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The Purpose of the Study should b e a clear and accurate statement of the scientific purpose/objectives of the research.
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Purpose of the Study
The Purpose of the Study statement helps the subject assess the importance of the study relative to individual values. The statement should include not only the immediate purpose of the study, but also any larger, eventual purpose.
The Purpose of the Study portion of the Consent Form should not reflect a potential benefit to the subject or be directed toward the subject in any way. For example, “the purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of exercise A to exercise B as a method that can be used to increase quadriceps muscle” is acceptable. However, a statement, “the purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of exercise A to exercise B as a method that can be used to increase your quadriceps muscle” is unacceptable.
If the study involves deception or the withholding of information as a necessary and justifiable research strategy, the Purpose of the Study statement should be written in such a way whereby the least possible deception and/or withholding of information occurs.
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Purpose of the Study: Common Errors in Writing Your Purpose Statement
The Purpose of the Study is perhaps the single most important sentence in your dissertation. In conjunction with the Problem Statement, it guides the focus of your research. Your research questions, methodology, and data analysis are all guided by the purpose of the study.
The “Purpose of the Study” section consists of a few short paragraphs describing, aptly, the purpose of your study. Within this section is the “Purpose Statement,” which is a single sentence.
It’s the distillation of your study’s purpose, and that particular sentence will show up again and again in your paper. It generally includes (a) the research paradigm, (b) the intent of the study (such as describe, develop, explore, etc.), and (c) the phenomenon of interest.
It’s also a sentence that many students struggle with, and find themselves revising multiple times before it’s finally accepted. My goal here is to give you all the information you need to create a stellar purpose statement the first time around.
Purpose of the Study in a Single Sentence
Your purpose statement distills the purpose of your study into a single sentence. It indicates the study’s method and overarching goal. This sentence is contained in the “Purpose of the Study” section. It should be a logical, explicit research response to the stated problem (more on that later).
Elements of the Purpose Statement:
Include the following elements in your purpose statement:
- Identify the research method (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method. Usually this is as simple as saying, “the purpose of this qualitative study is…”).
- The stated purpose reflects the research questions (make sure to identify variables/constructs and the central phenomenon/concept/idea).
- Clearly state the research design.
- Ensure the purpose (as well as the method/design) is aligned with the problem statement.
- Identify participants or other data sources.
- Identify the geographic location of study (when relevant).
Purpose of the Study Template
For Qualitative Studies
The purpose of this quantitative study is to ___[describe, compare, explore, or develop] ____ [describe the study goal that directly reflects and encompasses the research questions] in [describe the population or data source and geographic location]. [Brief overview of how, with what instruments/data, with whom, and where]
For Quantitative Studies:
The purpose of this quantitative study is to ___[describe, compare, correlate, explore, or develop] ____ [describe the study goal that directly reflects and encompasses the research questions] in [describe the population or data source and geographic location]. [State the independent, dependent, and covariate variables]. [Brief overview of how, with what instruments/data, with whom, and where]
How Long Should the Purpose of the Study Section Be?
Speaking with a Dissertation Chair about the Purpose of the Study section, he said simply, “Don’t make it too long. State the purpose and go onto something else.” That’s good advice.
Treat dissertation sections like testifying in court (anything you say can and will be used against you by your committee). If you’re asked, “Do you know what time it is?” the correct answer is “yes” or “no,” not “Oh yes, it’s 11:30 and I have a meeting with Charlie in half an hour.”
Similarly, in the Statement of the Purpose section, just give the purpose, whatever is required by your university’s template, and not much else. This can be accomplished within a few pages at most.
Aligning the Purpose of the Study With the Rest of Your Paper
Keeping your paper in alignment is an extraordinarily important part of writing your dissertation. What this means is that your Problem Statement, Purpose Statement, and Research Questions all say essentially the same thing (just with different wording).
Aligning the Purpose Statement with the Problem Statement
Your problem statement should have two parts–a General Problem and a Specific Problem. The general problem is an overarching view of the problem you’re looking to address–this is what you would tell a curious person asking what you’re studying. The Specific Problem is always a gap in research. “The specific problem is that ___ is not known.”
The language that you use to fill in the blank is the same language you should use for the purpose statement.
Problem : “The problem is that x isn’t known”
Purpose : “The purpose is to find x out”
- The problem is that we don’t know what factors influence parent involvement in schools.
- The purpose is to determine the factors that determine parent involvement in schools.
- The problem is that we don’t know the impact of Covid-19 unemployment on stock prices.
- The purpose is to determine the impact of Covid-19 unemployment on stock prices.
The professor I interviewed said, “Your committee wants to see you being consistent. ‘My problem is x. My purpose is to explore the problem.’ Period. Don’t have more than one purpose, and don’t stray from your problem statement.”
Aligning the Purpose Statement with the Research Questions
The research questions should arise directly from the purpose statement. For example:
What factors do parents report impact their involvement in schools?
To what degree is there a significant relationship between Covid-19 unemployment and stock prices?
There could be additional research questions for each of these studies, but you get the idea: ensure that your research question arises from the purpose statement and the purpose statement arises from the problem statement. These steps create the foundation of your study, and doing it this way will ensure there is alignment.
Mistakes People Make When Writing Their Purpose Statement
- Writing the purpose statement apart from their problem statement, so the purpose doesn’t directly relate to the problem.
- Trying to take on too much in one study — too big a problem to study while you’re paying tuition. (Save those larger studies for when you’re being paid.)
- Trying to be creative with wording and thereby veering away from the problem statement.
- Creating multiple purpose statements.
In short, you’re trying to find information that will help your field better understand a problem that’s important to you. Your job in your dissertation is to address the problem, and your purpose statement will tell us that.
Nicholas Tippins is the Founder & Executive Director of My Dissertation Editor. He has edited more dissertations than he can count. When not managing his business, he can be found playing the guitar or wandering around in the woods.
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How to Finish Your Dissertation in Half the Time
Learn how to avoid the pitfalls preventing you from finishing your dissertation faster.
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- Common Errors
- Dissertation Success
- Quantitative Analysis
- Surviving Grad School
“How to Finish Your Dissertation in Half the Time”
- Introduction for Types of Dissertations
- Overview of the Dissertation
- Self-Assessment Exercise
- What is a Dissertation Committee
- Different Types of Dissertations
- Introduction for Overview of the Dissertation Process
- Responsibilities: the Chair, the Team and You
- Sorting Exercise
- Stages of a Dissertation
- Managing Your Time
- Create Your Own Timeline
- Working with a Writing Partner
- Key Deadlines
- Self Assessment Exercise
- Additional Resources
- Purpose and Goals
- Read and Evaluate Chapter 1 Exemplars
- Draft an Introduction of the Study
- Outline the Background of the Problem
- Draft your Statement of the Problem
- Draft your Purpose of the Study
- Draft your Significance of the Study
- List the Possible Limitations and Delimitations
- Explicate the Definition of Terms
- Outline the Organization of the Study
- Recommended Resources and Readings
- Purpose of the Literature Review
- What is the Literature?
- Article Summary Table
- Writing a Short Literature Review
- Outline for Literature Review
- Synthesizing the Literature Review
- Purpose of the Methodology Chapter
- Topics to Include
- Preparing to Write the Methodology Chapter
- Building the Components for Chapter Three
- Preparing for Your Qualifying Exam (aka Proposal Defense)
- What is Needed for Your Proposal Defense?
- Submitting Your Best Draft
- Preparing Your Abstract for IRB
- Use of Self-Assessment
- Preparing Your PowerPoint
- During Your Proposal Defense
- After Your Proposal Defense
- Pre-observation – Issues to consider
- During Observations
- Wrapping Up
- Recommended Resources and Readings (Qualitative)
- Quantitative Data Collection
- Recommended Resources and Readings (Quantitative)
- Qualitative: Before you Start
- Qualitative: During Analysis
- Qualitative: After Analysis
- Qualitative: Recommended Resources and Readings
- Quantitative: Deciding on the Right Analysis
- Quantitative: Data Management and Cleaning
- Quantitative: Keep Track of your Analysis
- The Purpose of Chapter 4
- The Elements of Chapter 4
- Presenting Results (Quantitative)
- Presenting Findings (Qualitative)
- Chapter 4 Considerations
- The Purpose of Chapter 5
- Preparing Your Abstract for the Graduate School
- Draft the Introduction for Chapter 5
- Draft the Summary of Findings
- Draft Implications for Practice
- Draft your Recommendations for Research
- Draft your Conclusions
- What is Needed
- What Happens During the Final Defense?
- What Happens After the Final Defense?
Draft your Purpose of the Study Topic 3: Background and Introduction
- Broadly, a component of the purpose of the study is to describe what the study will do and should include reference to the areas defined in the statement of the problem.
- Generally, a component of the purpose of the study is to provide a discussion of how the various areas are interrelated as well as serve to generate research questions that arise as a result of examining the discrete areas of the literature on the problem.
- What are Research Questions (RQ)?
- How do the RQs address the focus of your research problem?
- What will the study do ?
- How will you conduct your study? Will you make comparisons? Will you do something else?
- What theory and/or model will you use to explain why things happen?
- What is the influence of television on teenage behavior?
- What aspects of TV would we examine? Sitcoms, dramas, commercials, soap operas, public TV, cable, movies of the week, and etc.?
- What demographic of teenager? 13-15? Rural? Urban? Suburban? Ethnicity? Socioeconomic status?
- What about behavior? In school? Home? Both? In society? Positive behaviors? Negative behaviors?
- What is the influence of cable TV dramas that depict violence and urban teenage boys compliance with school rules?
- Chapter 1: Home
- Narrowing Your Topic
- Problem Statement
Purpose Statement Overview
Best practices for writing your purpose statement, writing your purpose statement, sample purpose statements.
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Jump to DSE Guide
The purpose statement succinctly explains (on no more than 1 page) the objectives of the research study. These objectives must directly address the problem and help close the stated gap. Expressed as a formula:
Good purpose statements:
- Flow from the problem statement and actually address the proposed problem
- Are concise and clear
- Answer the question ‘Why are you doing this research?’
- Match the methodology (similar to research questions)
- Have a ‘hook’ to get the reader’s attention
- Set the stage by clearly stating, “The purpose of this (qualitative or quantitative) study is to ...
In PhD studies, the purpose usually involves applying a theory to solve the problem. In other words, the purpose tells the reader what the goal of the study is, and what your study will accomplish, through which theoretical lens. The purpose statement also includes brief information about direction, scope, and where the data will come from.
A problem and gap in combination can lead to different research objectives, and hence, different purpose statements. In the example from above where the problem was severe underrepresentation of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies and the identified gap related to lack of research of male-dominated boards; one purpose might be to explore implicit biases in male-dominated boards through the lens of feminist theory. Another purpose may be to determine how board members rated female and male candidates on scales of competency, professionalism, and experience to predict which candidate will be selected for the CEO position. The first purpose may involve a qualitative ethnographic study in which the researcher observes board meetings and hiring interviews; the second may involve a quantitative regression analysis. The outcomes will be very different, so it’s important that you find out exactly how you want to address a problem and help close a gap!
The purpose of the study must not only align with the problem and address a gap; it must also align with the chosen research method. In fact, the DP/DM template requires you to name the research method at the very beginning of the purpose statement. The research verb must match the chosen method. In general, quantitative studies involve “closed-ended” research verbs such as determine , measure , correlate , explain , compare , validate , identify , or examine ; whereas qualitative studies involve “open-ended” research verbs such as explore , understand , narrate , articulate [meanings], discover , or develop .
A qualitative purpose statement following the color-coded problem statement (assumed here to be low well-being among financial sector employees) + gap (lack of research on followers of mid-level managers), might start like this:
In response to declining levels of employee well-being, the purpose of the qualitative phenomenology was to explore and understand the lived experiences related to the well-being of the followers of novice mid-level managers in the financial services industry. The levels of follower well-being have been shown to correlate to employee morale, turnover intention, and customer orientation (Eren et al., 2013). A combined framework of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory and the employee well-being concept informed the research questions and supported the inquiry, analysis, and interpretation of the experiences of followers of novice managers in the financial services industry.
A quantitative purpose statement for the same problem and gap might start like this:
In response to declining levels of employee well-being, the purpose of the quantitative correlational study was to determine which leadership factors predict employee well-being of the followers of novice mid-level managers in the financial services industry. Leadership factors were measured by the Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) assessment framework by Mantlekow (2015), and employee well-being was conceptualized as a compound variable consisting of self-reported turnover-intent and psychological test scores from the Mental Health Survey (MHS) developed by Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Both of these purpose statements reflect viable research strategies and both align with the problem and gap so it’s up to the researcher to design a study in a manner that reflects personal preferences and desired study outcomes. Note that the quantitative research purpose incorporates operationalized concepts or variables ; that reflect the way the researcher intends to measure the key concepts under study; whereas the qualitative purpose statement isn’t about translating the concepts under study as variables but instead aim to explore and understand the core research phenomenon.
Always keep in mind that the dissertation process is iterative, and your writing, over time, will be refined as clarity is gradually achieved. Most of the time, greater clarity for the purpose statement and other components of the Dissertation is the result of a growing understanding of the literature in the field. As you increasingly master the literature you will also increasingly clarify the purpose of your study.
The purpose statement should flow directly from the problem statement. There should be clear and obvious alignment between the two and that alignment will get tighter and more pronounced as your work progresses.
The purpose statement should specifically address the reason for conducting the study, with emphasis on the word specifically. There should not be any doubt in your readers’ minds as to the purpose of your study. To achieve this level of clarity you will need to also insure there is no doubt in your mind as to the purpose of your study.
Many researchers benefit from stopping your work during the research process when insight strikes you and write about it while it is still fresh in your mind. This can help you clarify all aspects of a dissertation, including clarifying its purpose.
Your Chair and your committee members can help you to clarify your study’s purpose so carefully attend to any feedback they offer.
The purpose statement should reflect the research questions and vice versa. The chain of alignment that began with the research problem description and continues on to the research purpose, research questions, and methodology must be respected at all times during dissertation development. You are to succinctly describe the overarching goal of the study that reflects the research questions. Each research question narrows and focuses the purpose statement. Conversely, the purpose statement encompasses all of the research questions.
Identify in the purpose statement the research method as quantitative, qualitative or mixed (i.e., “The purpose of this [qualitative/quantitative/mixed] study is to ...)
Avoid the use of the phrase “research study” since the two words together are redundant.
Follow the initial declaration of purpose with a brief overview of how, with what instruments/data, with whom and where (as applicable) the study will be conducted. Identify variables/constructs and/or phenomenon/concept/idea. Since this section is to be a concise paragraph, emphasis must be placed on the word brief. However, adding these details will give your readers a very clear picture of the purpose of your research.
Developing the purpose section of your dissertation is usually not achieved in a single flash of insight. The process involves a great deal of reading to find out what other scholars have done to address the research topic and problem you have identified. The purpose section of your dissertation could well be the most important paragraph you write during your academic career, and every word should be carefully selected. Think of it as the DNA of your dissertation. Everything else you write should emerge directly and clearly from your purpose statement. In turn, your purpose statement should emerge directly and clearly from your research problem description. It is good practice to print out your problem statement and purpose statement and keep them in front of you as you work on each part of your dissertation in order to insure alignment.
It is helpful to collect several dissertations similar to the one you envision creating. Extract the problem descriptions and purpose statements of other dissertation authors and compare them in order to sharpen your thinking about your own work. Comparing how other dissertation authors have handled the many challenges you are facing can be an invaluable exercise. Keep in mind that individual universities use their own tailored protocols for presenting key components of the dissertation so your review of these purpose statements should focus on content rather than form.
Once your purpose statement is set it must be consistently presented throughout the dissertation. This may require some recursive editing because the way you articulate your purpose may evolve as you work on various aspects of your dissertation. Whenever you make an adjustment to your purpose statement you should carefully follow up on the editing and conceptual ramifications throughout the entire document.
In establishing your purpose you should NOT advocate for a particular outcome. Research should be done to answer questions not prove a point. As a researcher, you are to inquire with an open mind, and even when you come to the work with clear assumptions, your job is to prove the validity of the conclusions reached. For example, you would not say the purpose of your research project is to demonstrate that there is a relationship between two variables. Such a statement presupposes you know the answer before your research is conducted and promotes or supports (advocates on behalf of) a particular outcome. A more appropriate purpose statement would be to examine or explore the relationship between two variables.
Your purpose statement should not imply that you are going to prove something. You may be surprised to learn that we cannot prove anything in scholarly research for two reasons. First, in quantitative analyses, statistical tests calculate the probability that something is true rather than establishing it as true. Second, in qualitative research, the study can only purport to describe what is occurring from the perspective of the participants. Whether or not the phenomenon they are describing is true in a larger context is not knowable. We cannot observe the phenomenon in all settings and in all circumstances.
It is important to distinguish in your mind the differences between the Problem Statement and Purpose Statement.
The Problem Statement is why I am doing the research
The Purpose Statement is what type of research I am doing to fit or address the problem
The Purpose Statement includes:
- Method of Study
- Specific Population
Remember, as you are contemplating what to include in your purpose statement and then when you are writing it, the purpose statement is a concise paragraph that describes the intent of the study, and it should flow directly from the problem statement. It should specifically address the reason for conducting the study, and reflect the research questions. Further, it should identify the research method as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed. Then provide a brief overview of how the study will be conducted, with what instruments/data collection methods, and with whom (subjects) and where (as applicable). Finally, you should identify variables/constructs and/or phenomenon/concept/idea.
Qualitative Purpose Statement
Creswell (2002) suggested for writing purpose statements in qualitative research include using deliberate phrasing to alert the reader to the purpose statement. Verbs that indicate what will take place in the research and the use of non-directional language that do not suggest an outcome are key. A purpose statement should focus on a single idea or concept, with a broad definition of the idea or concept. How the concept was investigated should also be included, as well as participants in the study and locations for the research to give the reader a sense of with whom and where the study took place.
Creswell (2003) advised the following script for purpose statements in qualitative research:
“The purpose of this qualitative_________________ (strategy of inquiry, such as ethnography, case study, or other type) study is (was? will be?) to ________________ (understand? describe? develop? discover?) the _________________(central phenomenon being studied) for ______________ (the participants, such as the individual, groups, organization) at __________(research site). At this stage in the research, the __________ (central phenomenon being studied) will be generally defined as ___________________ (provide a general definition)” (pg. 90).
Quantitative Purpose Statement
Creswell (2003) offers vast differences between the purpose statements written for qualitative research and those written for quantitative research, particularly with respect to language and the inclusion of variables. The comparison of variables is often a focus of quantitative research, with the variables distinguishable by either the temporal order or how they are measured. As with qualitative research purpose statements, Creswell (2003) recommends the use of deliberate language to alert the reader to the purpose of the study, but quantitative purpose statements also include the theory or conceptual framework guiding the study and the variables that are being studied and how they are related.
Creswell (2003) suggests the following script for drafting purpose statements in quantitative research:
“The purpose of this _____________________ (experiment? survey?) study is (was? will be?) to test the theory of _________________that _________________ (compares? relates?) the ___________(independent variable) to _________________________(dependent variable), controlling for _______________________ (control variables) for ___________________ (participants) at _________________________ (the research site). The independent variable(s) _____________________ will be generally defined as _______________________ (provide a general definition). The dependent variable(s) will be generally defined as _____________________ (provide a general definition), and the control and intervening variables(s), _________________ (identify the control and intervening variables) will be statistically controlled in this study” (pg. 97).
- The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine how participation in service-learning in an alternative school impacted students academically, civically, and personally. There is ample evidence demonstrating the failure of schools for students at-risk; however, there is still a need to demonstrate why these students are successful in non-traditional educational programs like the service-learning model used at TDS. This study was unique in that it examined one alternative school’s approach to service-learning in a setting where students not only serve, but faculty serve as volunteer teachers. The use of a constructivist approach in service-learning in an alternative school setting was examined in an effort to determine whether service-learning participation contributes positively to academic, personal, and civic gain for students, and to examine student and teacher views regarding the overall outcomes of service-learning. This study was completed using an ethnographic approach that included observations, content analysis, and interviews with teachers at The David School.
- The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental cross-sectional linear multiple regression design was to investigate the relationship among early childhood teachers’ self-reported assessment of multicultural awareness as measured by responses from the Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS) and supervisors’ observed assessment of teachers’ multicultural competency skills as measured by the Multicultural Teaching Competency Scale (MTCS) survey. Demographic data such as number of multicultural training hours, years teaching in Dubai, curriculum program at current school, and age were also examined and their relationship to multicultural teaching competency. The study took place in the emirate of Dubai where there were 14,333 expatriate teachers employed in private schools (KHDA, 2013b).
- The purpose of this quantitative, non-experimental study is to examine the degree to which stages of change, gender, acculturation level and trauma types predicts the reluctance of Arab refugees, aged 18 and over, in the Dearborn, MI area, to seek professional help for their mental health needs. This study will utilize four instruments to measure these variables: University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA: DiClemente & Hughes, 1990); Cumulative Trauma Scale (Kira, 2012); Acculturation Rating Scale for Arabic Americans-II Arabic and English (ARSAA-IIA, ARSAA-IIE: Jadalla & Lee, 2013), and a demographic survey. This study will examine 1) the relationship between stages of change, gender, acculturation levels, and trauma types and Arab refugees’ help-seeking behavior, 2) the degree to which any of these variables can predict Arab refugee help-seeking behavior. Additionally, the outcome of this study could provide researchers and clinicians with a stage-based model, TTM, for measuring Arab refugees’ help-seeking behavior and lay a foundation for how TTM can help target the clinical needs of Arab refugees. Lastly, this attempt to apply the TTM model to Arab refugees’ condition could lay the foundation for future research to investigate the application of TTM to clinical work among refugee populations.
- The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study is to describe the lived experiences of LLM for 10 EFL learners in rural Guatemala and to utilize that data to determine how it conforms to, or possibly challenges, current theoretical conceptions of LLM. In accordance with Morse’s (1994) suggestion that a phenomenological study should utilize at least six participants, this study utilized semi-structured interviews with 10 EFL learners to explore why and how they have experienced the motivation to learn English throughout their lives. The methodology of horizontalization was used to break the interview protocols into individual units of meaning before analyzing these units to extract the overarching themes (Moustakas, 1994). These themes were then interpreted into a detailed description of LLM as experienced by EFL students in this context. Finally, the resulting description was analyzed to discover how these learners’ lived experiences with LLM conformed with and/or diverged from current theories of LLM.
- The purpose of this qualitative, embedded, multiple case study was to examine how both parent-child attachment relationships are impacted by the quality of the paternal and maternal caregiver-child interactions that occur throughout a maternal deployment, within the context of dual-military couples. In order to examine this phenomenon, an embedded, multiple case study was conducted, utilizing an attachment systems metatheory perspective. The study included four dual-military couples who experienced a maternal deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) when they had at least one child between 8 weeks-old to 5 years-old. Each member of the couple participated in an individual, semi-structured interview with the researcher and completed the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire (PRQ). “The PRQ is designed to capture a parent’s perspective on the parent-child relationship” (Pearson, 2012, para. 1) and was used within the proposed study for this purpose. The PRQ was utilized to triangulate the data (Bekhet & Zauszniewski, 2012) as well as to provide some additional information on the parents’ perspective of the quality of the parent-child attachment relationship in regards to communication, discipline, parenting confidence, relationship satisfaction, and time spent together (Pearson, 2012). The researcher utilized the semi-structured interview to collect information regarding the parents' perspectives of the quality of their parental caregiver behaviors during the deployment cycle, the mother's parent-child interactions while deployed, the behavior of the child or children at time of reunification, and the strategies or behaviors the parents believe may have contributed to their child's behavior at the time of reunification. The results of this study may be utilized by the military, and by civilian providers, to develop proactive and preventive measures that both providers and parents can implement, to address any potential adverse effects on the parent-child attachment relationship, identified through the proposed study. The results of this study may also be utilized to further refine and understand the integration of attachment theory and systems theory, in both clinical and research settings, within the field of marriage and family therapy.
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The purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to contribute to the development of knowledge in one’s research field. It is necessary and valuable because it improves knowledge, improves the quality of learning, and helps the business succeed (Zarah, 2010). For some researchers, data sharing is essential to their research process (Edge Insights, 2015). There are many advantages to data sharing. Sharing data with the public and colleagues motivates researchers to better manage their data. Sharing naturally allows researchers to cooperate more and make discoveries through sharing. In other words, they can statistically re-analyse each other’s research results on specific research topics. However, despite these advantages, there are things researchers should be careful about. Examples include improper use of data or confidentiality of sensitive data. In addition, researchers may worry about the possibility that their data will not be recognised or that others will use it to gain a competitive advantage. However, creating good data sharing methods and comprehensive metadata can solve many of these problems (Why Share Your Data | U.S. Geological Survey, n.d.).
The second question is the difference between business and business research and basic research. Research is divided into basic research and applied research according to utility. Basic research is mainly focused on knowledge development for a complete understanding of certain natural phenomena in natural science. In other words, it is a purely theoretical study that adds knowledge to real knowledge and focuses on developing existing scientific knowledge. Conversely, applied research is a study for the real-life application of natural science and a practical approach aimed at providing solutions to specific problems and innovative technology development. It also provides solutions to business problems (Surbhi S, 2018).
Rigour is a term with the same meaning as control, which is used not only in daily life but also in research and science, and rigour in research means quality control. Research needs to be rigorous because it must be valid, reliable, and truthful, and can be generalised. Therefore, research should take an honest and unbiased approach along with rigour. Here, let’s find out how strictness can be applied in qualitative or quantitative research. Quantitative research maintains accuracy and follows a pre-designed plan, and since this type of research is objective, it is highly likely that objectivity will be maintained if accurate statistical tests are performed after repeating them several times. On the other hand, most qualitative studies are not strictly bounded. Therefore, researchers evolve together with the research process because they have minimal control. In other words, researcher flexibility is required, which sometimes makes it difficult to comply with rigorous boundaries. Therefore, researchers focus more on reliability than rigour (Helping Research Writing for Student & Professional Researchers, 2020). Reliability and validity are important aspects of the study, and researchers argue that they are the same concept as the rigor of the study. If the researcher pays close attention to those aspects, objectivity can be maintained (Cypress, 2017). Research should be presented so that people who share it can easily recognise it to create reliability. To obtain this, there are strategies such as reflectance, member identification, peer inspection, and briefing (qnstux, 2020).
Editage Insights. (2015). To share or not to share: What motivates researchers to share their data? [online] Available at: https://www.editage.com/insights/to-share-or-not-to-share-what-motivates-researchers-to-share-their-data.
Surbhi S (2018). Difference Between Basic and Applied Research (with Comparison Chart) – Key Differences . [online] Key Differences. Available at: https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-basic-and-applied-research.html.
Usgs.gov. n.d. Why Share Your Data | U.S. Geological Survey . [online] Available at: <https://www.usgs.gov/data-management/why-share-your-data> [Accessed 19 January 2022].
Zarah, L. (2010). 7 Reasons Why Research Is Important . [online] Owlcation. Available at: https://owlcation.com/academia/Why-Research-is-Important-Within-and-Beyond-the-Academe.
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Home » Purpose of Research – Objectives and Applications
Purpose of Research – Objectives and Applications
Table of Contents
Purpose of Research
The purpose of research is to systematically investigate and gather information on a particular topic or issue, with the aim of answering questions, solving problems, or advancing knowledge.
The purpose of research can vary depending on the field of study, the research question, and the intended audience. In general, research can be used to:
- Generate new knowledge and theories
- Test existing theories or hypotheses
- Identify trends or patterns
- Gather information for decision-making
- Evaluate the effectiveness of programs, policies, or interventions
- Develop new technologies or products
- Identify new opportunities or areas for further study.
Objectives of Research
The objectives of research may vary depending on the field of study and the specific research question being investigated. However, some common objectives of research include:
- To explore and describe a phenomenon: Research can be conducted to describe and understand a phenomenon or situation in greater detail.
- To test a hypothesis or theory : Research can be used to test a specific hypothesis or theory by collecting and analyzing data.
- To identify patterns or trends: Research can be conducted to identify patterns or trends in data, which can provide insights into the behavior of a system or population.
- To evaluate a program or intervention: Research can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a program or intervention, such as a new drug or educational intervention.
- To develop new knowledge or technology : Research can be conducted to develop new knowledge or technologies that can be applied to solve practical problems.
- To inform policy decisions: Research can provide evidence to inform policy decisions and improve public policy.
- To improve existing knowledge: Research can be conducted to improve existing knowledge and fill gaps in the current understanding of a topic.
Applications of Research
Research has a wide range of applications across various fields and industries. Here are some examples:
- Medicine : Research is critical in developing new treatments and drugs for diseases. Researchers conduct clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of new medications and therapies. They also study the underlying causes of diseases to find new ways to prevent or treat them.
- Technology : Research is crucial in developing new technologies and improving existing ones. Researchers work to develop new software, hardware, and other technological innovations that can be used in various industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and telecommunications.
- Education : Research is essential in the field of education to develop new teaching methods and strategies. Researchers conduct studies to determine the effectiveness of various educational approaches and to identify factors that influence student learning.
- Business : Research is critical in helping businesses make informed decisions. Market research can help businesses understand their target audience and identify trends in the market. Research can also help businesses improve their products and services.
- Environmental Science : Research is crucial in the field of environmental science to understand the impact of human activities on the environment. Researchers conduct studies to identify ways to reduce pollution, protect natural resources, and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Goal of Research
The ultimate goal of research is to advance our understanding of the world and to contribute to the development of new theories, ideas, and technologies that can be used to improve our lives. Some more common Goals are follows:
- Explore and discover new knowledge : Research can help uncover new information and insights that were previously unknown.
- Test hypotheses and theories : Research can be used to test and validate theories and hypotheses, allowing researchers to refine and develop their ideas.
- Solve practical problems: Research can be used to identify solutions to real-world problems and to inform policy and decision-making.
- Improve understanding : Research can help improve our understanding of complex phenomena and systems, such as the human body, the natural world, and social systems.
- Develop new technologies and innovations : Research can lead to the development of new technologies, products, and innovations that can improve our lives and society.
- Contribute to the development of academic fields : Research can help advance academic fields by expanding our knowledge and understanding of important topics and areas of inquiry.
Importance of Research
The importance of research lies in its ability to generate new knowledge and insights, to test existing theories and ideas, and to solve practical problems.
Some of the key reasons why research is important are:
- Advancing knowledge: Research is essential for advancing knowledge and understanding in various fields. It enables us to explore and discover new concepts, ideas, and phenomena that can contribute to scientific and technological progress.
- Solving problems : Research can help identify and solve practical problems and challenges in various domains, such as health care, agriculture, engineering, and social policy.
- Innovation : Research is a critical driver of innovation, as it enables the development of new products, services, and technologies that can improve people’s lives and contribute to economic growth.
- Evidence-based decision-making : Research provides evidence and data that can inform decision-making in various fields, such as policy-making, business strategy, and healthcare.
- Personal and professional development : Engaging in research can also contribute to personal and professional development, as it requires critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.
When to use Research
Research should be used in situations where there is a need to gather new information, test existing theories, or solve problems. Some common scenarios where research is often used include:
- Scientific inquiry : Research is essential for advancing scientific knowledge and understanding, and for exploring new concepts, theories, and phenomena.
- Business and market analysis: Research is critical for businesses to gather data and insights about the market, customer preferences, and competition, to inform decision-making and strategy development.
- Social policy and public administration: Research is often used in social policy and public administration to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies, and to identify areas where improvements are needed.
- Healthcare: Research is essential in healthcare to develop new treatments, improve existing ones, and to understand the causes and mechanisms of diseases.
- Education : Research is critical in education to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching methods and programs, and to develop new approaches to learning.
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The Purposes, Research Questions, and Research Hypotheses are closely related. Each Purpose should directly relate to either a Research Question or a Research Hypothesis. There is debate about whether the Research Questions and Research Hypotheses should match. Since each Research Question and Research Hypothesis has to be analyzed separately in Chapter 4, I advise that Research Questions should focus on descriptive topics only while Research Hypotheses need to be written for all comparisons. For example, if the researcher wants to determine whether males and females differ on science achievement test scores, then this should be written as a research hypothesis. A Research Question could be written as "Do males and females differ on science achievement test scores?" This would be analyzed by comparing the mean science test scores of males and females. Imagine that the average score for males is 50.6 while the average score for females is 50.2. Indeed, males scored higher, but only by 0.4 points on the test. Is this difference large enough to be significant? There will virtually always be differences between two groups, although the differences can be very small. The purpose of inferential statistics (e.g., t-tests, ANOVA, and ANCOVA) is to statistically determine whether the difference between two or more groups is significant enough to meaningfully say that there is a difference between these two groups of individuals. Therefore, analyzing this Research Question separately from the Research Hypothesis is meaningless. Do not write a Research Question that is better written as a Research Hypothesis. Instead, research questions should focus on describing a variable, such as "How often do students use a computer in the classroom?" Some research studies might not have Research Questions, which is generally ok.
Let's return to the example of the effect of telling stories on children's literacy skills. The Purposes, Research Questions, and Research Hypotheses will be described for this study.
The purposes of the study should explain the final conclusions that the research study hopes to reach. Purposes should be written as statements. Sometimes it is easier to start with the Research Questions and Hypotheses first and then write the Purposes, other times it is easier to start with the Purposes.
- The overall purpose of this study is to examine the effect of telling stories on nursery children's literacy skills.
- Identify how often nursery teachers tell stories in the classroom.
- Determine the effect of telling stories on nursery children's reading fluency.
- Determine the effect of telling stories on nursery children's reading comprehension.
- Determine the effect of telling stories on nursery children's vocabulary.
- Determine the effect of telling stories on nursery children's interest in reading.
- How often do nursery teachers tell stories in the classroom?
Typically, research hypotheses are stated as a null hypothesis. Null hypotheses are based on probability theory. In other words, there are always "chance" events that may influence scores on research instruments - perhaps one person guessed very well on an achievement test and scored higher than they should have, or another person was quite tired and misunderstood the purpose of the questionnaire. To determine whether differences in mean scores are truly different, inferential statistics (e.g., t-tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA) are used to mathematically determine the probability that the difference between two scores is due to chance. Researchers want to be quite confident that their conclusions are true, so they want a low probability that their conclusion is due to chance, typically less than 5 in 100. (This is exactly the p-value that identifies statistical significance: p opposite of what they want to find unless they can prove with a low probability of chance that something is indeed significant. For example, the researcher hopes that computerized instruction will improve maths skills, but they have to assume that computerized instruction does not improve maths skills unless they can show their study has a low probability of chance - less than 5 in 100 (p There is NO significant...
There are three basic formats for writing research hypotheses, and they each depend on the type of research design that was selected.
Causal Comparative The key identifying factor of a causal comparative study is that it compares two or more groups on a dependent variable. Therefore, a research question for a causal comparative study will read as follows: There is no significant difference between [define the two groups] on [dependent variable]. For example, "There is no significant difference between males and females on interest in reading." If there are three or more groups, then the research hypothesis should be slightly rephrased. An example is socioeconomic status whereby children are placed into three socioeconomic status groups: high, medium, and low. Instead of defining all three groups, state that there is no significant effect of the variable: There is no significant effect of [independent variable] on [dependent variable]. For example, "There is no significant effect of socioeconomic status on children's interest in reading."
- There is no significant effect of telling stories on children's reading fluency.
- There is no significant effect of telling stories on children's reading comprehension.
- There is no significant effect of telling stories on children's vocabulary.
- There is no significant effect of telling stories on children's interest in reading.
Correlational Correlational designs examine the relationship between two variables within the same group of individuals. Research hypotheses for correlational designs should read as follows: There is no significant relationship between [variable 1] and [variable 2.] For example, there is no significant relationship between children's reading fluency and interest in reading.
Remember that every Purpose must have a matching Research Question or Research Hypothesis. It is best to list the Purposes in the exact order that they appear as Research Questions or Research Hypotheses. When you have finished this step, review the Purposes and identify the matching Research Question or Hypothesis, and vis versa. Once this has been completed, then it is time to start writing Chapter 3.
- Determine the frequency that university students engage in examination malpractice.
- Determine if there is a relationship between intrinsic motivation and social studies achievement test scores.
- Identify differences between trained and untrained teachers in their dedication to teaching.
- Examine teachers' knowledge of classroom management strategies.
- Examine the effect of signing an academic honesty pledge on university students' cheating behaviors.
- Identify differences between JS1 and SS1 students' self-regulating study skill abilities.
- Determine if there is a relationship between age and motivation to study.
- Examine the effect of computerized instruction on students' math skills.
- Research Question: How often do university students engage in examination malpractice?
- Correlational Research Hypothesis: There is no significant relationship between intrinsic motivation and social studies achievement test scores.
- Causal Comparative Research Hypothesis: There is no significant difference between trained and untrained teachers on dedication to teaching.
- Research Question: How much do teachers know about various classroom management strategies?
- Experimental or Quasi-Experimental Research Hypothesis: There is no significant effect of signing an academic honesty pledge on university students' cheating behaviors.
- Causal Comparative Research Hypothesis: There is no significant difference between JS1 and SS1 students on their self-regulating study skill abilities.
- Correlational Research Hypothesis: There is no significant relationship between age and motivation to study.
- Experimental or Quasi-Experimental Research Hypothesis: There is no significant effect of computerized instruction on students' math skills.
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Research Paper Purpose Statement Examples
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When you’re doing academic research, it’s important to define your purpose. That is where a purpose statement comes in. It clearly defines the objective of your qualitative or quantitative research. Get the details on a research purpose statement and how to create one through unique and real-world examples.
What Is a Purpose Statement?
If you think about the words “purpose statement ,” it really tells you what it is. In a research paper , a purpose statement tells you what the purpose of the research will be. In a sentence or two, it clearly defines the direction, reason or goals for the research being conducted.
Making a Purpose Statement
A purpose statement will clearly define what is being explored or studied, how it is being explored and where it is being explored. You will typically see quantitative research purpose statements, which focus on comparing measurable variables, or qualitative research purpose statements, which explore a central phenomenon. Examine how these are different through examples.
Qualitative Research Purpose Statement Examples
Qualitative research purpose statements will present a clear purpose or intent, and study a specific idea. The data is descriptive in nature, rather than focusing on countable, numerical figures. Additionally, you’ll clearly see how and where the learning will take place. The examples clearly define this.
The present article describes a qualitative study of the career development of 18 prominent, highly achieving African American Black and White women in the United States across eight occupational fields. Our aim in the study was to explore critical influences on the career development of these women, particularly those related to their attainment of professional success.
In this psychological research purpose statement, the author is using a qualitative purpose statement. Not only does the author present right away that this will be a qualitative study, but the purpose statement focuses on one idea or concept. The author also uses the action word “explore” to explain how they will learn from the study, in addition to breaking down who will be in the study and where the research will take place.
The purpose of this qualitative study is to discover four genetic factors of aggression of female lions in the Atlanta zoo. The study aims to understand critical influences that affect this aggression through DNA analysis.
The use of the action word “discover” along with the study of a single phenomenon make this a clear qualitative study. The strategy for how the study will be conducted and where it will take place are broken down clearly.
Quantitative Research Purpose Examples
Unlike a qualitative research purpose statement, quantitative purpose statements explore how numerical variables relate or correlate with one another. These purpose statements will define the objective or intent, clarify the variables and outline where the research will take place. Check out the format of this type of research statement through examples.
This study had two purposes: (a) to examine the possible predicting abilities of socioeconomic status, per pupil expenditures, percentage of highly qualified teachers and attendance rates for on-time educational attainment in the state of Virginia and (b) to compare the Appalachian School Divisions of Virginia with the non-Appalachian school divisions for each of these variables.
This sociology paper offers a good example of a quantitative research purpose statement. Not only does the author break down what is going to be studied, but also the different variables that will be looked at. In this case, socioeconomic status, pupil expenditures and attendance, to name a few, are the attributes being recorded. They also discuss where the study will take place.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate a relationship that might exist between oxidative balance and clinical features of PKU and MSUD patients in a South Alabama research facility. The oxidative DNA damage markers and amino acid plasma of 20 controls, 22 MSUD and 40 PKU patients were measured.
This quantitative purpose statement discusses the variables, participants and research site. It connects the independent and dependent variables in the first sentence to clarify for the reader the intention and goals of the study. It also breaks down the variables and how they will relate to one another.
A Unique Purpose
You might be wondering how a research paper purpose statement is different from a problem statement, thesis statement or research question.
- In a problem statement , you identify the need for the research because you have identified a problem that needs to be studied. It is the first step, before creating your purpose statement.
- A thesis statement is unique from a purpose statement in that it makes a prediction of the study. A purpose statement, on the other hand, just provides readers with your goals. It doesn’t make any assertions of what the study may find or conclude.
- Research questions are guided by your purpose statement. Using your goals, you can further modify what you want your research to answer through your research questions. When crafting your research questions, it is important to remember what makes a good research question and what doesn’t.
Creating a Purpose Statement
When creating your own purpose statement, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:
- Clearly define your study as quantitative or qualitative.
- Use words to clarify your intent like “explore” or “compare.”
- Clearly define how the research will take place.
- Discuss who or what will be researched.
- Clarify where the research will take place.
Defining Your Purpose
When you’re doing research, it is important to define your purpose. Whether you’re testing genes or looking at behavior, you need to clearly define the aim of your research. To help you on your way to graduate writing prowess, it is important to perfect your academic writing skills .
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What is Research? – Purpose of Research
- By DiscoverPhDs
- September 10, 2020
The purpose of research is to enhance society by advancing knowledge through the development of scientific theories, concepts and ideas. A research purpose is met through forming hypotheses, collecting data, analysing results, forming conclusions, implementing findings into real-life applications and forming new research questions.
What is Research
Simply put, research is the process of discovering new knowledge. This knowledge can be either the development of new concepts or the advancement of existing knowledge and theories, leading to a new understanding that was not previously known.
As a more formal definition of research, the following has been extracted from the Code of Federal Regulations :
While research can be carried out by anyone and in any field, most research is usually done to broaden knowledge in the physical, biological, and social worlds. This can range from learning why certain materials behave the way they do, to asking why certain people are more resilient than others when faced with the same challenges.
The use of ‘systematic investigation’ in the formal definition represents how research is normally conducted – a hypothesis is formed, appropriate research methods are designed, data is collected and analysed, and research results are summarised into one or more ‘research conclusions’. These research conclusions are then shared with the rest of the scientific community to add to the existing knowledge and serve as evidence to form additional questions that can be investigated. It is this cyclical process that enables scientific research to make continuous progress over the years; the true purpose of research.
What is the Purpose of Research
From weather forecasts to the discovery of antibiotics, researchers are constantly trying to find new ways to understand the world and how things work – with the ultimate goal of improving our lives.
The purpose of research is therefore to find out what is known, what is not and what we can develop further. In this way, scientists can develop new theories, ideas and products that shape our society and our everyday lives.
Although research can take many forms, there are three main purposes of research:
- Exploratory: Exploratory research is the first research to be conducted around a problem that has not yet been clearly defined. Exploration research therefore aims to gain a better understanding of the exact nature of the problem and not to provide a conclusive answer to the problem itself. This enables us to conduct more in-depth research later on.
- Descriptive: Descriptive research expands knowledge of a research problem or phenomenon by describing it according to its characteristics and population. Descriptive research focuses on the ‘how’ and ‘what’, but not on the ‘why’.
- Explanatory: Explanatory research, also referred to as casual research, is conducted to determine how variables interact, i.e. to identify cause-and-effect relationships. Explanatory research deals with the ‘why’ of research questions and is therefore often based on experiments.
Characteristics of Research
There are 8 core characteristics that all research projects should have. These are:
- Empirical – based on proven scientific methods derived from real-life observations and experiments.
- Logical – follows sequential procedures based on valid principles.
- Cyclic – research begins with a question and ends with a question, i.e. research should lead to a new line of questioning.
- Controlled – vigorous measures put into place to keep all variables constant, except those under investigation.
- Hypothesis-based – the research design generates data that sufficiently meets the research objectives and can prove or disprove the hypothesis. It makes the research study repeatable and gives credibility to the results.
- Analytical – data is generated, recorded and analysed using proven techniques to ensure high accuracy and repeatability while minimising potential errors and anomalies.
- Objective – sound judgement is used by the researcher to ensure that the research findings are valid.
- Statistical treatment – statistical treatment is used to transform the available data into something more meaningful from which knowledge can be gained.
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Types of Research
Research can be divided into two main types: basic research (also known as pure research) and applied research.
Basic research, also known as pure research, is an original investigation into the reasons behind a process, phenomenon or particular event. It focuses on generating knowledge around existing basic principles.
Basic research is generally considered ‘non-commercial research’ because it does not focus on solving practical problems, and has no immediate benefit or ways it can be applied.
While basic research may not have direct applications, it usually provides new insights that can later be used in applied research.
Applied research investigates well-known theories and principles in order to enhance knowledge around a practical aim. Because of this, applied research focuses on solving real-life problems by deriving knowledge which has an immediate application.
Methods of Research
Research methods for data collection fall into one of two categories: inductive methods or deductive methods.
Inductive research methods focus on the analysis of an observation and are usually associated with qualitative research. Deductive research methods focus on the verification of an observation and are typically associated with quantitative research.
Qualitative research is a method that enables non-numerical data collection through open-ended methods such as interviews, case studies and focus groups .
It enables researchers to collect data on personal experiences, feelings or behaviours, as well as the reasons behind them. Because of this, qualitative research is often used in fields such as social science, psychology and philosophy and other areas where it is useful to know the connection between what has occurred and why it has occurred.
Quantitative research is a method that collects and analyses numerical data through statistical analysis.
It allows us to quantify variables, uncover relationships, and make generalisations across a larger population. As a result, quantitative research is often used in the natural and physical sciences such as engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, finance, and medical research, etc.
What does Research Involve?
Research often follows a systematic approach known as a Scientific Method, which is carried out using an hourglass model.
A research project first starts with a problem statement, or rather, the research purpose for engaging in the study. This can take the form of the ‘ scope of the study ’ or ‘ aims and objectives ’ of your research topic.
Subsequently, a literature review is carried out and a hypothesis is formed. The researcher then creates a research methodology and collects the data.
The data is then analysed using various statistical methods and the null hypothesis is either accepted or rejected.
In both cases, the study and its conclusion are officially written up as a report or research paper, and the researcher may also recommend lines of further questioning. The report or research paper is then shared with the wider research community, and the cycle begins all over again.
Although these steps outline the overall research process, keep in mind that research projects are highly dynamic and are therefore considered an iterative process with continued refinements and not a series of fixed stages.
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The term rationale of research means the reason for performing the research study in question.
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Dr Ilesanmi has a PhD in Applied Biochemistry from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. He is now a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
Lewis is a third-year PhD student at CVSSP at the University of Surrey. His research involves using multi-camera broadcast footage of sports, and using this data to create new viewpoints in virtual and augmented reality.