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Dissertations section of Aims and Objectives

A Guide on how to Write Dissertation Aims and Objective

The aims and objectives section in a dissertation is found in the proposal of a dissertation. You write dissertation aims and objectives particularly if there are funds being sought after, before the detailed plan of the project.

For most projects, you will be required to have an end deliverable which could be a product, a software item, a report, or outcomes that make a change in a certain way of doing things.

Assessment of an output is much easier than the assessment of a change. However, it’s easier to make an assessment of a well-defined change. Therefore, be clear what changes you intend to influence, for what reason and how. You also need to know whether that changes has occurred and the extent to which it has occurred.

Most college students often get confused on how to write dissertation aims and objectives of their projects. It is hard to tell the difference between the two as they are used interchangeably in the dictionary.

The aims and objectives are supposed to be a support system for which you will base arguments on your research as well as data analysis. It is an important step in your research as it gives clarity of direction for your hypothesis, methods of collecting data, statistical tools plus the conclusion of your dissertation. In writing aims and objectives, assumed outcomes are made use of.

Due to the importance and significance of aims and objectives, you will have to invest a good deal of time at the start of your dissertation to sharpen them up with the help of your supervisor.

It’s important that when you sit down to draft your proposal, you’ve carefully thought out your topic, and are able to narrow it down enough to present clear and succinct understanding of what you aim to do and hope to accomplish by doing it.

You are advised not to use the term “investigate” in writing down your aim, as your research should be more specific. It would be more appropriate to use words such as discover, evaluate, explain, infer, and explicate and the like.


Definition of aims and objectives


Aims are the intentions or aspirations, the primary end of your dissertation. They are broad and generally expressed. The aims should not go above possibility but should be ambitious enough. However, it’s a requirement that they be concise and very clear as to what you want to achieve.

In some dissertations, it is possible to have the main aim with supportive weaker aims, either two or three.



Objectives on the other hand are very specific on the way you will achieve the aim. They are more like goals along the journey of achieving your aims how you intend to achieve those aims. Objectives will provide you with a means of answering your research question. The objectives are supposed to be a definition of measurable outcomes


Characteristics of the objectives

  1. When writing your objectives try to use strong positive statements

It is always good to use positive statements when writing your objectives. Moreover, try to make use of strong verbs such as construct, develop, classify, collect, measure, devise revise, select, synthesize and produce in place of weak verbs. Some weak verbs may include consider, inquire, appreciate, learn, understand, listen, know or be aware of.


  1. Scope of Objectives

Often, you will encounter pitfalls such as the broadness of a topic when trying to write the aims and objectives. The objects may also turn out to be too simple, ambitious or lack enough detail. The guidelines below will be instrumental in coming up with good objectives. They entail SMARTness of objective.


This means they should be:

Specific – You have to have precision of what you are doing in your dissertation

Measurable –They will enable you to know when you have attained your goal, and if not, how close you were to it.

Achievable – You don’t have to be over ambitious. Your objectives should be achievable rather than set objectives you cannot attain.

Realistic – Make sure you have the required resources to attain the objectives. Resources may include capital, time, man-power, skill-set, back-up plans etc.

Time constrained – Do not just set goals without a time-frame of completion. You have to set deadlines to avoid procrastination of each objective,


Objectives are project milestones and hence you should express them as things that have hope of completion.

While composing the dissertation objectives, just keep these factors in mind:

  1. Your objectives should be directly related to the research theme, and should eventually lead to it.
  2. The scope should be narrow enough to avoid insignificant and generic research.

Questions to answer as you write dissertation aims and objectives.

It is important to note that aims and objectives should at the end address the W and H questions. Make sure the following questions are answered by this section, which will make the rest of the process easier.

  • Who

This will answer the target group and audience your dissertation is focusing on.

  • Where

It’s important to know where the research will be carried out. Be sure to name the location, be it a city, a town or a country that you are subjecting under research.

  • What

This question brings out the main reason why you are carrying out the study.

  • How

This question should portray how you intend to carry out your research as you aim to answer the research question.

  • When

For research projects that are constrained to a time period, this question will come in handy at the aims and objectives of the dissertation.

Avoid these mistakes when writing aims and objectives of a dissertation

These are predictable and common issues that you are likely to encounter as you write dissertation aims and objectives:

  1. Do not write too many aims. One or two, at most three are enough for an aim as it encompasses the ultimate goal of your research. But one is always best.
  2. Do not waffle around with the aims and objectives. Be precise and concise, and economically express them, such that the reader knows what you are talking about from the word go.
  3. Ensure as you write dissertation aims and objectives, they are interrelated and co-dependent. Don’t have objectives that don’t lead to the aim, and also don’t have an aim that is not in sync with the objectives.
  4. Let the difference between the two to be very clear, but do not differentiate them as they are the same thing expressed differently.
  5. Let the objectives be a detailed list of whatever is happening in your research.
  6. Make sure the objectives aren’t stacked up with the research methods. They have to be doable by the research methods. Otherwise they won’t produce the desired results.
  7. Do not rush the aims and objectives. As they are part of the planning process of a dissertation, they are very crucial. They are responsible for generation of the research question and determination of the research design.
  8. In short, they are the core foundation for the construction of the entire project, hence their need for sturdiness and durability
  9. Do not repeat the aims and objectives in similar terms.
  10. The aims and objectives should not be just a list of things related to your research topic. But which do not answer the research problem.
  11. They should not be a contradiction of your methods. This means that they should not be an implication methodological goals or measurement standards that your methods won’t sustain.

So that you write dissertation aims and objectives with the end goal in mind, you will need to make an assessment of the attainment of your objectives at the end of you r project. If you will not have attained them, you will have to explain why not. It is not always possible to meet your aims in full because from your research your questions might be rendered inappropriate.

This could also be as a result of intervening variables you are not able to account for or a change of circumstances surrounding your research. Despite the case, your conclusion demands a reflection of the appropriateness of the research design. The research design will be guided by your defined objectives, and will contribute in the address of your aims.

If you want to earn high marks in your dissertation, make it easier for the dissertation markers. They usually mark basing on how well your study has achieved your stated aims and objectives.

An example demonstrating how to type aims and objectives of dissertations


  • To make a critical assessment of the collection and disposal of bulky household waste in a bid to identify factors contributing to technical efficiency and performance of the local authorities.


  • To critically evaluate the bulky waste operations of the town council, including the quantities of materials arising and the recovery routes that are currently being used.
  • To classify and assess the running of schemes for furniture across the country.
  • To make recommendations for the improvement of the effectiveness of operations and maximization of opportunities for recovery of bulky waste collection.

Please read about how to write a proposal for your dissertation.


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