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. 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.
Most university courses involve some sort of extended writing assignment, usually in the form of a research paper. Papers normally require that a student identify a broad area of research related to the course, focus the topic through some general background reading, identify a clear research question, marshal primary and secondary resources to answer the question, and present the argument in a clear and creative manner, with proper citations. That is the theory, at least. But how do you go about doing it all? This brief guide provides some answers. Teaching Yourself From the outset, keep in mind one important point: Writing a research paper is in part about learning how to teach yourself.