• How it works

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.

Hire an Expert Writer

Orders completed by our expert writers are

  • Formally drafted in an academic style
  • Free Amendments and 100% Plagiarism Free – or your money back!
  • 100% Confidential and Timely Delivery!
  • Free anti-plagiarism report
  • Appreciated by thousands of clients. Check client reviews

Hire an Expert Writer

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.

You May Also Like

Learn about What a dissertation generator is and how reliable they are compared to a professional writing service.

UK has many top-ranked universities in the world. Here are all the reasons why you should pursue your MBA degree in the UK.

There are eight main parts of a dissertation. Learn about what they are and what is included in them in this comprehensive blog.

USEFUL LINKS

LEARNING RESOURCES

researchprospect-reviews-trust-site

COMPANY DETAILS

Research-Prospect-Writing-Service

  • How It Works

how to write an aim for a dissertation

  • 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.

Introduction

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.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

Browse PhDs Now

Join thousands of students.

Join thousands of other students and stay up to date with the latest PhD programmes, funding opportunities and advice.

how to write an aim for a dissertation

Research Voyage

Research Tips and Infromation

How to Write Aims and Objectives for your Dissertation or Thesis?

Aims and Objectives Section for PhD Dissertation

Introduction

Understanding aims and objectives, crafting aims, break it down into objectives, developing specific objectives, align with research questions, consider feasibility, review and refine, seek feedback, documenting aims and objectives.

In a PhD or Post Graduate dissertation, the aims and objectives play a crucial role in shaping the research process and ensuring focus. They provide a clear roadmap for your study and serve as the guiding principles that steer your research in the right direction.

Aims represent the broader purpose or the overarching goal of your research. They define what you want to achieve with your dissertation. For example, let’s say you’re conducting a study on renewable energy sources. Your aim could be to analyze the economic viability and environmental impact of solar energy adoption in residential areas.

Objectives, on the other hand, break down the aim into specific, measurable, and achievable targets that help you accomplish your research goal. They outline the specific steps or tasks you need to undertake to fulfill the aim. Continuing with the previous example, some objectives could be:

  • Evaluate the current state of solar energy technologies and their efficiency.
  • Assess the economic costs and benefits associated with the installation of solar panels in residential areas.
  • Analyze the environmental impact of solar energy adoption in terms of carbon emissions reduction.
  • Investigate the potential barriers to the widespread adoption of solar energy in residential communities.
  • Develop recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders to promote the use of solar energy in residential areas.

These objectives, when combined, address different aspects related to the aim of analyzing the economic viability and environmental impact of solar energy adoption. Each objective guides a specific aspect of the research and contributes to answering the research questions.

By having clear aims and objectives, you establish a solid framework for your study. They help you stay focused on the main purpose of your research and prevent you from getting sidetracked or overwhelmed by tangential topics. Moreover, they provide clarity to both you and your readers, ensuring that your research remains coherent and well-structured.

In summary, clear aims and objectives are instrumental in guiding the research process of a PhD dissertation. They provide a roadmap, define the research goal, and break it down into specific targets. Through the example provided, it is evident how aims and objectives bring focus to a study on renewable energy sources and solar energy adoption in residential areas.

If you are in paucity of time, not confident of your writing skills and in a hurry to complete the writing task then you can think of hiring a research consultant that solves all your problems. Please visit my article on Hiring a Research consultant for your PhD tasks for further details.

Aims and objectives play a crucial role in guiding research projects. It’s important to define these terms and differentiate between them to ensure a clear focus in your work.

Aims represent the broader purpose or goal of your study. They define what you aim to achieve through your research project. Aims provide the overarching context and direction for your work, guiding the selection of topics, methodologies, and outcomes.

Example: Suppose you’re working on a PhD dissertation in computer science with a focus on natural language processing. Your aim could be: “To develop an efficient and accurate algorithm for sentiment analysis in social media data.”

In this example, the aim highlights the objective of creating an algorithm specifically for sentiment analysis in social media data, indicating the main objective of your research.

Objectives break down the aim into specific, measurable, and achievable targets that contribute to achieving the overall goal. They are more focused and concrete than aims, outlining the steps or tasks necessary to fulfill the aim. Objectives serve as the building blocks of your research, guiding the implementation and evaluation of your work.

Example: Continuing with the previous aim, let’s define some specific objectives:

  • Collect and preprocess a large dataset of social media posts for sentiment analysis.
  • Explore and compare existing sentiment analysis techniques to identify their limitations and strengths.
  • Design and develop a novel algorithm that addresses the limitations of current approaches.
  • Implement the algorithm and evaluate its performance on the collected dataset.
  • Analyze the results and compare them with existing state-of-the-art sentiment analysis methods.

These objectives, when combined, address different aspects necessary to fulfill the aim of developing an efficient and accurate sentiment analysis algorithm for social media data. Each objective represents a specific task or milestone that contributes to the overall research goal.

The relationship between aims and objectives is critical in driving research. Objectives are derived from the aim and provide the means to accomplish it. They act as stepping stones, guiding the researcher towards achieving the broader aim.

In summary, aims provide the broader context and goal, while objectives break down the aim into specific tasks and milestones. Together, they ensure focus and direction in your research, guiding the selection of topics, methodologies, and outcomes. The objectives serve as the means to achieve the overall aim, highlighting the relationship between aims and objectives in driving research in the computer science domain.

Formulating the overarching aim of your research is a crucial step in defining the direction and purpose of your dissertation. The aim represents the primary goal or intention of your study, and crafting it effectively is essential for setting the foundation of your research.

Research Topic: Enhancing cybersecurity in cloud computing environments.

In this example, the aim focuses on improving cybersecurity in the context of cloud computing. The aim should be formulated in a concise and focused manner that aligns with the research topic. Here’s an example of how the aim could be crafted effectively:

Aim: Develop an efficient and robust security framework for ensuring data confidentiality, integrity, and availability in cloud computing environments.

The above aim encapsulates the overall goal of the research, which is to develop a security framework for enhancing cybersecurity in cloud computing. It clearly states the intention to address key aspects such as data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The aim is concise, specific, and directly aligned with the research topic.

The significance of a well-defined aim cannot be overstated. It serves as a guiding beacon throughout your research journey, providing a clear direction and purpose. A well-crafted aim helps you stay focused and ensures that your efforts are aligned with the research’s core objectives. It also helps you communicate the purpose of your study to others, including your advisor, peers, and potential readers of your dissertation.

Additionally, an effective aim sets the stage for the subsequent development of specific objectives and research questions. It serves as a foundation upon which you can break down the aim into smaller, manageable objectives that contribute to achieving the overall research goal. Each objective should align with the aim and work together harmoniously to address the research questions and gaps in the field.

Moreover, a concise and aligned aim allows readers to quickly grasp the essence of your research. It provides them with a clear understanding of the research’s scope and purpose. By stating the aim concisely and aligning it with the research topic, you demonstrate your ability to articulate the core objective of your study in a succinct manner.

In summary, crafting effective aims involves formulating the overarching goal or intention of your research in a concise and focused manner. A well-defined aim sets the direction for your dissertation, guiding your efforts and ensuring alignment with the research topic. It serves as a foundation for the development of specific objectives and research questions. By presenting a clear and aligned aim, you convey the purpose of your study to others and demonstrate your ability to articulate the core objective of your research.

After defining the aim of your research, it’s important to break it down into smaller, manageable objectives. These objectives should address key research questions or subtopics that are necessary to achieve the overall aim. Additionally, objectives should be specific, measurable, and utilize action verbs to describe the intended actions or achievements.

Example: Suppose the aim of your research is to develop a recommendation system for an e-commerce platform. Here are some examples of specific objectives:

  • Action Verbs: Analyze, Identify
  • Description: Gather and analyze user preferences and historical data from the e-commerce platform to identify patterns in user behavior and item preferences.
  • Action Verbs: Design, Implement
  • Description: Develop and implement collaborative filtering algorithms, such as user-based or item-based methods, to generate personalized recommendations based on user similarities or item similarities.
  • Action Verbs: Incorporate
  • Description: Integrate machine learning techniques, such as matrix factorization or deep learning models, into the recommendation system to improve the accuracy and personalization of the recommendations.
  • Action Verbs: Evaluate
  • Description: Conduct experiments and evaluate the performance of the recommendation system using appropriate evaluation metrics, such as precision, recall, or mean average precision, to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the system.
  • Action Verbs: Optimize
  • Description: Identify and implement optimization techniques, such as parallel computing or distributed systems, to enhance the scalability and efficiency of the recommendation algorithm, allowing it to handle large-scale datasets and real-time recommendations.

By breaking down the aim into these specific objectives, you address key components of developing a recommendation system, such as data analysis, algorithm design, evaluation, and optimization. Each objective represents a distinct step that contributes to achieving the overall aim.

Importantly, these objectives are specific and measurable, allowing you to determine whether you have successfully achieved them. For instance, you can measure the accuracy of the recommendation system, evaluate its performance against baseline models, or assess its scalability in terms of handling large datasets.

In summary, when conducting research, breaking down the aim into specific objectives helps in managing the workload and providing a clear roadmap for your research. These objectives should address key research questions or subtopics, be specific and measurable, and use action verbs to describe the intended actions or achievements. By following this approach, you can ensure a systematic and focused research process.

To develop specific objectives for your research, you need to break down the overarching aim into smaller, measurable objectives. These objectives should be clear, specific, and actionable, providing a roadmap for your research and guiding the entire research process.

Aim: Develop a machine learning-based system for automated sentiment analysis in social media data.

Objective 1: Conduct a comprehensive literature review on existing sentiment analysis techniques and methodologies.

  • Breakdown: This objective focuses on reviewing the literature in the field of sentiment analysis, specifically examining the various techniques and methodologies that have been developed and applied. It involves gathering and analyzing research papers, books, and other relevant sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of the existing knowledge in sentiment analysis.

Objective 2: Collect a large dataset of social media posts for training and evaluation.

  • Breakdown: This objective entails the collection of a substantial amount of social media data that will be used as input for training and evaluating the machine learning model. It involves designing data collection mechanisms, such as web scraping or utilizing available APIs, to gather a diverse set of social media posts from platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

Objective 3: Design and implement a machine learning algorithm capable of accurately detecting sentiment polarity in social media text.

  • Breakdown: This objective focuses on the development of a machine learning algorithm tailored for sentiment analysis in social media text. It involves designing and implementing the necessary algorithms, selecting appropriate feature representations, and training a model to accurately classify sentiment polarity (positive, negative, or neutral) of social media posts.

Objective 4: Evaluate the performance of the developed sentiment analysis system against benchmark datasets and compare it with existing state-of-the-art approaches.

  • Breakdown: This objective involves assessing the performance of the developed sentiment analysis system by evaluating it against established benchmark datasets. It requires selecting appropriate evaluation metrics and comparing the system’s performance with existing state-of-the-art approaches in sentiment analysis, such as accuracy, precision, recall, or F1 score.

The importance of clear, specific objectives cannot be overstated. These objectives provide a clear roadmap and direction for your research, guiding your efforts and ensuring that you stay on track. They help you structure your research activities, allocate resources effectively, and measure progress along the way.

Using action verbs to articulate objectives effectively is another crucial aspect. Action verbs convey specific actions or achievements that need to be accomplished. They provide clarity and precision, leaving no room for ambiguity. For example:

By using action verbs, you explicitly state what needs to be done or achieved in each objective, making it easier to track progress and assess the completion of objectives.

In summary, developing specific objectives involves breaking down the overarching aim into smaller, measurable objectives. Clear and specific objectives provide a roadmap for your research and guide the entire research process. By using action verbs, you articulate objectives effectively, leaving no room for ambiguity. These objectives help structure your research activities, allocate resources effectively, and measure progress, ultimately leading to the successful completion of your research.

When formulating objectives for your research, it is essential to ensure that they align with the research questions you have formulated. Each objective should contribute to addressing or answering a specific research question, creating a cohesive and focused research framework.

Example: Suppose your research in computer science focuses on developing an automated system for detecting and preventing cybersecurity threats. Here are examples of objectives aligned with research questions:

Research Question: How can machine learning algorithms be utilized to detect and mitigate cybersecurity threats effectively?

Objective 1: Evaluate and compare different machine learning algorithms for cybersecurity threat detection.

  • Description: Explore and assess various machine learning algorithms, such as decision trees, random forests, or neural networks, to identify the most suitable approach for detecting cybersecurity threats accurately and efficiently.

Objective 2: Develop a dataset representative of diverse cybersecurity threats.

  • Description: Create a comprehensive dataset containing various types of cybersecurity threats, including malware, phishing attacks, and network intrusions, to train and evaluate the machine learning models effectively.

Research Question: What are the key challenges and vulnerabilities in existing cybersecurity systems that need to be addressed?

Objective 3: Conduct a systematic analysis of existing cybersecurity systems and identify vulnerabilities.

  • Description: Analyze and evaluate existing cybersecurity systems, such as intrusion detection systems or antivirus software, to identify vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and potential areas of improvement that can inform the development of a more robust automated system.

Objective 4: Propose novel techniques to enhance the resilience of the cybersecurity system.

  • Description: Develop innovative approaches, such as anomaly detection algorithms or behavior-based analysis techniques, to enhance the resilience of the automated cybersecurity system and address the identified vulnerabilities.

By aligning the objectives with the research questions, you ensure that each objective contributes to addressing a specific aspect of your research. For example, Objective 1 directly addresses the research question regarding the utilization of machine learning algorithms for cybersecurity threat detection. Objective 3 focuses on analyzing existing systems to identify vulnerabilities, which is in line with the question about challenges and vulnerabilities in existing cybersecurity systems.

The alignment between research questions and objectives helps maintain a clear focus on the research objectives and ensures that your efforts are directed towards addressing the research questions. It also enhances the coherence of your research, as each objective becomes a stepping stone towards answering the research questions and achieving the overall aim of your study.

In summary, aligning objectives with research questions is crucial in research. It ensures that each objective contributes to answering or addressing a specific research question, creating a logical and cohesive framework for your study. By establishing this alignment, you can maintain a clear focus on the research objectives and make meaningful contributions to the field.

When setting objectives for your research, it is important to consider their feasibility. Feasibility refers to the realistic achievability of your objectives within the scope of your PhD research, taking into account available resources, time constraints, and other practical limitations.

Example: Suppose your research focuses on developing a new algorithm for real-time video processing and analysis. Here are examples of objectives that consider feasibility:

Objective 1: Implement the real-time video processing algorithm on a high-performance computing cluster.

  • Feasibility Considerations: Before setting this objective, assess whether you have access to a high-performance computing cluster and the necessary resources (e.g., hardware, software, computational power) to support the implementation and testing of the algorithm. If such resources are available within your research environment or institution, this objective is feasible.

Objective 2: Collect and annotate a large-scale video dataset for algorithm training and evaluation.

  • Feasibility Considerations: Consider the practical aspects of collecting and annotating a large-scale video dataset. Evaluate the time, manpower, and equipment required for this task. Assess whether you have access to the necessary resources (e.g., cameras, storage, annotation tools) and the capability to manage and process such a dataset. If these resources and capabilities are available within your research context, this objective is feasible.

Objective 3: Collaborate with industry partners to obtain real-world video data for testing and validation.

  • Feasibility Considerations: Evaluate the feasibility of establishing collaborations with industry partners to obtain real-world video data. Consider factors such as data sharing agreements, legal and privacy considerations, and the willingness of industry partners to provide access to their data. Assess the potential challenges and limitations that may arise during this collaboration process. If such collaborations are feasible and can be established within the constraints of your research, this objective is feasible.

By considering feasibility, you ensure that your objectives are realistically achievable within the resources, time, and other constraints of your PhD research. It helps you avoid setting objectives that are too ambitious or beyond the scope of what you can reasonably accomplish.

Feasibility assessment is crucial in ensuring the successful completion of your research project. It allows you to allocate resources effectively, manage your time, and avoid potential pitfalls or setbacks that could hinder your progress. By setting feasible objectives, you can maintain a practical and manageable research plan that is more likely to lead to meaningful outcomes within the given constraints.

In summary, considering feasibility when setting objectives in computer science research is essential. Assess the available resources, time constraints, and practical limitations to ensure that your objectives are realistically achievable within the scope of your PhD research. By doing so, you can plan and execute your research effectively, making the most of the resources at your disposal and increasing the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Once you have defined your aims and objectives for your research, it’s important to review and refine them to ensure clarity, coherence, and logical flow. This step allows you to make any necessary revisions to ensure that your aims and objectives accurately reflect the scope and purpose of your research.

Example: Suppose your research in computer science focuses on developing a mobile application for enhancing cybersecurity awareness among smartphone users. Here’s an example of reviewing and refining aims and objectives:

Aim: Develop a mobile application for enhancing cybersecurity awareness among smartphone users.

Objective 1: Conduct a comprehensive literature review on cybersecurity awareness strategies and mobile application design principles.

  • Review and Refinement: Upon review, you find that the objective is clear and aligned with the aim. However, you decide to refine it to include specific aspects you intend to cover in the literature review, such as user education techniques, persuasive design elements, and existing cybersecurity awareness mobile applications.

Objective 2: Design and develop a user-friendly mobile application prototype that delivers educational content and interactive features.

  • Review and Refinement: During the review, you realize that the objective lacks specificity regarding the educational content and interactive features. You refine it to explicitly mention the inclusion of topics like phishing prevention, password management, and interactive quizzes to reinforce learning.

Objective 3: Conduct usability testing and collect feedback from potential users to evaluate the effectiveness of the mobile application.

  • Review and Refinement: While reviewing, you realize that the objective could benefit from additional information. You refine it to include details such as the target user group (e.g., smartphone users aged 18-35), the number of participants you plan to involve in the usability testing, and the specific metrics you will use to evaluate the effectiveness of the application.

By reviewing and refining your aims and objectives, you ensure that they accurately capture the scope and purpose of your research. It helps you identify any gaps, ambiguities, or areas that need further clarification. Through this process, you can enhance the clarity, coherence, and logical flow of your aims and objectives, making them more robust and aligned with your research goals.

Additionally, reviewing and refining your aims and objectives allows you to align them with the current state of knowledge in the field. As you conduct literature reviews and gain more insights into existing research, you may discover the need to make adjustments to your aims and objectives to reflect the most relevant and up-to-date information.

In summary, reviewing and refining aims and objectives in research is essential to ensure clarity, coherence, and logical flow. By carefully reviewing each aim and objective, you can identify areas for improvement, refine them to include specific details, and align them with the current state of knowledge in the field. This process enhances the accuracy and effectiveness of your aims and objectives, providing a strong foundation for your research.

Once you have developed your aims and objectives for your research, it is important to seek feedback from your supervisor or peers. Sharing your aims and objectives with others allows you to gather valuable insights, suggestions, and perspectives that can help refine and improve your objectives, ensuring they are appropriate and aligned with your research.

Imagine you have formulated the following objectives for your computer science research on developing an intelligent tutoring system:

Objective 1: Conduct a literature review on existing intelligent tutoring systems and their effectiveness in enhancing student learning outcomes.

Objective 2: Design and develop an adaptive learning algorithm to personalize the tutoring experience based on individual student needs.

Objective 3: Implement a user-friendly interface for the intelligent tutoring system that provides an intuitive and engaging learning environment.

Objective 4: Evaluate the effectiveness of the developed intelligent tutoring system through a series of user studies and compare it with traditional tutoring methods.

At this stage, it would be beneficial to share your aims and objectives with your supervisor or peers to receive feedback. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions to help you refine and improve your objectives. For example:

  • Your supervisor may suggest including a specific research question to further clarify the focus of Objective 1, such as “What are the key features and techniques used in successful intelligent tutoring systems?”
  • Peers may provide feedback on the clarity and specificity of Objective 2, suggesting adding details on the specific adaptability mechanisms to be incorporated.
  • Your supervisor might suggest considering the inclusion of usability testing as part of Objective 3 to ensure the interface meets the needs and preferences of the target users.
  • Peers may offer suggestions on additional evaluation metrics or experimental setups to strengthen Objective 4 and provide more robust comparisons.

By seeking feedback, you open yourself up to constructive criticism and valuable perspectives that can help enhance the quality and effectiveness of your aims and objectives. Feedback from experienced researchers or knowledgeable peers can help you identify any potential gaps or weaknesses in your objectives and provide suggestions for improvement.

Remember that feedback is an iterative process, and it is important to carefully consider the suggestions provided while also critically evaluating them in the context of your research. Incorporating constructive feedback will help you refine your aims and objectives, ensuring they are robust, relevant, and aligned with your research goals.

In summary, seeking feedback on your aims and objectives is a valuable step in the process of developing your research. Sharing your objectives with your supervisor or peers allows you to gather insights, suggestions, and perspectives that can help refine and improve your objectives. Feedback helps ensure that your objectives are appropriate, clear, and aligned with your research goals, ultimately strengthening the overall quality of your research.

When writing your dissertation, it is crucial to properly document and present your aims and objectives. The placement and presentation of aims and objectives play a significant role in providing readers with a clear understanding of the research’s purpose and direction.

Placement: The aims and objectives of your research should be presented early on in your dissertation, typically within the introduction chapter. This allows readers to grasp the overall scope and intent of your research from the beginning. Placing them in the introduction helps set the context and provides a roadmap for the rest of the dissertation.

Presentation: When presenting aims and objectives, it is important to clearly distinguish between the two and articulate their role in driving the research. Here’s an example of how you can document aims and objectives:

Aims: Start by presenting the overarching aim of your research, which represents the primary goal or intention of your study. It should be a concise statement that captures the essence of your research focus.

For example:

Aim: The aim of this research is to develop a machine learning-based system for automated sentiment analysis in social media data.

Objectives: Following the aim, present a list of specific objectives that outline the key steps or milestones required to achieve the aim. Each objective should be clear, specific, and measurable. Here’s an example:

Objectives:

  • Analyze existing sentiment analysis techniques and methodologies in the literature to identify their limitations and challenges.
  • Collect and preprocess a large dataset of social media posts to serve as the training and evaluation data for the sentiment analysis system.
  • Design and implement a machine learning algorithm capable of accurately detecting sentiment polarity in social media text.
  • Evaluate the performance of the developed sentiment analysis system against existing state-of-the-art approaches, using appropriate evaluation metrics.
  • Optimize the system for scalability and efficiency, allowing it to handle large volumes of real-time social media data.

By clearly documenting the aims and objectives in your dissertation, you provide readers with a clear understanding of the purpose and direction of your research. This enables them to follow your thought process and evaluate the relevance and significance of your study. Aims and objectives serve as guideposts that help readers navigate through your dissertation and understand the specific research questions you seek to address.

Moreover, the well-documented aims and objectives help you maintain focus throughout your research journey and provide a framework for organizing your dissertation. They establish the foundation upon which your methodology, analysis, and conclusions are built.

In summary, when documenting aims and objectives in a dissertation, it is important to place them in the introduction chapter and clearly present their role in guiding the research. Aims and objectives should be distinct, with the aim of capturing the overarching goal and the objectives outlining the specific steps or milestones to achieve it. By effectively documenting aims and objectives, you provide readers with a clear understanding of the research’s purpose and direction, facilitating their engagement with your work.

Crafting clear and well-defined aims and objectives is a critical aspect of writing a PhD or Post Graduate dissertation. These aims and objectives provide a solid foundation for your research, guiding your efforts and ensuring a focused and coherent study. Through this discussion, we have explored the importance of aims and objectives in a PhD dissertation and how they contribute to the research process.

Upcoming Events

  • Visit the Upcoming International Conferences at Exotic Travel Destinations with Travel Plan
  • Visit for  Research Internships Worldwide

Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit

Recent Posts

  • How to Get Off-Cycle Research/Academic Internships
  • How to End Your Academic/Research Internship?
  • PhD or Industry Job? A Comprehensive Career Guide
  • Post Doc Positions in India
  • 04 Reasons for Outsourcing Academic Conference Management
  • All Blog Posts
  • Research Career
  • Research Conference
  • Research Internship
  • Research Journal
  • Research Tools
  • Uncategorized
  • Research Conferences
  • Research Journals
  • Research Grants
  • Internships
  • Research Internships
  • Email Templates
  • Conferences
  • Blog Partners
  • Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2024 Research Voyage

Design by ThemesDNA.com

close-link

  • Privacy Policy

Research Method

Home » Dissertation Methodology – Structure, Example and Writing Guide

Dissertation Methodology – Structure, Example and Writing Guide

  • Table of Contents

Dissertation Methodology

Dissertation Methodology

In any research, the methodology chapter is one of the key components of your dissertation. It provides a detailed description of the methods you used to conduct your research and helps readers understand how you obtained your data and how you plan to analyze it. This section is crucial for replicating the study and validating its results.

Here are the basic elements that are typically included in a dissertation methodology:

  • Introduction : This section should explain the importance and goals of your research .
  • Research Design : Outline your research approach and why it’s appropriate for your study. You might be conducting an experimental research, a qualitative research, a quantitative research, or a mixed-methods research.
  • Data Collection : This section should detail the methods you used to collect your data. Did you use surveys, interviews, observations, etc.? Why did you choose these methods? You should also include who your participants were, how you recruited them, and any ethical considerations.
  • Data Analysis : Explain how you intend to analyze the data you collected. This could include statistical analysis, thematic analysis, content analysis, etc., depending on the nature of your study.
  • Reliability and Validity : Discuss how you’ve ensured the reliability and validity of your study. For instance, you could discuss measures taken to reduce bias, how you ensured that your measures accurately capture what they were intended to, or how you will handle any limitations in your study.
  • Ethical Considerations : This is where you state how you have considered ethical issues related to your research, how you have protected the participants’ rights, and how you have complied with the relevant ethical guidelines.
  • Limitations : Acknowledge any limitations of your methodology, including any biases and constraints that might have affected your study.
  • Summary : Recap the key points of your methodology chapter, highlighting the overall approach and rationalization of your research.

Types of Dissertation Methodology

The type of methodology you choose for your dissertation will depend on the nature of your research question and the field you’re working in. Here are some of the most common types of methodologies used in dissertations:

Experimental Research

This involves creating an experiment that will test your hypothesis. You’ll need to design an experiment, manipulate variables, collect data, and analyze that data to draw conclusions. This is commonly used in fields like psychology, biology, and physics.

Survey Research

This type of research involves gathering data from a large number of participants using tools like questionnaires or surveys. It can be used to collect a large amount of data and is often used in fields like sociology, marketing, and public health.

Qualitative Research

This type of research is used to explore complex phenomena that can’t be easily quantified. Methods include interviews, focus groups, and observations. This methodology is common in fields like anthropology, sociology, and education.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research uses numerical data to answer research questions. This can include statistical, mathematical, or computational techniques. It’s common in fields like economics, psychology, and health sciences.

Case Study Research

This type of research involves in-depth investigation of a particular case, such as an individual, group, or event. This methodology is often used in psychology, social sciences, and business.

Mixed Methods Research

This combines qualitative and quantitative research methods in a single study. It’s used to answer more complex research questions and is becoming more popular in fields like social sciences, health sciences, and education.

Action Research

This type of research involves taking action and then reflecting upon the results. This cycle of action-reflection-action continues throughout the study. It’s often used in fields like education and organizational development.

Longitudinal Research

This type of research involves studying the same group of individuals over an extended period of time. This could involve surveys, observations, or experiments. It’s common in fields like psychology, sociology, and medicine.

Ethnographic Research

This type of research involves the in-depth study of people and cultures. Researchers immerse themselves in the culture they’re studying to collect data. This is often used in fields like anthropology and social sciences.

Structure of Dissertation Methodology

The structure of a dissertation methodology can vary depending on your field of study, the nature of your research, and the guidelines of your institution. However, a standard structure typically includes the following elements:

  • Introduction : Briefly introduce your overall approach to the research. Explain what you plan to explore and why it’s important.
  • Research Design/Approach : Describe your overall research design. This can be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Explain the rationale behind your chosen design and why it is suitable for your research questions or hypotheses.
  • Data Collection Methods : Detail the methods you used to collect your data. You should include what type of data you collected, how you collected it, and why you chose this method. If relevant, you can also include information about your sample population, such as how many people participated, how they were chosen, and any relevant demographic information.
  • Data Analysis Methods : Explain how you plan to analyze your collected data. This will depend on the nature of your data. For example, if you collected quantitative data, you might discuss statistical analysis techniques. If you collected qualitative data, you might discuss coding strategies, thematic analysis, or narrative analysis.
  • Reliability and Validity : Discuss how you’ve ensured the reliability and validity of your research. This might include steps you took to reduce bias or increase the accuracy of your measurements.
  • Ethical Considerations : If relevant, discuss any ethical issues associated with your research. This might include how you obtained informed consent from participants, how you ensured participants’ privacy and confidentiality, or any potential conflicts of interest.
  • Limitations : Acknowledge any limitations in your research methodology. This could include potential sources of bias, difficulties with data collection, or limitations in your analysis methods.
  • Summary/Conclusion : Briefly summarize the key points of your methodology, emphasizing how it helps answer your research questions or hypotheses.

How to Write Dissertation Methodology

Writing a dissertation methodology requires you to be clear and precise about the way you’ve carried out your research. It’s an opportunity to convince your readers of the appropriateness and reliability of your approach to your research question. Here is a basic guideline on how to write your methodology section:

1. Introduction

Start your methodology section by restating your research question(s) or objective(s). This ensures your methodology directly ties into the aim of your research.

2. Approach

Identify your overall approach: qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Explain why you have chosen this approach.

  • Qualitative methods are typically used for exploratory research and involve collecting non-numerical data. This might involve interviews, observations, or analysis of texts.
  • Quantitative methods are used for research that relies on numerical data. This might involve surveys, experiments, or statistical analysis.
  • Mixed methods use a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

3. Research Design

Describe the overall design of your research. This could involve explaining the type of study (e.g., case study, ethnography, experimental research, etc.), how you’ve defined and measured your variables, and any control measures you’ve implemented.

4. Data Collection

Explain in detail how you collected your data.

  • If you’ve used qualitative methods, you might detail how you selected participants for interviews or focus groups, how you conducted observations, or how you analyzed existing texts.
  • If you’ve used quantitative methods, you might detail how you designed your survey or experiment, how you collected responses, and how you ensured your data is reliable and valid.

5. Data Analysis

Describe how you analyzed your data.

  • If you’re doing qualitative research, this might involve thematic analysis, discourse analysis, or grounded theory.
  • If you’re doing quantitative research, you might be conducting statistical tests, regression analysis, or factor analysis.

Discuss any ethical issues related to your research. This might involve explaining how you obtained informed consent, how you’re protecting participants’ privacy, or how you’re managing any potential harms to participants.

7. Reliability and Validity

Discuss the steps you’ve taken to ensure the reliability and validity of your data.

  • Reliability refers to the consistency of your measurements, and you might discuss how you’ve piloted your instruments or used standardized measures.
  • Validity refers to the accuracy of your measurements, and you might discuss how you’ve ensured your measures reflect the concepts they’re supposed to measure.

8. Limitations

Every study has its limitations. Discuss the potential weaknesses of your chosen methods and explain any obstacles you faced in your research.

9. Conclusion

Summarize the key points of your methodology, emphasizing how it helps to address your research question or objective.

Example of Dissertation Methodology

An Example of Dissertation Methodology is as follows:

Chapter 3: Methodology

  • Introduction

This chapter details the methodology adopted in this research. The study aimed to explore the relationship between stress and productivity in the workplace. A mixed-methods research design was used to collect and analyze data.

Research Design

This study adopted a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative surveys with qualitative interviews to provide a comprehensive understanding of the research problem. The rationale for this approach is that while quantitative data can provide a broad overview of the relationships between variables, qualitative data can provide deeper insights into the nuances of these relationships.

Data Collection Methods

Quantitative Data Collection : An online self-report questionnaire was used to collect data from participants. The questionnaire consisted of two standardized scales: the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to measure stress levels and the Individual Work Productivity Questionnaire (IWPQ) to measure productivity. The sample consisted of 200 office workers randomly selected from various companies in the city.

Qualitative Data Collection : Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants chosen from the initial sample. The interview guide included questions about participants’ experiences with stress and how they perceived its impact on their productivity.

Data Analysis Methods

Quantitative Data Analysis : Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the survey data. Pearson’s correlation was used to examine the relationship between stress and productivity.

Qualitative Data Analysis : Interviews were transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis using NVivo software. This process allowed for identifying and analyzing patterns and themes regarding the impact of stress on productivity.

Reliability and Validity

To ensure reliability and validity, standardized measures with good psychometric properties were used. In qualitative data analysis, triangulation was employed by having two researchers independently analyze the data and then compare findings.

Ethical Considerations

All participants provided informed consent prior to their involvement in the study. They were informed about the purpose of the study, their rights as participants, and the confidentiality of their responses.

Limitations

The main limitation of this study is its reliance on self-report measures, which can be subject to biases such as social desirability bias. Moreover, the sample was drawn from a single city, which may limit the generalizability of the findings.

Where to Write Dissertation Methodology

In a dissertation or thesis, the Methodology section usually follows the Literature Review. This placement allows the Methodology to build upon the theoretical framework and existing research outlined in the Literature Review, and precedes the Results or Findings section. Here’s a basic outline of how most dissertations are structured:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Literature Review (or it may be interspersed throughout the dissertation)
  • Methodology
  • Results/Findings
  • References/Bibliography

In the Methodology chapter, you will discuss the research design, data collection methods, data analysis methods, and any ethical considerations pertaining to your study. This allows your readers to understand how your research was conducted and how you arrived at your results.

Advantages of Dissertation Methodology

The dissertation methodology section plays an important role in a dissertation for several reasons. Here are some of the advantages of having a well-crafted methodology section in your dissertation:

  • Clarifies Your Research Approach : The methodology section explains how you plan to tackle your research question, providing a clear plan for data collection and analysis.
  • Enables Replication : A detailed methodology allows other researchers to replicate your study. Replication is an important aspect of scientific research because it provides validation of the study’s results.
  • Demonstrates Rigor : A well-written methodology shows that you’ve thought critically about your research methods and have chosen the most appropriate ones for your research question. This adds credibility to your study.
  • Enhances Transparency : Detailing your methods allows readers to understand the steps you took in your research. This increases the transparency of your study and allows readers to evaluate potential biases or limitations.
  • Helps in Addressing Research Limitations : In your methodology section, you can acknowledge and explain the limitations of your research. This is important as it shows you understand that no research method is perfect and there are always potential weaknesses.
  • Facilitates Peer Review : A detailed methodology helps peer reviewers assess the soundness of your research design. This is an important part of the publication process if you aim to publish your dissertation in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Establishes the Validity and Reliability : Your methodology section should also include a discussion of the steps you took to ensure the validity and reliability of your measurements, which is crucial for establishing the overall quality of your research.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Delimitations

Delimitations in Research – Types, Examples and...

Research Design

Research Design – Types, Methods and Examples

What is a Hypothesis

What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and...

Dissertation

Dissertation – Format, Example and Template

Dissertation vs Thesis

Dissertation vs Thesis – Key Differences

Ethical Considerations

Ethical Considerations – Types, Examples and...

Grad Coach

How To Write A Research Proposal

A Straightforward How-To Guide (With Examples)

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By: Dr. Eunice Rautenbach | August 2019 (Updated April 2023)

Writing up a strong research proposal for a dissertation or thesis is much like a marriage proposal. It’s a task that calls on you to win somebody over and persuade them that what you’re planning is a great idea. An idea they’re happy to say ‘yes’ to. This means that your dissertation proposal needs to be   persuasive ,   attractive   and well-planned. In this post, I’ll show you how to write a winning dissertation proposal, from scratch.

Before you start:

– Understand exactly what a research proposal is – Ask yourself these 4 questions

The 5 essential ingredients:

  • The title/topic
  • The introduction chapter
  • The scope/delimitations
  • Preliminary literature review
  • Design/ methodology
  • Practical considerations and risks 

What Is A Research Proposal?

The research proposal is literally that: a written document that communicates what you propose to research, in a concise format. It’s where you put all that stuff that’s spinning around in your head down on to paper, in a logical, convincing fashion.

Convincing   is the keyword here, as your research proposal needs to convince the assessor that your research is   clearly articulated   (i.e., a clear research question) ,   worth doing   (i.e., is unique and valuable enough to justify the effort), and   doable   within the restrictions you’ll face (time limits, budget, skill limits, etc.). If your proposal does not address these three criteria, your research won’t be approved, no matter how “exciting” the research idea might be.

PS – if you’re completely new to proposal writing, we’ve got a detailed walkthrough video covering two successful research proposals here . 

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

How do I know I’m ready?

Before starting the writing process, you need to   ask yourself 4 important questions .  If you can’t answer them succinctly and confidently, you’re not ready – you need to go back and think more deeply about your dissertation topic .

You should be able to answer the following 4 questions before starting your dissertation or thesis research proposal:

  • WHAT is my main research question? (the topic)
  • WHO cares and why is this important? (the justification)
  • WHAT data would I need to answer this question, and how will I analyse it? (the research design)
  • HOW will I manage the completion of this research, within the given timelines? (project and risk management)

If you can’t answer these questions clearly and concisely,   you’re not yet ready   to write your research proposal – revisit our   post on choosing a topic .

If you can, that’s great – it’s time to start writing up your dissertation proposal. Next, I’ll discuss what needs to go into your research proposal, and how to structure it all into an intuitive, convincing document with a linear narrative.

The 5 Essential Ingredients

Research proposals can vary in style between institutions and disciplines, but here I’ll share with you a   handy 5-section structure   you can use. These 5 sections directly address the core questions we spoke about earlier, ensuring that you present a convincing proposal. If your institution already provides a proposal template, there will likely be substantial overlap with this, so you’ll still get value from reading on.

For each section discussed below, make sure you use headers and sub-headers (ideally, numbered headers) to help the reader navigate through your document, and to support them when they need to revisit a previous section. Don’t just present an endless wall of text, paragraph after paragraph after paragraph…

Top Tip:   Use MS Word Styles to format headings. This will allow you to be clear about whether a sub-heading is level 2, 3, or 4. Additionally, you can view your document in ‘outline view’ which will show you only your headings. This makes it much easier to check your structure, shift things around and make decisions about where a section needs to sit. You can also generate a 100% accurate table of contents using Word’s automatic functionality.

how to write an aim for a dissertation

Ingredient #1 – Topic/Title Header

Your research proposal’s title should be your main research question in its simplest form, possibly with a sub-heading providing basic details on the specifics of the study. For example:

“Compliance with equality legislation in the charity sector: a study of the ‘reasonable adjustments’ made in three London care homes”

As you can see, this title provides a clear indication of what the research is about, in broad terms. It paints a high-level picture for the first-time reader, which gives them a taste of what to expect.   Always aim for a clear, concise title . Don’t feel the need to capture every detail of your research in your title – your proposal will fill in the gaps.

Need a helping hand?

how to write an aim for a dissertation

Ingredient #2 – Introduction

In this section of your research proposal, you’ll expand on what you’ve communicated in the title, by providing a few paragraphs which offer more detail about your research topic. Importantly, the focus here is the   topic   – what will you research and why is that worth researching? This is not the place to discuss methodology, practicalities, etc. – you’ll do that later.

You should cover the following:

  • An overview of the   broad area   you’ll be researching – introduce the reader to key concepts and language
  • An explanation of the   specific (narrower) area   you’ll be focusing, and why you’ll be focusing there
  • Your research   aims   and   objectives
  • Your   research question (s) and sub-questions (if applicable)

Importantly, you should aim to use short sentences and plain language – don’t babble on with extensive jargon, acronyms and complex language. Assume that the reader is an intelligent layman – not a subject area specialist (even if they are). Remember that the   best writing is writing that can be easily understood   and digested. Keep it simple.

The introduction section serves to expand on the  research topic – what will you study and why is that worth dedicating time and effort to?

Note that some universities may want some extra bits and pieces in your introduction section. For example, personal development objectives, a structural outline, etc. Check your brief to see if there are any other details they expect in your proposal, and make sure you find a place for these.

Ingredient #3 – Scope

Next, you’ll need to specify what the scope of your research will be – this is also known as the delimitations . In other words, you need to make it clear what you will be covering and, more importantly, what you won’t be covering in your research. Simply put, this is about ring fencing your research topic so that you have a laser-sharp focus.

All too often, students feel the need to go broad and try to address as many issues as possible, in the interest of producing comprehensive research. Whilst this is admirable, it’s a mistake. By tightly refining your scope, you’ll enable yourself to   go deep   with your research, which is what you need to earn good marks. If your scope is too broad, you’re likely going to land up with superficial research (which won’t earn marks), so don’t be afraid to narrow things down.

Ingredient #4 – Literature Review

In this section of your research proposal, you need to provide a (relatively) brief discussion of the existing literature. Naturally, this will not be as comprehensive as the literature review in your actual dissertation, but it will lay the foundation for that. In fact, if you put in the effort at this stage, you’ll make your life a lot easier when it’s time to write your actual literature review chapter.

There are a few things you need to achieve in this section:

  • Demonstrate that you’ve done your reading and are   familiar with the current state of the research   in your topic area.
  • Show that   there’s a clear gap   for your specific research – i.e., show that your topic is sufficiently unique and will add value to the existing research.
  • Show how the existing research has shaped your thinking regarding   research design . For example, you might use scales or questionnaires from previous studies.

When you write up your literature review, keep these three objectives front of mind, especially number two (revealing the gap in the literature), so that your literature review has a   clear purpose and direction . Everything you write should be contributing towards one (or more) of these objectives in some way. If it doesn’t, you need to ask yourself whether it’s truly needed.

Top Tip:  Don’t fall into the trap of just describing the main pieces of literature, for example, “A says this, B says that, C also says that…” and so on. Merely describing the literature provides no value. Instead, you need to   synthesise   it, and use it to address the three objectives above.

 If you put in the effort at the proposal stage, you’ll make your life a lot easier when its time to write your actual literature review chapter.

Ingredient #5 – Research Methodology

Now that you’ve clearly explained both your intended research topic (in the introduction) and the existing research it will draw on (in the literature review section), it’s time to get practical and explain exactly how you’ll be carrying out your own research. In other words, your research methodology.

In this section, you’ll need to   answer two critical questions :

  • How   will you design your research? I.e., what research methodology will you adopt, what will your sample be, how will you collect data, etc.
  • Why   have you chosen this design? I.e., why does this approach suit your specific research aims, objectives and questions?

In other words, this is not just about explaining WHAT you’ll be doing, it’s also about explaining WHY. In fact, the   justification is the most important part , because that justification is how you demonstrate a good understanding of research design (which is what assessors want to see).

Some essential design choices you need to cover in your research proposal include:

  • Your intended research philosophy (e.g., positivism, interpretivism or pragmatism )
  • What methodological approach you’ll be taking (e.g., qualitative , quantitative or mixed )
  • The details of your sample (e.g., sample size, who they are, who they represent, etc.)
  • What data you plan to collect (i.e. data about what, in what form?)
  • How you plan to collect it (e.g., surveys , interviews , focus groups, etc.)
  • How you plan to analyse it (e.g., regression analysis, thematic analysis , etc.)
  • Ethical adherence (i.e., does this research satisfy all ethical requirements of your institution, or does it need further approval?)

This list is not exhaustive – these are just some core attributes of research design. Check with your institution what level of detail they expect. The “ research onion ” by Saunders et al (2009) provides a good summary of the various design choices you ultimately need to make – you can   read more about that here .

Don’t forget the practicalities…

In addition to the technical aspects, you will need to address the   practical   side of the project. In other words, you need to explain   what resources you’ll need   (e.g., time, money, access to equipment or software, etc.) and how you intend to secure these resources. You need to show that your project is feasible, so any “make or break” type resources need to already be secured. The success or failure of your project cannot depend on some resource which you’re not yet sure you have access to.

Another part of the practicalities discussion is   project and risk management . In other words, you need to show that you have a clear project plan to tackle your research with. Some key questions to address:

  • What are the timelines for each phase of your project?
  • Are the time allocations reasonable?
  • What happens if something takes longer than anticipated (risk management)?
  • What happens if you don’t get the response rate you expect?

A good way to demonstrate that you’ve thought this through is to include a Gantt chart and a risk register (in the appendix if word count is a problem). With these two tools, you can show that you’ve got a clear, feasible plan, and you’ve thought about and accounted for the potential risks.

Gantt chart

Tip – Be honest about the potential difficulties – but show that you are anticipating solutions and workarounds. This is much more impressive to an assessor than an unrealistically optimistic proposal which does not anticipate any challenges whatsoever.

Final Touches: Read And Simplify

The final step is to edit and proofread your proposal – very carefully. It sounds obvious, but all too often poor editing and proofreading ruin a good proposal. Nothing is more off-putting for an assessor than a poorly edited, typo-strewn document. It sends the message that you either do not pay attention to detail, or just don’t care. Neither of these are good messages. Put the effort into editing and proofreading your proposal (or pay someone to do it for you) – it will pay dividends.

When you’re editing, watch out for ‘academese’. Many students can speak simply, passionately and clearly about their dissertation topic – but become incomprehensible the moment they turn the laptop on. You are not required to write in any kind of special, formal, complex language when you write academic work. Sure, there may be technical terms, jargon specific to your discipline, shorthand terms and so on. But, apart from those,   keep your written language very close to natural spoken language   – just as you would speak in the classroom. Imagine that you are explaining your project plans to your classmates or a family member. Remember, write for the intelligent layman, not the subject matter experts. Plain-language, concise writing is what wins hearts and minds – and marks!

Let’s Recap: Research Proposal 101

And there you have it – how to write your dissertation or thesis research proposal, from the title page to the final proof. Here’s a quick recap of the key takeaways:

  • The purpose of the research proposal is to   convince   – therefore, you need to make a clear, concise argument of why your research is both worth doing and doable.
  • Make sure you can ask the critical what, who, and how questions of your research   before   you put pen to paper.
  • Title – provides the first taste of your research, in broad terms
  • Introduction – explains what you’ll be researching in more detail
  • Scope – explains the boundaries of your research
  • Literature review – explains how your research fits into the existing research and why it’s unique and valuable
  • Research methodology – explains and justifies how you will carry out your own research

Hopefully, this post has helped you better understand how to write up a winning research proposal. If you enjoyed it, be sure to check out the rest of the Grad Coach Blog . If your university doesn’t provide any template for your proposal, you might want to try out our free research proposal template .

Literature Review Course

Psst… there’s more!

This post is an extract from our bestselling short course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

You Might Also Like:

How to write the discussion chapter

30 Comments

Mazwakhe Mkhulisi

Thank you so much for the valuable insight that you have given, especially on the research proposal. That is what I have managed to cover. I still need to go back to the other parts as I got disturbed while still listening to Derek’s audio on you-tube. I am inspired. I will definitely continue with Grad-coach guidance on You-tube.

Derek Jansen

Thanks for the kind words :). All the best with your proposal.

NAVEEN ANANTHARAMAN

First of all, thanks a lot for making such a wonderful presentation. The video was really useful and gave me a very clear insight of how a research proposal has to be written. I shall try implementing these ideas in my RP.

Once again, I thank you for this content.

Bonginkosi Mshengu

I found reading your outline on writing research proposal very beneficial. I wish there was a way of submitting my draft proposal to you guys for critiquing before I submit to the institution.

Hi Bonginkosi

Thank you for the kind words. Yes, we do provide a review service. The best starting point is to have a chat with one of our coaches here: https://gradcoach.com/book/new/ .

Erick Omondi

Hello team GRADCOACH, may God bless you so much. I was totally green in research. Am so happy for your free superb tutorials and resources. Once again thank you so much Derek and his team.

You’re welcome, Erick. Good luck with your research proposal 🙂

ivy

thank you for the information. its precise and on point.

Nighat Nighat Ahsan

Really a remarkable piece of writing and great source of guidance for the researchers. GOD BLESS YOU for your guidance. Regards

Delfina Celeste Danca Rangel

Thanks so much for your guidance. It is easy and comprehensive the way you explain the steps for a winning research proposal.

Desiré Forku

Thank you guys so much for the rich post. I enjoyed and learn from every word in it. My problem now is how to get into your platform wherein I can always seek help on things related to my research work ? Secondly, I wish to find out if there is a way I can send my tentative proposal to you guys for examination before I take to my supervisor Once again thanks very much for the insights

Thanks for your kind words, Desire.

If you are based in a country where Grad Coach’s paid services are available, you can book a consultation by clicking the “Book” button in the top right.

Best of luck with your studies.

Adolph

May God bless you team for the wonderful work you are doing,

If I have a topic, Can I submit it to you so that you can draft a proposal for me?? As I am expecting to go for masters degree in the near future.

Thanks for your comment. We definitely cannot draft a proposal for you, as that would constitute academic misconduct. The proposal needs to be your own work. We can coach you through the process, but it needs to be your own work and your own writing.

Best of luck with your research!

kenate Akuma

I found a lot of many essential concepts from your material. it is real a road map to write a research proposal. so thanks a lot. If there is any update material on your hand on MBA please forward to me.

Ahmed Khalil

GradCoach is a professional website that presents support and helps for MBA student like me through the useful online information on the page and with my 1-on-1 online coaching with the amazing and professional PhD Kerryen.

Thank you Kerryen so much for the support and help 🙂

I really recommend dealing with such a reliable services provider like Gradcoah and a coach like Kerryen.

PINTON OFOSU

Hi, Am happy for your service and effort to help students and researchers, Please, i have been given an assignment on research for strategic development, the task one is to formulate a research proposal to support the strategic development of a business area, my issue here is how to go about it, especially the topic or title and introduction. Please, i would like to know if you could help me and how much is the charge.

Marcos A. López Figueroa

This content is practical, valuable, and just great!

Thank you very much!

Eric Rwigamba

Hi Derek, Thank you for the valuable presentation. It is very helpful especially for beginners like me. I am just starting my PhD.

Hussein EGIELEMAI

This is quite instructive and research proposal made simple. Can I have a research proposal template?

Mathew Yokie Musa

Great! Thanks for rescuing me, because I had no former knowledge in this topic. But with this piece of information, I am now secured. Thank you once more.

Chulekazi Bula

I enjoyed listening to your video on how to write a proposal. I think I will be able to write a winning proposal with your advice. I wish you were to be my supervisor.

Mohammad Ajmal Shirzad

Dear Derek Jansen,

Thank you for your great content. I couldn’t learn these topics in MBA, but now I learned from GradCoach. Really appreciate your efforts….

From Afghanistan!

Mulugeta Yilma

I have got very essential inputs for startup of my dissertation proposal. Well organized properly communicated with video presentation. Thank you for the presentation.

Siphesihle Macu

Wow, this is absolutely amazing guys. Thank you so much for the fruitful presentation, you’ve made my research much easier.

HAWANATU JULLIANA JOSEPH

this helps me a lot. thank you all so much for impacting in us. may god richly bless you all

June Pretzer

How I wish I’d learn about Grad Coach earlier. I’ve been stumbling around writing and rewriting! Now I have concise clear directions on how to put this thing together. Thank you!

Jas

Fantastic!! Thank You for this very concise yet comprehensive guidance.

Fikiru Bekele

Even if I am poor in English I would like to thank you very much.

Rachel Offeibea Nyarko

Thank you very much, this is very insightful.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Print Friendly

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.

AbleSim Project Management Simulations YouTube Channel

AbleSim have a YouTube channel dedicated to work with Project Management Simulations, Masters Dissertation Support and MS Project.

Subscribe to this channel here!

Project Management Training YouTube Channel

Andrew Bell has a YouTube channel dedicated to Project Management Training with over 10 hours of video arranged by 97 videos in 20 playlists.

Follow 🔔 AbleSim 🔔 on twitter @AbleSim

Join the conversation #pmsim

  • Tweets could not be loaded at this time.

Like us on Facebook

On-line Project Management Simulations | AbleSim

  • Privacy Overview
  • Strictly Necessary Cookies
  • 3rd Party Cookies

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible.

Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.

Strictly necessary cookies should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.

If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.

This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.

Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.

Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!

Demo

  • Environment
  • Foreign Policy
  • Health & Healthcare
  • Privacy Policy
  • Sponsored Content & Advertorials

8 Tips for Writing Dissertation Data Analysis to Elevate Your Scholarship

Our Friends

Dissertation data analysis is the process by which researchers interpret findings to drive useful insights. In this way, they can divide the big chunks of results into smaller fragments that make more sense to the reader. It helps to draw evidence-based conclusions and provides the basis for making claims and recommendations. 

Writing up such data analysis is not a skill that someone is born with. You need guidance or practice to meet the standards. If you want to elevate your research skills by writing an exceptional data analysis for your thesis, then consider the guidance provided in this article. Here are the top tips that can help you while you are describing your approach to draw results. If a deeper understanding of the process stresses its complexity, then asking for dissertation help online can take away this academic anxiety. The experts are well aware of the patterns, trends and relationships within the data. So, the write-up can stand out as unique due to the exceptional organizations involved. 

Keep reading to learn the top tips for writing a data analysis chapter in your dissertation. This way, you can stand out in the increasing competition by showcasing your research skills to readers. 

What Is a Data Analysis Dissertation?

Dissertation data analysis is the systematic examination, organization, or interpretation of data from your research findings. The intent is to define patterns to provide a deeper understanding of the qualitative or quantitative results. It addresses the intriguing research question in data analysis dissertations. 

How Do You Write Data Analysis Dissertation? 8 Tips

In presenting data analysis for dissertation, you need to define the statistical test conducted for the process. You will also crack the assumptions underlying these tests, the sample size and how to conclude. Here we will demystify the process of writing the data analysis of your dissertation. These are the expert tips that can assist you in addition to a basic understanding of the process. 

1. The Data Must Be Relevant 

Do not blindly follow all the data collected in the data analysis and findings dissertation. For the data analysis, you will check which part of the data has a close resemblance with your research objectives. The inclusion of irrelevant data will showcase the incoherence of the findings. Ultimately, it can raise questions about your research expertise. 

2. Use Appropriate Methods 

You must use appropriate dissertation data analysis methods to fulfill your aims. These methods need to be justified by providing proper reasoning. Remember that the reader should not feel that you chose your method haphazardly. Rather write in the data analysis chapter dissertation how you find these approaches meaningful. 

3. Make Use of Info Graphics 

It can be difficult to cover large amounts of information within a given word count limit in dissertation data analysis. So, you should use all the possible means to present the data that you collected. Consider using diagrams, graphs, charts, and formulas to provide a unique advantage to the paper. If it seems difficult for you to present your findings in a presentational way, then availing yourself of dissertation writing services UK can be one of the best possible options. These experts can better illustrate the data in a succinate manner that no longer bores the reader with long phrases. 

4. Explain Thoroughly 

Most of the students make this mistake when conducting qualitative data analysis in dissertations. They think that writing a quote is enough for the reader to understand. Remember, a qualitative data analysis dissertation never speaks for itself. You should demonstrate all the areas with a critical perspective so that no ambiguity remains for the reader.  

5. Write Some Data in the Appendix  

It is always scary for the writer to remove long information from dissertation data analysis if it seems irrelevant after proofreading. If you feel unwilling to cut down the long data that you spend hours collecting, then simply shift it to the appendix. Only the most relevant snippet of the information should be part of the dissertation itself. 

The National Academies Press presents a sample of the appendix where questionnaires are used to illustrate the data. 

how to write an aim for a dissertation

6. Consider Various Interpretations 

You will cover this part in the discussion chapter of the data collection and analysis dissertation. Here demonstrate the trends, patterns and themes within the data. Highlight the strengths as well as limitations so that there must not be any bias in the findings. 

7. Relate With Previous Literature 

It is advisable to compare your dissertation data analysis with other academia to highlight the points of agreement and differences. Make sure that your findings are consistent with the previous data or does it create some sort of controversy in the literature? It is important to create this link explicitly. 

8. Seek Professional Help 

Writing a dissertation itself is not a difficult process. A researcher who can go through the complex research process can also perform well in writing those findings. However, the critical analysis of these findings may be challenging. Dissertation data analysis is more than presenting what has been found out after experimentation. 

If including a critical perspective in your writing is difficult for you, ask a dissertation writer to conduct these critiques for you. These experts offer customized assistance tailored to the specific needs of the researcher. 

How Do You Write a Statistical Analysis for A Dissertation?

To write the statistical dissertation data analysis, the below five-step guide can direct you to its effective implementation. 

  • Describe your hypothesis and research design.
  • Data collection. 
  • Summarise your findings and give a descriptive explanation. 
  • Test your hypothesis. 
  • Interpret findings. 

Data Analysis Dissertation Examples

The Bridge Point Education describes the whole dissertation writing process. The dissertation data analysis chapter can be helpful for students struggling with the complexity of it. All the related details, such as what to discuss here and how to align with the research design, are mentioned in side notes as,  

Conclusion 

The dissertation data analysis is one of the most important chapters of your dissertation. It involves the critical evaluation of your results. Consequently, you will tell the reader how the specific methodology and the draw conclusions are sound to be used in your research design. 

The data analysis section of a dissertation is not only essential but also difficult. Many students struggle here as they do not know how to identify the related pattern and organize their thoughts. That is why we presented expert tips to assist the process smoothly. It involves using relevant data, an appropriate approach, a thorough explanation, infographics, an appendix, or relating your findings to previous literature. All of this means contributing to the quality of your paper.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

Our Friends

Our Friends is the by-line for Sponsored Content on DC Report. The content is provided by a sponsoring party to provide information to our readers. Image by kiquebg from Pixabay.

View all posts

Comments are closed.

Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, automatically generate references for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation
  • How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion

How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion | Checklist and Examples

Published on 9 September 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on 10 October 2022.

The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation . It should be concise and engaging, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your main findings, as well as the answer to your research question .

In it, you should:

  • Clearly state the answer to your main research question
  • Summarise and reflect on your research process
  • Make recommendations for future work on your topic
  • Show what new knowledge you have contributed to your field
  • Wrap up your thesis or dissertation

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes.

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Discussion vs. conclusion, how long should your conclusion be, step 1: answer your research question, step 2: summarise and reflect on your research, step 3: make future recommendations, step 4: emphasise your contributions to your field, step 5: wrap up your thesis or dissertation, full conclusion example, conclusion checklist, frequently asked questions about conclusion sections.

While your conclusion contains similar elements to your discussion section , they are not the same thing.

Your conclusion should be shorter and more general than your discussion. Instead of repeating literature from your literature review , discussing specific research results , or interpreting your data in detail, concentrate on making broad statements that sum up the most important insights of your research.

As a rule of thumb, your conclusion should not introduce new data, interpretations, or arguments.

The only proofreading tool specialized in correcting academic writing

The academic proofreading tool has been trained on 1000s of academic texts and by native English editors. Making it the most accurate and reliable proofreading tool for students.

how to write an aim for a dissertation

Correct my document today

Depending on whether you are writing a thesis or dissertation, your length will vary. Generally, a conclusion should make up around 5–7% of your overall word count.

An empirical scientific study will often have a short conclusion, concisely stating the main findings and recommendations for future research. A humanities topic or systematic review , on the other hand, might require more space to conclude its analysis, tying all the previous sections together in an overall argument.

Your conclusion should begin with the main question that your thesis or dissertation aimed to address. This is your final chance to show that you’ve done what you set out to do, so make sure to formulate a clear, concise answer.

  • Don’t repeat a list of all the results that you already discussed
  • Do synthesise them into a final takeaway that the reader will remember.

An empirical thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

A case study –based thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

In the second example, the research aim is not directly restated, but rather added implicitly to the statement. To avoid repeating yourself, it is helpful to reformulate your aims and questions into an overall statement of what you did and how you did it.

Your conclusion is an opportunity to remind your reader why you took the approach you did, what you expected to find, and how well the results matched your expectations.

To avoid repetition , consider writing more reflectively here, rather than just writing a summary of each preceding section. Consider mentioning the effectiveness of your methodology , or perhaps any new questions or unexpected insights that arose in the process.

You can also mention any limitations of your research, but only if you haven’t already included these in the discussion. Don’t dwell on them at length, though – focus on the positives of your work.

  • While x limits the generalisability of the results, this approach provides new insight into y .
  • This research clearly illustrates x , but it also raises the question of y .

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

You may already have made a few recommendations for future research in your discussion section, but the conclusion is a good place to elaborate and look ahead, considering the implications of your findings in both theoretical and practical terms.

  • Based on these conclusions, practitioners should consider …
  • To better understand the implications of these results, future studies could address …
  • Further research is needed to determine the causes of/effects of/relationship between …

When making recommendations for further research, be sure not to undermine your own work. Relatedly, while future studies might confirm, build on, or enrich your conclusions, they shouldn’t be required for your argument to feel complete. Your work should stand alone on its own merits.

Just as you should avoid too much self-criticism, you should also avoid exaggerating the applicability of your research. If you’re making recommendations for policy, business, or other practical implementations, it’s generally best to frame them as ‘shoulds’ rather than ‘musts’. All in all, the purpose of academic research is to inform, explain, and explore – not to demand.

Make sure your reader is left with a strong impression of what your research has contributed to the state of your field.

Some strategies to achieve this include:

  • Returning to your problem statement to explain how your research helps solve the problem
  • Referring back to the literature review and showing how you have addressed a gap in knowledge
  • Discussing how your findings confirm or challenge an existing theory or assumption

Again, avoid simply repeating what you’ve already covered in the discussion in your conclusion. Instead, pick out the most important points and sum them up succinctly, situating your project in a broader context.

The end is near! Once you’ve finished writing your conclusion, it’s time to wrap up your thesis or dissertation with a few final steps:

  • It’s a good idea to write your abstract next, while the research is still fresh in your mind.
  • Next, make sure your reference list is complete and correctly formatted. To speed up the process, you can use our free APA citation generator .
  • Once you’ve added any appendices , you can create a table of contents and title page .
  • Finally, read through the whole document again to make sure your thesis is clearly written and free from language errors. You can proofread it yourself , ask a friend, or consider Scribbr’s proofreading and editing service .

Here is an example of how you can write your conclusion section. Notice how it includes everything mentioned above:

V. Conclusion

The current research aimed to identify acoustic speech characteristics which mark the beginning of an exacerbation in COPD patients.

The central questions for this research were as follows: 1. Which acoustic measures extracted from read speech differ between COPD speakers in stable condition and healthy speakers? 2. In what ways does the speech of COPD patients during an exacerbation differ from speech of COPD patients during stable periods?

All recordings were aligned using a script. Subsequently, they were manually annotated to indicate respiratory actions such as inhaling and exhaling. The recordings of 9 stable COPD patients reading aloud were then compared with the recordings of 5 healthy control subjects reading aloud. The results showed a significant effect of condition on the number of in- and exhalations per syllable, the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable, and the ratio of voiced and silence intervals. The number of in- and exhalations per syllable and the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable were higher for COPD patients than for healthy controls, which confirmed both hypotheses.

However, the higher ratio of voiced and silence intervals for COPD patients compared to healthy controls was not in line with the hypotheses. This unpredicted result might have been caused by the different reading materials or recording procedures for both groups, or by a difference in reading skills. Moreover, there was a trend regarding the effect of condition on the number of syllables per breath group. The number of syllables per breath group was higher for healthy controls than for COPD patients, which was in line with the hypothesis. There was no effect of condition on pitch, intensity, center of gravity, pitch variability, speaking rate, or articulation rate.

This research has shown that the speech of COPD patients in exacerbation differs from the speech of COPD patients in stable condition. This might have potential for the detection of exacerbations. However, sustained vowels rarely occur in spontaneous speech. Therefore, the last two outcome measures might have greater potential for the detection of beginning exacerbations, but further research on the different outcome measures and their potential for the detection of exacerbations is needed due to the limitations of the current study.

Checklist: Conclusion

I have clearly and concisely answered the main research question .

I have summarized my overall argument or key takeaways.

I have mentioned any important limitations of the research.

I have given relevant recommendations .

I have clearly explained what my research has contributed to my field.

I have  not introduced any new data or arguments.

You've written a great conclusion! Use the other checklists to further improve your dissertation.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5-7% of your overall word count.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

  • A restatement of your research question
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or results
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

George, T. & McCombes, S. (2022, October 10). How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion | Checklist and Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 29 April 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/conclusion/

Is this article helpful?

Tegan George

Tegan George

Other students also liked, how to write a thesis or dissertation introduction, how to write a discussion section | tips & examples, how to write an abstract | steps & examples.

IMAGES

  1. How to Write the Aims and Objectives

    how to write an aim for a dissertation

  2. Research aims and objectives dissertation writing

    how to write an aim for a dissertation

  3. Aims and Objectives

    how to write an aim for a dissertation

  4. Research Aim and Objectives

    how to write an aim for a dissertation

  5. Dissertation Writing an introduction aim and objectives

    how to write an aim for a dissertation

  6. How to Write Dissertation Aims and Objectives?

    how to write an aim for a dissertation

VIDEO

  1. How To Write Aims And Objectives For Your Research Project, Dissertation or Thesis

  2. How to Write Research Aims and Objectives?

  3. Aims and Objectives for Masters Dissertations

  4. How to write Research Aim, Objectives, Questions and hypotheses

  5. How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis

  6. How To Write A Research Proposal For A Dissertation Or Thesis (With Examples)

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write the Aims and Objectives

    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.

  2. Aims and Objectives

    Summary. 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 ...

  3. Research Questions, Objectives & Aims (+ Examples)

    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 ...

  4. Research Objectives

    How to write research aims and objectives. Once you've established a research problem you want to address, you need to decide how you will address it. This is where your research aim and objectives come in. Step 1: Decide on a general aim. Your research aim should reflect your research problem and should be relatively broad.

  5. How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

    Table of contents. Step 1: Coming up with an idea. Step 2: Presenting your idea in the introduction. Step 3: Exploring related research in the literature review. Step 4: Describing your methodology. Step 5: Outlining the potential implications of your research. Step 6: Creating a reference list or bibliography.

  6. How To Write A Dissertation Introduction Chapter

    Craft an enticing and engaging opening section. Provide a background and context to the study. Clearly define the research problem. State your research aims, objectives and questions. Explain the significance of your study. Identify the limitations of your research. Outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis.

  7. Dissertation Structure & Layout 101 (+ Examples)

    Time to recap…. And there you have it - the traditional dissertation structure and layout, from A-Z. To recap, the core structure for a dissertation or thesis is (typically) as follows: Title page. Acknowledgments page. Abstract (or executive summary) Table of contents, list of figures and tables.

  8. How to Write Aims and Objectives for PhD Dissertation?

    Introduction. In a PhD or Post Graduate dissertation, the aims and objectives play a crucial role in shaping the research process and ensuring focus. They provide a clear roadmap for your study and serve as the guiding principles that steer your research in the right direction. Aims represent the broader purpose or the overarching goal of your ...

  9. How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal

    When starting your thesis or dissertation process, one of the first requirements is a research proposal or a prospectus. It describes what or who you want to examine, delving into why, when, where, and how you will do so, stemming from your research question and a relevant topic. The proposal or prospectus stage is crucial for the development ...

  10. How to Write a Dissertation

    The structure of a dissertation depends on your field, but it is usually divided into at least four or five chapters (including an introduction and conclusion chapter). The most common dissertation structure in the sciences and social sciences includes: An introduction to your topic. A literature review that surveys relevant sources.

  11. What Is a Research Methodology?

    Revised on 10 October 2022. Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research.

  12. What Is a Dissertation?

    A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program. Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you've ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating ...

  13. How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis

    Craft a convincing dissertation or thesis research proposal. Write a clear, compelling introduction chapter. Undertake a thorough review of the existing research and write up a literature review. Undertake your own research. Present and interpret your findings. Draw a conclusion and discuss the implications.

  14. Dissertation Methodology

    Writing a dissertation methodology requires you to be clear and precise about the way you've carried out your research. It's an opportunity to convince your readers of the appropriateness and reliability of your approach to your research question. ... This ensures your methodology directly ties into the aim of your research. 2. Approach ...

  15. 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.

  16. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

  17. How To Write A Research Proposal (With Examples)

    Make sure you can ask the critical what, who, and how questions of your research before you put pen to paper. Your research proposal should include (at least) 5 essential components : Title - provides the first taste of your research, in broad terms. Introduction - explains what you'll be researching in more detail.

  18. Aims and Objectives for Master's Dissertations

    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 ...

  19. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

  20. Advice to faculty who are chairing their first dissertation (opinion)

    Decide, if in a co-chairing situation, who should be the first point of contact. Engaging in this conversation with your advisee shows that you are human and understand that, as two busy people, you can figure out how to work together. While it's important to have this discussion at the beginning of the dissertation process, you should ...

  21. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough. Note.

  22. 8 Tips for Writing Dissertation Data Analysis

    Here we will demystify the process of writing the data analysis of your dissertation. These are the expert tips that can assist you in addition to a basic understanding of the process. 1. The Data Must Be Relevant. Do not blindly follow all the data collected in the data analysis and findings dissertation. For the data analysis, you will check ...

  23. How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

    Step 5: Wrap up your thesis or dissertation. The end is near! Once you've finished writing your conclusion, it's time to wrap up your thesis or dissertation with a few final steps: It's a good idea to write your abstract next, while the research is still fresh in your mind. Next, make sure your reference list is complete and correctly ...

  24. How to Write a Discussion Section

    Table of contents. What not to include in your discussion section. Step 1: Summarize your key findings. Step 2: Give your interpretations. Step 3: Discuss the implications. Step 4: Acknowledge the limitations. Step 5: Share your recommendations. Discussion section example. Other interesting articles.