What is the difference between research questions and research objectives?

  • Last Edited: November 3, 2017

Many students ask this question. Research questions are those questions upon which your research project will be focused and for which timely and informed answers can be directly developed based on an analysis of the data you collect. For example, if your topic is the pros and cons of legalized marijuana, an appropriate corresponding research question might be: “What are the economic, political and health implications of legalized marijuana?” By contrast, research objectives are directly linked to your research questions and are used to describe the general and specific aims and outcomes that are intended to be achieved by a study. In general, studies should include at least two or three research objectives. The corresponding research objectives for the legalized marijuana topic might be:  (1) to identify the economic impact of legalized marijuana; (2) to determine the political implications of legalized marijuana; and (3) to evaluate the health implications of legalized marijuana.

research objectives = more specific

research questions = are broader

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