Research Writing

Examples of research objectives in a research proposal/Characteristics

Research objectives

Research objectives are the key activities to be accomplished to answer or solve the research problem . In this sense, the objectives seek to specify which are the essential tasks to carry out the research work. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

The bibliographic search, the learning of experimental techniques and the writing of the thesis or a popular scientific article are necessary activities for the researcher, but they are not exactly the key objectives of the research.

The main purpose of an investigation is the search and generation of knowledge . This need leads to the approach of the problem and therefore the objectives must be adjusted to it.

If our research problem is: “How does cell phone use affect the development of the child?”, The general objective would encompass the most important activity that we will carry out to solve this question. An example of a general objective would be: To relate the use of the cell phone in the development of children between 5 and 10 years of age in Mexico. Specific objectives could be:

  1. Compare developmental rates of children who use cell phones with those who do not.
  2. To assess the negative and positive effects of cell phone use in children between 5 and 10 years of age. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

An objective not related to this research would be, for example: to contribute ideas to change the behavior of cell phone use in minors. This could actually be a recommendation from our research.

Jacqueline Hurtado de Barrera in How to formulate research objectives puts it in the following way:

“For the objectives to be really research objectives, they must be oriented towards obtaining knowledge that has not yet been configured, made explicit or organized, that cannot be found explicitly in the texts, that has not been developed by any author and that it is the product of a systematic inquiry. “

Characteristics of the research objectives

  • They are activities to be carried out to answer the question of the problem, unlike activities to carry out the research process.
  • They must be accurate.
  • They must be consistent with the problem statement.
  • They must be achievable.
  • They can be general or specific.

How to write suitable research objectives?

The general recommendation when writing the research objectives is to start the objective with a single verb in the infinitive. These verbs should reflect the action most in line with the problem posed.

Suitable verbs for research objectives
Analyze Apply Look for Compare
Check To confront Correlate to contrast
Describe Show Differentiate Design
To find out To explore Distinguish Set up
Evaluate Explain Examine Base
Formulate Identify Show Try
Watch Propose Relate Systematize
Reformulate Transform Validate check

These verbs can be used for both specific goals and general goals.

Avoid vague terms such as seek, understand, try to get, try to discover.

General objective

The general objective must encompass the final purpose of the investigation, which is to answer the question that generated the same. In this sense, there should only be one general objective. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

Specific objectives

Specific objectives indicate the stages that must be covered to achieve the overall objective. Therefore, they must be sequenced and lower-level than the overall goal.

As many specific objectives should be formulated as necessary to achieve the overall objective.

Unattainable or too broad targets

Phrases like “make research useful to the world” is not a research objective. You have to make sure that the objectives define how far the work will go.

What objectives are NOT objectives of the investigation?

  • Carry out a bibliographic review.
  • Delve into the study of X.
  • Understand the importance of something.
  • Promote the development of any behavior or skill: interest, creativity, responsibility, awareness.
  • Examine the concepts on a certain topic.
  • Create a manual of procedures, a book.
  • Recover the works, teachings, methods carried out by someone.
  • Sensitize a group or community about a certain action or problem.

Importance of the research objective

When we write the research objectives we are defining the activities necessary to solve the problem. In a way, they are like guidelines or instructions to follow to complete our work.

The research objectives also indicate to the reader of the project or thesis which is the direction that the author intends to take to carry out the research. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

The objectives of the investigation will be, at the end of the work, the reference point that will indicate if we achieve our mission.

Corina Schmelkes in Manual for the presentation of preliminary projects and research reports expresses the following:

“The problem is the” what “of your study, while the objective constitutes the” what do you want to obtain “, that is, the objective is the product of your research. It is what you are going to achieve when you finish the job ”.

Examples of research objectives and their analysis

We have found several research papers whose objectives deserve to be presented and analyzed.

First example

In Edith Rojas Anaya’s work “Expression of rabies virus G protein in carrots and corn and its evaluation as an oral immunogen” , the following objectives are established:

General objective

“To evaluate the humoral and protective immune response of laboratory animals immunized orally with corn and carrots that express the G protein of the rabies virus”

Specific objectives

1.Clone the rabies virus gene in plant expression vectors to carry out the genetic transformation of corn and carrot embryogenic cells. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

2. Obtain adult plants that express the G protein by carrying out a selection with the glufosinate ammonium herbicide and subsequently analyze the expression in plant tissue by means of molecular techniques.

3. To evaluate the humoral, cellular and protective immune response in laboratory animals immunized orally with corn or carrots that express the G protein.

As you can see, the final specific goal is the same as the overall goal, while some specific goals actually indicate the methods to be performed on the job. An alternative writing of the objectives for this thesis would be:

General objective

Check the effectiveness of oral immunization against rabies virus in laboratory rats using plants that express the virus G protein. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

Specific objectives

  1. Design a gene expression vector for rabies virus G protein in plant cells.
  2. Demonstrate the transgenic expression of rabies virus G protein in corn and carrot plants.
  3. To assess the immune response against rabies virus in corn- or carrot-fed rats expressing rabies virus G protein.

Second example

In the work Sustainability and its current presence in companies operating in Mexico, Denise Belén Sanchez Arriaga presents her objectives:

General objective

Identify the existence of awareness and action on the issue of environmental sustainability of the business sector in Mexico, through the perspective and opinion of managers, middle managers and a group of operational workers from various companies and representatives of some national and international institutions that follow up on the issue.

Specific objectives

  1. Analyze whether among the workers who work in some companies in Mexico there is awareness of sustainability that allows them to recognize the impact of the efforts made on this issue by the companies in which they are working, and in what measures they contribute to generating it.
  2. Identify the sustainable strategies implemented by some companies in Mexico that demonstrate awareness of corporate environmental preservation. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal
  3. Identify if there is any relationship between the acceptance of a company by its different stakeholders and the implementation of sustainable strategies in it.
  4. Analyze if sustainable business actions can be implemented in any company at the same level regardless of its size.

In this case the general objective is quite adequate to the research problem. Specific objective 3 deviates from the general objective as soon as new actors are involved (acceptance of the company by its different stakeholders).

Third example

Jessica Salas Osornio in her work Comprehensive use of crustacean residues: evaluation of fresh fruit coatings using mixtures of chitin and chitosan obtained by means of green chemistry these activities are indicated:

General objective

Determine the efficiency of coatings of analytical grade chitin and chitosan solutions (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0%) applied to smooth (grape, Vitis vinifera L.) and rough (strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa)

Specific objectives

1. Determine some physicochemical parameters, such as% acidity, pH value,% total soluble solids, vitamin C content and moisture loss, collecting them with visual (subjective) deterioration during storage at room temperature ( 20 + -2 ° C) Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

2. Extract chitin experimentally from cephalothorax and partially deproteinized exoskeleton obtained in seafood markets for its application in the form of biofilm on grapes and strawberries, modifying the extraction process with the addition of the sonication unit operation promoting deacetylation. chitin partial.

In this case, the specific objectives show methodological actions rather than achievements with respect to research. An alternative way of setting the objectives would be:

General objective

Check the efficiency in the preservation of smooth fruits (grapes) and rough fruits (strawberries) of coatings of chitin and chitosan extracted from shellfish.

Specific goal

  1. Modify the process for extracting chitin from cephalothorax and shellfish exoskeleton for application in the form of a biofilm on grapes and strawberries.
  2. Compare the physicochemical parameters and the external appearance of grapes and strawberries with and without chitin and chitosan coating during different times at different temperatures

Fourth example

Carlos Enrique Dobler Morales in his ” Characterization of the climate and its relationship with the distribution of vegetation in the southwest of DF, Mexico” presents the following objectives:

General objective

To characterize the climate on a local scale of the sub-basins of the Magdalena, Eslava and Regaderas-Viborillas rivers, in the southwest of Mexico City. Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

Relate the distribution of the climate with that of the plant communities in the study area.

Specific goal

Prepare climate cartography based on data from meteorological stations and superimpose with vegetation maps and coverage data.

In this case, two general objectives are presented, the second being the most relevant as a general objective. We could present it as follows:

General objective

Relate the distribution of the climate with that of the plant communities of the sub-basins of the Magdalena, Eslava and Regaderas-Viborillas rivers, in the southwest of Mexico City.

Specific objectives

  1. To characterize the climate on a local scale of the sub-basins of the Magdalena, Eslava and Regaderas-Viborillas rivers, in the southwest of Mexico City.
  2. Compare climate cartography based on data from meteorological stations with vegetation maps and area coverage data.

Fifth example

For the research Effect of climate change on the distribution of five tree species in Mexico carried out by Erick Eduardo Gutiérrez Estrada in 2010, these are the objectives: Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

General objective

Evaluate the possible impact of climate change on the distribution of five tree species of Mexican importance.

Specific objectives

  1. Recognize the climatic conditions of three species of conifers (Pinus ayacahuite, Pinus hartwegii and Abies hickelii ) and of two oaks (Quercus laurina and Quercus ocoteaefolia) that are currently established in the upper parts of the mountains of Mexico.
  2. Apply statistical methods that allow describing the probabilities of occurrence of the species in the climatic conditions in which they develop.
  3. Evaluate the effect of climate change according to different general circulation models, emission scenarios and time horizons.

For this example, the second specific objective presents a methodology to describe the phenomenon you are studying. We could present it this way: Examples of research objectives in a research proposal

Specific objectives

2. Describe the probabilities of occurrence of the species in the climatic conditions in which they develop.

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