery across government agencies. The strategy includes initiatives such as the Digital Marketplace, myGov platform, and GovPass digital identity system.

These examples illustrate how governments around the world are leveraging digital technologies to enhance service delivery, improve efficiency, and promote citizen engagement. Each strategic plan is tailored to the unique needs and priorities of the jurisdiction, reflecting the government’s vision for digital transformation and its commitment to delivering value to citizens in the digital age.

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Home Blog Education Learning Objectives Examples: How to Create High-Quality Educational Slides

Learning Objectives Examples: How to Create High-Quality Educational Slides

Cover for how to write learning objectives examples

Learning objectives are the foundations of any course or training program. They provide a clear roadmap for both educators and learners. They set a direction for the learning journey by outlining the expected outcomes. Therefore, trainers need to ensure their programs are purposeful, engaging, and aligned with their educational goals.

In this article, we’ll explore learning objectives, why they matter, and how they differ from other goals in terms of creating presentation slides to depict them. 

Table of Contents

Defining Learning Objectives

Characteristics of good learning objectives, steps to write learning objectives, training learning objectives examples, lesson objective examples, common mistakes to avoid when writing learning objective examples, tools and resources to represent learning objective examples.

According to Melton (1997), learning objectives, also known as learning outcomes, are concise statements that outline the specific achievements expected from trainees after receiving training or a lesson [1]. Unlike general learning goals, these objectives offer explicit criteria, enabling instructors to evaluate whether students have successfully attained the intended learning outcomes. Using clearly defined and actionable learning objectives enhances your ability to assess texts or activities for appropriateness and relevance.[1] Learning objectives are specific statements that describe the measurable and observable skills, knowledge, or attitudes that learners should acquire after completing a training program. In training programs , these objectives act as a guide, helping to focus instructional efforts and assess the effectiveness of the learning experience.

Learning objectives play a crucial role for instructors and trainers in developing assessments that align with the course’s learning activities and training materials . Alignment is how effectively learning objectives, assessments, and instructional materials collaborate to accomplish the intended learning goals. Learning objectives indicate that assessments are focused on the materials covered in the course, simplifying the process of creating assessment items for instructors [2]. Learning objectives communicate what is essential for learning. Without learning objectives, students struggle to identify their learning and areas that demand specific attention. Clearly, articulated learning objectives contribute to students or trainees adopting more efficient and effective study approaches. Moreover, well-crafted learning objectives help them acquire new knowledge that can be applied flexibly and appropriately across various contexts, both in the short term and in the future. This application of knowledge, termed “transfer,” as emphasized by Barnett and Ceci (2002), is a significant indicator of profound learning [3].

Learning objectives should be short and clear statements about what learners can do after a lesson.  These objectives can be based on three things: what learners know, their skills, and their attitudes [4]. A good learning objective has these characteristics:

Clear and Concise

Learners must understand the objectives clearly. Learning objectives should be expressed straightforwardly, avoiding unnecessary complexity or ambiguity [10]. Everyone needs to be aware of what they are learning and the reasons behind it. They need to grasp how these objectives fit into the broader picture – connecting with the previous lesson, the ongoing course, and the overall goal [5]. Merely writing the objectives on the board and expecting students or trainees to copy them isn’t sufficient. It requires thorough explanation in context, active engagement from the learners, and the ability to articulate and explain the objectives to any observer.

A learning objective should be created with a specific action verb representing an observable and measurable outcome related to the identified knowledge or skills. The use of action verbs conveys what learners are expected to accomplish, ensuring a tangible and quantifiable outcome [7].

Make sure each goal focuses on one thing the learner should be able to show or perform. Actionable goals should start with a word like “recall,” “describe,” “explain,” or “select,” not unclear words like “understand” or “know” that you can’t see or measure. Keep it simple and practical.

Learning Objectives word cloud

Learning objectives, serving as evaluation criteria, should assist trainers in assessing the extent to which learners achieve the intended learning outcomes. Much of the impact training has on learners is internal and remains unseen. Learners may alter their perspectives, shift attitudes, and acquire new knowledge [6]; however, trainers cannot directly observe the internal processes of a trainee’s mind. They must rely on external indicators (observable actions or statements) to gauge the trainee’s progress. Therefore, assessing progress based on what a student “learns,” “understands,” “knows,” or “feels” becomes challenging. Learning objectives, therefore, should focus on observable and measurable changes. An objective can be made measurable by adding specific criteria. It could specify a percentage of accuracy, a number of items, a time frame, or other measurable criteria. For example, the learner will solve 90% of math problems correctly.

Relevant to the Training Program

Objectives must directly contribute to the overall goals and purpose of the training program, maintaining relevance and coherence. Learning objectives should address these questions. Is the objective aligned with the program’s primary goal(s)? Will achieving the objective contribute to reaching the main goal(s)? Design the course or training thoughtfully to ensure that each learning objective is relevant to training.  Likewise, the learning materials, activities, and assessments should be interlinked.

Time-Bound (SMART Objectives)

A learning goal needs a defined timeframe for completion, like the conclusion of a lesson, module, or entire course. It is crucial to allocate sufficient time within the lesson, module, or course to accomplish the necessary steps for reaching the goal.  In short, a learning objective should be smart;

SMART Goals in Learning Objective Examples

S- Specific : Effective learning objectives divide a broad subject into manageable parts and clearly outline the expected outcomes connected to these components.

M-Measurable: Learning objectives should be quantifiable, allowing for easy assessment of whether the desired outcome has been achieved.

A-Achievable: Considering the available resources, timeframe, Learner’s background, and readiness, set achievable objectives. The cognitive complexity of the learning goals should match both the training level and the learners’ proficiency. Therefore, take into account factors like whether it’s basic or advanced level training before making a learning objective.

R-Result Oriented: Learning objectives should emphasize the outcomes rather than the processes or tasks learners will undertake (such as presenting or completing a task). A good learning goal describes the end results – what knowledge, skills, or attitudes learners should gain based on what the trainer can assess.

T-Time bound: Clearly mention the timeframe if it’s relevant. This can assist in determining the level of performance learners need to demonstrate to be competent.

As you create your learning objectives, you need to follow these steps.

Step 1: Identify the Desired Outcome of the Training Program

Identifying the desired outcome sets the direction for your entire training program. It provides a clear goal for both trainers and learners. It aligns the training program with broader organizational goals. It sets expectations and helps measure the success of the program.

Begin by considering the broader organizational goals. What specific improvements in skills or performance will contribute to these goals?

Break down the outcome into measurable components. What specific skills or knowledge gaps exist? Then, envision the ideal scenario after the training – what should the team be capable of doing? What skills or knowledge do you want participants to gain?

The importance lies in setting a clear, achievable target that aligns with organizational objectives. When you identify the broader goal of the training program, narrow it down into a learning objective [8].

70-20-10 learning framework for learning objectives planning

This step is crucial because it sets the direction for your entire training program. It defines what success looks like and guides the subsequent steps in the process.  Consider the current state of the team, the challenges they face, and the skills they need to overcome those challenges.

Imagine you’ve assessed that your sales team struggles with closing deals effectively. The desired outcome, in this case, would be to improve their closing techniques and boost overall conversion rates. In the context of sales training, the desired result could be to enhance the sales team’s ability to close deals and increase conversion rates. Why is this important?

Step 2: Use Action Verbs to Describe What Trainees Will Be Able to Do

Now that we know what we want to achieve, the next step is to articulate it using action verbs. Action verbs make objectives actionable and observable. How do I choose these verbs? They should precisely convey the expected behaviors or skills. It’s essential to avoid vague verbs that can lead to unclear expectations. Action verbs are crucial in learning objectives as they define the observable behaviors or skills that learners should acquire. Choosing the proper verbs is essential for clarity and precision.

Action verbs describe an observable action, giving a clear picture of what learners are expected to do. Action verbs provide clarity on what exactly we expect our learners to do. They help in crafting specific and measurable objectives. When choosing action verbs, consider the level of performance you want to see. Words like ‘understand’ or ‘know’ are vague. Instead, opt for strong verbs that denote observable actions.

In our sales training program, we’ve chosen the action verb ‘demonstrate.’ This emphasizes the sales team’s importance in understanding and actively showcasing effective closing techniques.

We have come up with this learning objective so far;

“By the end of the training program, sales team members will be able to demonstrate effective closing techniques to increase conversion rates.”

‘Demonstrate’ is an intense action verb that implies a visible and practical application of knowledge. In sales, demonstrating effective closing techniques is a tangible and measurable skill.

Step 3: Ensure the Objective is Measurable

Measurability is crucial for assessing the success of your learning objective. It involves defining clear criteria to determine whether the desired outcome has been achieved. Without measurable criteria, evaluating the effectiveness of the training becomes challenging.

Attach specific metrics or criteria that provide a quantitative or observable way to assess success. This could involve percentages, numbers, or other tangible measures.

Think about how you can quantify or assess the outcome. In our example, we set a measurable criterion: a 15% increase in the overall conversion rate within the next quarter.

KPIs for learning objectives

Step 4: Align the Objective with the Overall Goals of the Training Program

Aligning the objective with the overall goals ensures coherence and relevance. The aim should not be an isolated achievement but a meaningful contribution to the broader success of the training program.

Consider how achieving this specific objective fits into the larger picture. How does it support your training program’s overall goals and objectives and, by extension, your organization?

In our case, the overall goal is to improve the sales team’s performance to meet and exceed quarterly revenue targets. Our learning objective aligns perfectly by directly contributing to this overarching goal.

“By the end of the training program, sales team members will be able to demonstrate effective closing techniques, contributing to a 15% increase in the overall conversion rate within the next quarter, thereby supporting the overall goal of improving the sales team’s performance to meet and exceed quarterly revenue targets.”

Training needs assessment slide

Real-Life Case Studies of Learning Objective Examples

So far, we’ve analyzed how to write actionable and measurable learning objectives, but now it’s time to consider how to represent these learning objectives in presentation slides with the idea of stepping into the shoes of an instructor. Thinking about the design aspects can be challenging for some; thus, we will showcase a series of learning objective examples in two different categories: training and lesson planning. Below each case, you can find a visual representation of the learning objective to deliver more audience engagement.

A training is conducted by a firm on Time Management for Managers. This training is vital because effective time management is crucial for managers to maintain productivity and meet deadlines. It is realized that many managers struggle with task prioritization, leading to missed deadlines and increased stress.

Learning Objective Example 01

Use the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks based on urgency and importance within two weeks.

This learning objective is evident in what managers need to do (Use the matrix), measurable by their ability to categorize tasks, achievable within two weeks, relevant to task prioritization, and time-bound.

Training learning objective example

Learning Objective Example 02

Implement project management software to streamline task organization and meet deadlines within one month.

This objective addresses the broader aspect of time management by introducing a tool. It specifies the action (implement software), is measurable through enhanced task organization, achievable in one month, relevant to meeting deadlines, and time-bound.

Training learning objective example for software implementation

A lesson is about understanding literary devices in poetry. Understanding literary devices is crucial for students to appreciate and analyze poetry effectively.

Example of Vague Objective

Learn about poetry devices.

This objective is too broad and lacks specificity. It doesn’t specify which poetry devices students should focus on. To enhance clarity, we should specify the devices, such as “Identify similes and metaphors in assigned poems.

A Well-Established Lesson Objective Example

Identify Similes and Metaphors in Assigned Poems during One Class Period

What is a learning objective example

It is a clear and concise objective focusing explicitly on identifying similes and metaphors in assigned poems. Students will actively read and analyze poems to “identify” and differentiate between similes and metaphors. “Identify” is used as an action verb here, so the objective is actionable. Success is observable when students accurately point out similes and metaphors in the assigned poems during the class period. At the same time, it is relevant to the lesson plan that directly addresses the challenge of understanding and recognizing literary devices in poetry. It is achievable within the timeframe of one class period.

Another example can be visualized in the format of an end-of-unit exercise:

Develop a strategy for effective delegation, reducing workload stress by 20% over the next quarter.

Focusing on delegation, this objective is specific in developing a strategy that is measurable by workload stress reduction, achievable in the next quarter, directly relevant to the issue, and time-bound, providing a clear timeframe for improvement.

thesis aims and objectives examples

Vague or Unclear Objectives

Vague or unclear objectives lack specificity, making it challenging for learners to understand what is expected. When a purpose is unclear, it can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. To address this, learning objectives should be articulated with precision, clearly outlining the specific skill or knowledge area that learners are expected to acquire. This clarity provides a roadmap for both learners and instructors, fostering a more effective learning process.

Example of Lack of Clarity – “Write better essays.”

The term “better” is subjective and doesn’t provide a clear benchmark for improvement. We should define the improvement to enhance clarity, such as “Organize ideas logically within paragraphs using transitions.”

Objectives That Are Not Measurable

Measurability is crucial for assessing progress and achievement. Objectives that lack a measurable component make it challenging to determine whether the desired outcome has been met. Learning objectives should incorporate specific criteria or actions that can be observed, evaluated, or quantified to enhance measurability. This not only provides a clear standard for success but also allows for practical evaluation and feedback. Measurable objectives contribute to a more transparent and accountable learning process.

Example of Non-Measurable Objective – “Enhance academic writing abilities.”

The term “enhance” is vague and lacks a measurable outcome. To make it more effective, we should make it measurable, like “Apply proper citation formats in academic writing.”

Indeed, let’s delve into a detailed discussion on common mistakes to avoid when writing learning objectives without relying on excessive adjectives.

Objectives That Are Not Aligned with the Training Program’s Goals

Alignment between individual learning objectives and the broader goals of the training program is essential for overall program success. When objectives are not in harmony with the program’s goals, there is a risk of diverging efforts that may not contribute to the desired outcomes. Ensuring alignment involves thoroughly understanding the overarching program goals and carefully crafting objectives that directly support those goals. This strategic alignment ensures that every learning objective plays a meaningful role in achieving the overall objectives of the training program. For instance, if a training program aims to enhance customer service skills, an objective like “Master advanced technical troubleshooting” might not align with the program’s focus. To ensure alignment, objectives should directly contribute to the overarching goals of the training program. An aligned objective would be to “Resolve customer issues efficiently following company protocols.”

You need resources like educational content guidelines, collaboration tools, and text editors to write practical learning objectives for courses or training. Presentation templates are crucial for efficiency, consistency, and visual appeal. They save time by providing pre-designed structures, ensuring a professional look, and allowing customization to match the course theme.

In essence, SlideModel offers a comprehensive toolkit for educators and trainers. From visual excellence to efficient customization and alignment with SMART goals , these templates elevate the process of creating learning objectives. 

Using visually engaging graphics and layouts adds more clarity to learning objectives. This makes the content more attractive and facilitates better understanding for your audience. SlideModel offers an extensive collection of Google Slides templates , providing educators and trainers with a visually stunning canvas for crafting learning objectives.

The ready-made nature of PowerPoint templates significantly accelerates the aim of the learning creation process. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use these templates to structure your content quickly. This time-saving advantage allows you to focus on the substance of your learning objectives without getting bogged down by formatting complexities.

1. E-Learning Objective Examples PowerPoint Template

thesis aims and objectives examples

If you intend to harness the power of visuals to boost your lesson objective examples, this is the slide deck to use. Filled with hand-made vector graphics, this learning objectives examples for training template allows us to present exercises to students, establish deadlines with clear requirements, express the learning objectives of each course unit, and more.

Use This Template

2. Employee Training Objectives PowerPoint Template

thesis aims and objectives examples

Display the learning objectives for your in-company training program, evaluate the training needs and where your employees currently stand, and properly plan the agenda for these professional training courses using a minimalistic layout PPT template. Easy to customize, we also include a roadmap and two slides for 3-month and 6-month training plans.

3. Course Syllabus Lesson Plan Objectives PowerPoint Templates

thesis aims and objectives examples

Teachers can easily connect with their students about the expected outcome of the course and learning objective examples by using this best PPT template. Explain the expectations for the course, the content that will be shared, the main learning objectives, and the required materials.

4. Creative Lessons Learned PowerPoint Template

thesis aims and objectives examples

Summarize the core points to be covered as learning objectives for any course or training program by using this slide deck. It allow us to work lesson by lesson, which is ideal for online courses, and also to brief students about the key takeaways of each unit.

5. Math Symbols PowerPoint Template

thesis aims and objectives examples

Present math-related learning objectives in a visually appealing format by using our Math Symbols PowerPoint Template. Instructors can find slides with math symbols, compass, calculators, and other relevant vector graphics to reinforce the topic they want to present as a lesson objective.

The Objective slide and other templates in SlideModel are customizable to suit the specific needs of your learning objectives. You can easily modify text, insert relevant images, and adapt the layout to align with your educational context. This customization feature ensures your learning objectives are visually appealing and tailored to your unique instructional requirements. Whether you are creating a detailed training module or a standalone learning objective presentation, these templates enhance the overall visual consistency, contributing to a polished and professional look.

Learning objectives are like guides in the learning world. Think of them as maps showing the way to knowledge and skills. With practical examples, we’ve made creating these objectives less of a mystery. They’re not just fancy educational talk; they’re like step-by-step plans for success. Whether you’re a trainer, someone designing lessons, or just curious about learning, nailing down these objectives becomes a shared way of talking about goals. The principles of specificity, measurability, relevance, and alignment are emphasized, showcasing the characteristics that make learning objectives genuinely effective.

[1] Melton, R. 1997. Objectives, Competencies, and Learning Outcomes: Developing Instructional Materials in Open and Distance Learning. London, UK: Kogan Page.

[2] Stapleton-Corcoran, E. 2023. Learning Objectives , Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence. University of Illinois Chicago. .

[3] Barnett, S. M., & Ceci, S. J. 2002. When and Where Do We Apply What We Learn? A Taxonomy for Far Transfer. Psychological Bulletin , 128(4), 612-637.


[5] Course Objectives & Learning Outcomes.

[6] Course design (no date) CTE Resources.

[7] Learning Objectives – Eberly center – Carnegie Mellon University (no date) Learning Objectives – Eberly Center – Carnegie Mellon University.

[8] Course design CTE Resources.

[9] Chatterjee, D., & Corral, J. (2017). How to Write Well-Defined Learning Objectives. The journal of education in perioperative medicine : JEPM, 19(4), E610.


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thesis aims and objectives examples


  1. how to write aims and objectives of a dissertation

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    The following example shows the objectives for the previously-mentioned dissertation aim. Example 1. identification of the behaviors that are considered as bullying 2. exploring the factors that cause bullying at a culturally diverse workplace 3. analyzing the relationship between bullying and job satisfaction of employees

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    The aims of this PhD research are twofold: first, to contribute towards refinements to the conceptualization of unsafe abortion and to improve its measurement taking into account technological changes in medical provision in low - and middle -income countries where the burden is greatest; and second, to generate new substantive knowledge on the...

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    2. Employee Training Objectives PowerPoint Template. Display the learning objectives for your in-company training program, evaluate the training needs and where your employees currently stand, and properly plan the agenda for these professional training courses using a minimalistic layout PPT template.