How to Write a Purpose Statement for a Final Year Research Project

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How to Write a Purpose Statement for a Final Year Research Project

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is also known as objectives of the study or aims of the study: thus purpose or objectives or aims of the study are often used interchangeably. This is the section where the researcher states the purpose or objectives or aims for carrying out the study. The researcher states in specific or concrete terms, what is or are expected to be achieved at the end of the study. According to obasi (1999) the success of a research can therefore be assessed in terms of whether those concrete things hoped for, have been realized.

The purpose of aim or objectives of the study is usually stated in broad and specific terms. The broad objectives derives from the focus stated at the end of the background to the study while the specific objectives of a research questions posed using recommended phrases like:

To identify……………

To compare……………

To examine……………

To investigate…………

To establish……………

To explore………………

To determine…………

To recommend…………

To ascertain…………

To describe……………

To find out…………

To explain……………

To analyze……………

There is a relationship amongst statement of the problem, research questions, purpose of the study and hypotheses or research propositions. It I pertinent to note that statement of problem, research questions and research hypothesis are related. This is so because research questions are derived from research hypothesis from research questions.

In furtherance to this, chukwuemeka (2002) concurred that the research objectives specifies the obligation of the research which in turns evolves from the statement of problem. This literally means that the research objectives further specify and clarify research questions in terms of the end result of the research. They must be closely tied to both research questions and research hypothesis.

Hypotheses or research proposition:

From the above, hypotheses have a caveat-(optional-indicating ) that it is not compulsory. In other words, a researcher must not hypothesize in all studies. To drive this assertion, UNAKA (book) explained that whichever the case it sounds logically appropriate that the hypotheses (if any) should come after the literature review. It should be noted here that the hypotheses are essentially statement of anticipated answers/results, i.e they are tentative to suggested answers to the research questions. If the research is not exploratory or hypothetical , then it makes sense that the introduction (problem statement) could anchored on the research questions and the objectives of the study, justified. Buttressing this point further, hubpages (2011) affirmed that in some studies, though, hypothesis is not required and a valid as well as reliable study can be conducted in the absence of hypothesis. These studies do not required testing of interaction between variables. In most of the other studies, this is not so. In addiction, a single hypothesis can be enough for many studies but some may require formulation of more than a hypothesis. Such studies are as much valid, reliable and general studies that have single hypothesis but it takes more time to test more than one hypotheses.

African development foundation (1993) raised very apt observation in respect to hypothesis vis-à-vis types of research. It pointed out that the discussion of research hypothesis is differentiated in terms of qualitative and quantitative research (this will be discussed extensively later)

For quantitative research, research hypotheses are declarative statements that express relationships between two or more variable in a way that the relationships are tested empirically. Variable relationships and testability are two essential criteria that must be satisfied. The testability criterion implies that the variable concerned can be empirically measured. i.e can be assigned numerical values.

For qualitative research, variables relationships and testability do not have to be satisfied.

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