How to Write Research Objectives for Research Proposal

An essential element of a practical research study is a set of clearly defined and relevant objectives. Research objectives usually justify the relevance of the research study. Therefore, knowing how to write research objectives for research proposals is essential.

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A research objective is an explanation of the desirable results that a researcher aims at achieving at the end of a study. A well-defined purpose of the survey ensures that the results obtained in the study are within the scope of the desired results. Besides, objectives highlight the methods used in conducting the study, the findings, as well as the recommendations. Read on to find out how to write research objectives for research proposals.


The term ‘research’ refers to an investigation within a specific area of concern to increase knowledge on the field.  Research studies aim at explaining, predicting, or controlling phenomena. Most research studies investigate existing problems to find solutions to the issues.

The process of research has three stages:

  • Planning the research
  • Collection of data
  • Analysis of the data

Identifying the problem (problem statement)

how to write research objectives for research proposals

Formulating objective or goals (statement of the problem)

how to write research objectives for research proposals

Collection of data

how to write research objectives for research proposals

Generating the results of the study

how to write research objectives for research proposals

Data analysis and interpretation

What are the Three Objectives of Research?

A research study usually has three main objectives that cut across all types of research. Below are the main aims of conducting an investigation:

  • A research study provides a means for learning which subsequently aids knowledge building
  • Furthermore, the intended research offers a platform to identify underlying problems
  • At the end of the study, there are always solutions to existing problems

how to write research objectives for research proposals

What Is Objective In Research Proposal?

A research objective is a description of the desired results you would like to achieve at the end of a study. They usually give a summary of the intended accomplishments by the researcher. For this reason, a research object should be realistic and achievable.

It is always essential to do background research on the area of interest to develop realistic objectives. Consequently, the information obtained from the background research notifies the researcher of the gap in knowledge that needs work.

Types Of Research Objectives

Research purposes instigate research objectives. The objectives of the research explain the aim of the study as well as the results of the investigation.

  1. General research objectives- the achievements of general purposes are broad. General objectives provide a platform for the generation of specific goals.
  2. Specific objectives- the achievement aimed by specific objects are precise. In specific objectives, the researcher has the main goal that they hope to achieve.

Features Of Research Objectives

A research objective is a statement that declares the aims of a study. A research objective should have the ‘SMART’ features.

  • S- Specific
  • M- Measurable
  • A- Achievable
  • R- Relevant
  • T- Timebound


It is essential to provide precise information such as the groups, the exact figures or dates. Questions such as ‘who?’, ‘What?’ ‘When?’ and ‘How much?’ increase the specificity of the objectives.


A measurable objective gives room for quality and quantity assessment of the desired results.


The objectives of the research should be attainable. For this reason, a research study becomes pointless if the desired results are unattainable.


The objectives of the study should connect to the targeted audience. Hence, the relevance of the research is usually vital in conducting a comprehensive analysis.


A good objective denotes the time taken to accomplish the desired results. This way, a researcher can schedule their study within the time frame.

Characteristics of Good Research Objectives

Below is a list of characteristics that identifies a research object as a reasonable objective:

  1. The purpose should be relevant to the targeted audience
  2. The goals should be brief and straight forward
  3. In case several objectives are listed, they should be in a logical order
  4. Objectives should be realistic and achievable(consider the time frame, as well as available resources)
  5. The aims should use action verbs that can be evaluated or measured. For instance, describe, determine, calculate, compare, and assess.
  6. Objectives of proper research should be static (should not change during the study)
  7. Good research objectives need to be correct and only involve information concerning the study
  8. Should be constructed using simple words, avoid using jargons

how to write research objectives for research proposals

What is the Importance Of Research Objectives?

Learning how to write research objectives for the research proposal makes you enjoy the benefits of the set objectives. Below are the benefits of the objectives.

  1. Aids in giving directions for conducting the study writing the paper

A well-defined objective would direct the researcher in the methodology employed in conducting the research. Moreover, it dictates research processes such as methods of data collection, analysis, interpretation, and utilization of the data.

  1. Narrows the focus of the researcher to the necessary information

A comprehensive data collection strategy leads to the collection of abundant data. Therefore, the researcher must differentiate relevant data from irrelevant ones. Furthermore, the research objectives guide the researcher to focus on the necessary information. The purposes prevent diversion from the area of concern.

  1. Aids in minimizing the wastage of resources

Restricting the researcher within the area of interest reduces the wastage of resources such as time, energy, and money. The objectives assist the researcher in concentrating on the area of interest. Subsequently, there is minimal wastage of resources.

  1. Aids organization of the study

With a clear description of the objectives, it becomes easier to organize the research work as well as the paper. Therefore, a researcher can partition their results in an organized manner.

  1. Eases the understanding of the study by the targeted audience

A clear description of the objectives facilitates the understanding of the targeted audience. If an investigation is unclear to the target audience, it is wise to render the study pointless. Therefore, making the audience understand the purpose of conducting the research is of importance.

Examples of Research Objectives in a Research Proposal

Study the patterns below to understand how to write research objectives for research proposals. Moreover, the cases will assist in differentiating between general research objectives and the specific objectives.

Example 1.

General objective

  • To classify the anti-inflammatory photochemical components in Bougainvillea glabra flowers.

Specific objectives

  • To perform a solvent extraction procedure on dried Bougainvillea glabra flowers
  • To isolate the phytochemicals of Bougainvillea glabra
  • To determine the anti-inflammatory activity of the crude extract as well as each of the separated components
  • To determine the structural formula for each of the active phytochemicals in Bougainvillea glabra

Example 2

General objective

  • To determine the extent of adequacy, affordability, and sustainability of home-based care of HIV/AIDS patients in the XYZ area, and identifying techniques in which the services offered can be improved.

Specific objectives

  • To identify the needs of HIV/AIDS patients
  • To determine how the system addresses the needs of the patients
  • To determine the overall cost of the home-based care
  • To relate the quality of the care to the cost of the care
  • To make recommendations on how to improve the home-based care of HIV/AIDS patients as well as the care of other patients.

Example 3

In Nigeria, extractions of the Bougainvillea glabra flower aid in treating inflammations. Therefore, one can conduct a study to investigate the pharmacological components of the lower.


To determine the pharmacological activity of the crude extract of Bougainvillea glabra flower, as well as evaluating the anti-inflammatory properties of the flower.

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In conclusion, a well-formulated research objective assists researchers in finding the purpose of the study. Considering the guide above on how to write research objectives for research proposals, will assist you in conducting comprehensive studies. It is also wise to keep in mind that without a goal, a study becomes pointless.

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