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Home » Research Proposal Writing Guide » 1.3 Research Objectives and Research Questions
Sep
18

A good research problem is that which generates a number of other research questions or objectives. After stating the research problem, you should go ahead to generated research questions or objectives. You may choose to use either research questions or objectives especially if they are referring to one and the same phenomenon.

Research questions refer to questions, which the researcher would like to be answered by carrying out the proposed study. The only difference between research questions and objectives is that research questions are stated in a question form while objectives are stated in a statement form. For an objective to be good, it should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

The importance of research objectives lies in the fact that they determine:

  • The kind of questions to be asked. In other words, research questions are derived from the objectives.
  • The data collection and analysis procedure to be used. Data collection tools are developed from the research objectives.
  • The design of the proposed study. Various research designs have different research objectives.

Using the study on teacher parental-parental factors affecting the students’ performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality as an example, you may state your research specific research objectives  as follows:

  • To find out the teacher factors influencing the students’ academic performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality?
  • To find out the parental factors influencing the students’ academic performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality?
  • To determine the extent to which teacher/parental factors affect the students’ academic performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality
  • To find out what measures can be put in place to improve the students’ academic performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality

Research Questions:

From the aforementioned research objectives, the following research questions can be stated:

  • What are the teachers factors influencing the students’ academic performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality?
  • What are the parental factors influencing the students’ academic performance in private secondary Schools in Embu Municipality?
  • To what extent do teacher/parental factors affect the students’ academic performance in private secondary Schools in Embu Municipality?
  • What measures can be put in place to improve students’ academic performance in private secondary schools in Embu Municipality?

Note that you can choose to use either research objectives or the research questions if they are the same as it is in the given examples. But in the situation where you derive two or more research questions from one objective, you can use both research objectives and research questions in your proposed study. Read more…

By Anthony M. Wanjohi

 

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