Research objectives are the goals that you set in your study, that you want to achieve through your study. It informs the readers what you want to research and how far you want to go. It also informs the readers about the scope and extent of the study. The most important point to consider is the clarity of the research objectives.
Characteristics of the research objectives
Clarity is the main focus of the research objectives. The way you word your research objectives tell a lot about your research. The wording should have to be very clear and very well defined. Not only other people will get to know about your research from the research objectives but you too need to look at the objectives to make several decisions about your research. Make simple sentences but clear and avoid complexities in wording.
Each phrase in the research objectives should have a sense of completeness. Broken sentences and incomplete objectives can lead you into trouble later on. Here completeness is necessary because you will be able to decide the extent of your research from your research objectives. A complete research objective should have information about the population to be studied.
Your research objectives should specifically focus on the what, how when and where questions and there should be no loopholes.
Identify the main variables of the study
In the research objectives the researcher decides about the main variables of the study. The variables are the measurable concepts or quantities that will majorly impact your research. The variables should be well-defined in this phase of the research. You should decide about the dependent variables, independent variables as well as the control variables, if the research is an experimental research.
Identify the direction of the relationship
Some research studies have hypothesis, in hypothesis testing studies the researcher should define the direction in which he want to test the variables. This is only done in hypothesis testing studies, in other studies the researcher only mentions the variables.
Types of the research objectives
There are only two types of objectives in any type of study; the main objectives and the secondary or sub objectives. The main objectives or the primary objectives will lead the research you are about to conduct. They provide clear, complete and specific goals of your research. The secondary objectives set the goals that you want to achieve along with the main objectives. They are also relevant and specific to the research problem but they will only help in obtaining the primary objectives. The secondary objectives are thus not the main goal or aim of the research but they provide support in attaining the main goals.