• Affiliate Program


  • 台灣 (TAIWAN)
  • Academic Editing Services
  • - Research Paper
  • - Journal Manuscript
  • - Dissertation
  • - College & University Assignments
  • Admissions Editing Services
  • - Application Essay
  • - Personal Statement
  • - Recommendation Letter
  • - Cover Letter
  • - CV/Resume
  • Business Editing Services
  • - Business Documents
  • - Report & Brochure
  • - Website & Blog
  • Writer Editing Services
  • - Script & Screenplay
  • Our Editors
  • Client Reviews
  • Editing & Proofreading Prices
  • Wordvice Points
  • Partner Discount
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • APA Citation Generator
  • MLA Citation Generator
  • Chicago Citation Generator
  • Vancouver Citation Generator
  • - APA Style
  • - MLA Style
  • - Chicago Style
  • - Vancouver Style
  • Writing & Editing Guide
  • Academic Resources
  • Admissions Resources

How to Write the Rationale of the Study in Research (Examples)

examples of justification of study in research

What is the Rationale of the Study?

The rationale of the study is the justification for taking on a given study. It explains the reason the study was conducted or should be conducted. This means the study rationale should explain to the reader or examiner why the study is/was necessary. It is also sometimes called the “purpose” or “justification” of a study. While this is not difficult to grasp in itself, you might wonder how the rationale of the study is different from your research question or from the statement of the problem of your study, and how it fits into the rest of your thesis or research paper. 

The rationale of the study links the background of the study to your specific research question and justifies the need for the latter on the basis of the former. In brief, you first provide and discuss existing data on the topic, and then you tell the reader, based on the background evidence you just presented, where you identified gaps or issues and why you think it is important to address those. The problem statement, lastly, is the formulation of the specific research question you choose to investigate, following logically from your rationale, and the approach you are planning to use to do that.

Table of Contents:

How to write a rationale for a research paper , how do you justify the need for a research study.

  • Study Rationale Example: Where Does It Go In Your Paper?

The basis for writing a research rationale is preliminary data or a clear description of an observation. If you are doing basic/theoretical research, then a literature review will help you identify gaps in current knowledge. In applied/practical research, you base your rationale on an existing issue with a certain process (e.g., vaccine proof registration) or practice (e.g., patient treatment) that is well documented and needs to be addressed. By presenting the reader with earlier evidence or observations, you can (and have to) convince them that you are not just repeating what other people have already done or said and that your ideas are not coming out of thin air. 

Once you have explained where you are coming from, you should justify the need for doing additional research–this is essentially the rationale of your study. Finally, when you have convinced the reader of the purpose of your work, you can end your introduction section with the statement of the problem of your research that contains clear aims and objectives and also briefly describes (and justifies) your methodological approach. 

When is the Rationale for Research Written?

The author can present the study rationale both before and after the research is conducted. 

  • Before conducting research : The study rationale is a central component of the research proposal . It represents the plan of your work, constructed before the study is actually executed.
  • Once research has been conducted : After the study is completed, the rationale is presented in a research article or  PhD dissertation  to explain why you focused on this specific research question. When writing the study rationale for this purpose, the author should link the rationale of the research to the aims and outcomes of the study.

What to Include in the Study Rationale

Although every study rationale is different and discusses different specific elements of a study’s method or approach, there are some elements that should be included to write a good rationale. Make sure to touch on the following:

  • A summary of conclusions from your review of the relevant literature
  • What is currently unknown (gaps in knowledge)
  • Inconclusive or contested results  from previous studies on the same or similar topic
  • The necessity to improve or build on previous research, such as to improve methodology or utilize newer techniques and/or technologies

There are different types of limitations that you can use to justify the need for your study. In applied/practical research, the justification for investigating something is always that an existing process/practice has a problem or is not satisfactory. Let’s say, for example, that people in a certain country/city/community commonly complain about hospital care on weekends (not enough staff, not enough attention, no decisions being made), but you looked into it and realized that nobody ever investigated whether these perceived problems are actually based on objective shortages/non-availabilities of care or whether the lower numbers of patients who are treated during weekends are commensurate with the provided services.

In this case, “lack of data” is your justification for digging deeper into the problem. Or, if it is obvious that there is a shortage of staff and provided services on weekends, you could decide to investigate which of the usual procedures are skipped during weekends as a result and what the negative consequences are. 

In basic/theoretical research, lack of knowledge is of course a common and accepted justification for additional research—but make sure that it is not your only motivation. “Nobody has ever done this” is only a convincing reason for a study if you explain to the reader why you think we should know more about this specific phenomenon. If there is earlier research but you think it has limitations, then those can usually be classified into “methodological”, “contextual”, and “conceptual” limitations. To identify such limitations, you can ask specific questions and let those questions guide you when you explain to the reader why your study was necessary:

Methodological limitations

  • Did earlier studies try but failed to measure/identify a specific phenomenon?
  • Was earlier research based on incorrect conceptualizations of variables?
  • Were earlier studies based on questionable operationalizations of key concepts?
  • Did earlier studies use questionable or inappropriate research designs?

Contextual limitations

  • Have recent changes in the studied problem made previous studies irrelevant?
  • Are you studying a new/particular context that previous findings do not apply to?

Conceptual limitations

  • Do previous findings only make sense within a specific framework or ideology?

Study Rationale Examples

Let’s look at an example from one of our earlier articles on the statement of the problem to clarify how your rationale fits into your introduction section. This is a very short introduction for a practical research study on the challenges of online learning. Your introduction might be much longer (especially the context/background section), and this example does not contain any sources (which you will have to provide for all claims you make and all earlier studies you cite)—but please pay attention to how the background presentation , rationale, and problem statement blend into each other in a logical way so that the reader can follow and has no reason to question your motivation or the foundation of your research.

Background presentation

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, most educational institutions around the world have transitioned to a fully online study model, at least during peak times of infections and social distancing measures. This transition has not been easy and even two years into the pandemic, problems with online teaching and studying persist (reference needed) . 

While the increasing gap between those with access to technology and equipment and those without access has been determined to be one of the main challenges (reference needed) , others claim that online learning offers more opportunities for many students by breaking down barriers of location and distance (reference needed) .  

Rationale of the study

Since teachers and students cannot wait for circumstances to go back to normal, the measures that schools and universities have implemented during the last two years, their advantages and disadvantages, and the impact of those measures on students’ progress, satisfaction, and well-being need to be understood so that improvements can be made and demographics that have been left behind can receive the support they need as soon as possible.

Statement of the problem

To identify what changes in the learning environment were considered the most challenging and how those changes relate to a variety of student outcome measures, we conducted surveys and interviews among teachers and students at ten institutions of higher education in four different major cities, two in the US (New York and Chicago), one in South Korea (Seoul), and one in the UK (London). Responses were analyzed with a focus on different student demographics and how they might have been affected differently by the current situation.

How long is a study rationale?

In a research article bound for journal publication, your rationale should not be longer than a few sentences (no longer than one brief paragraph). A  dissertation or thesis  usually allows for a longer description; depending on the length and nature of your document, this could be up to a couple of paragraphs in length. A completely novel or unconventional approach might warrant a longer and more detailed justification than an approach that slightly deviates from well-established methods and approaches.

Consider Using Professional Academic Editing Services

Now that you know how to write the rationale of the study for a research proposal or paper, you should make use of our free AI grammar checker , Wordvice AI, or receive professional academic proofreading services from Wordvice, including research paper editing services and manuscript editing services to polish your submitted research documents.

You can also find many more articles, for example on writing the other parts of your research paper , on choosing a title , or on making sure you understand and adhere to the author instructions before you submit to a journal, on the Wordvice academic resources pages.

Examples Lab

7 Examples of Justification (of a project or research)

The justification to the part of a research project that sets out the reasons that motivated the research. The justification is the section that explains the importance and the reasons that led the researcher to carry out the work.

The justification explains to the reader why and why the chosen topic was investigated. In general, the reasons that the researcher can give in a justification may be that his work allows to build or refute theories; bring a new approach or perspective on the subject; contribute to the solution of a specific problem (social, economic, environmental, etc.) that affects certain people; generate meaningful and reusable empirical data; clarify the causes and consequences of a specific phenomenon of interest; among other.

Among the criteria used to write a justification, the usefulness of the research for other academics or for other social sectors (public officials, companies, sectors of civil society), the significance in time that it may have, the contribution of new research tools or techniques, updating of existing knowledge, among others. Also, the language should be formal and descriptive.

Examples of justification

  • This research will focus on studying the reproduction habits of salmon in the Mediterranean region of Europe, since due to recent ecological changes in the water and temperatures of the region produced by human economic activity , the behavior of these animals has been modified. Thus, the present work would allow to show the changes that the species has developed to adapt to the new circumstances of its ecosystem, and to deepen the theoretical knowledge about accelerated adaptation processes, in addition to offering a comprehensive look at the environmental damage caused by growth. unsustainable economic, helping to raise awareness of the local population.
  • We therefore propose to investigate the evolution of the theoretical conceptions of class struggle and economic structure throughout the work of Antonio Gramsci, since we consider that previous analyzes have overlooked the fundamentally dynamic and unstable conception of human society that is present. in the works of Gramsci, and that is of vital importance to fully understand the author’s thought.
  • The reasons that led us to investigate the effects of regular use of cell phones on the health of middle-class young people under 18 years of age are centered on the fact that this vulnerable sector of the population is exposed to a greater extent than the rest of society to risks that the continuous use of cell phone devices may imply, due to their cultural and social habits. We intend then to help alert about these dangers, as well as to generate knowledge that helps in the treatment of the effects produced by the abuse in the use of this technology.
  • We believe that by means of a detailed analysis of the evolution of financial transactions carried out in the main stock exchanges of the world during the period 2005-2010, as well as the inquiry about how financial and banking agents perceived the situation of the financial system, it will allow us to clarify the economic mechanisms that enable the development of an economic crisis of global dimensions such as the one that the world experienced since 2009, and thus improve the design of regulatory and counter-cyclical public policies that favor the stability of the local and international financial system.
  • Our study about the applications and programs developed through the three analyzed programming languages ​​(Java, C ++ and Haskell), can allow us to clearly distinguish the potential that each of these languages ​​(and similar languages) present for solving specific problems. , in a specific area of ​​activity. This would allow not only to increase efficiency in relation to long-term development projects, but to plan coding strategies with better results in projects that are already working, and to improve teaching plans for teaching programming and computer science.
  • This in-depth study on the expansion of the Chinese empire under the Xia dynasty, will allow to clarify the socioeconomic, military and political processes that allowed the consolidation of one of the oldest states in history, and also understand the expansion of metallurgical and administrative technologies along the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean. The deep understanding of these phenomena will allow us to clarify this little-known period in Chinese history, which was of vital importance for the social transformations that the peoples of the region went through during the period.
  • Research on the efficacy of captropil in the treatment of cardiovascular conditions (in particular hypertension and heart failure) will allow us to determine if angiotensin is of vital importance in the processes of blocking the protein peptidase, or if by the On the contrary, these effects can be attributed to other components present in the formula of drugs frequently prescribed to patients after medical consultation.

Related posts:

  • Research Project: Information and examples
  • 15 Examples of Empirical Knowledge
  • 10 Paragraphs about Social Networks
  • 15 Examples of Quotes
  • What are the Elements of Knowledge?

Privacy Overview

How to Write the Rationale for a Research Paper

  • Research Process
  • Peer Review

A research rationale answers the big SO WHAT? that every adviser, peer reviewer, and editor has in mind when they critique your work. A compelling research rationale increases the chances of your paper being published or your grant proposal being funded. In this article, we look at the purpose of a research rationale, its components and key characteristics, and how to create an effective research rationale.

Updated on September 19, 2022

a researcher writing the rationale for a research paper

The rationale for your research is the reason why you decided to conduct the study in the first place. The motivation for asking the question. The knowledge gap. This is often the most significant part of your publication. It justifies the study's purpose, novelty, and significance for science or society. It's a critical part of standard research articles as well as funding proposals.

Essentially, the research rationale answers the big SO WHAT? that every (good) adviser, peer reviewer, and editor has in mind when they critique your work.

A compelling research rationale increases the chances of your paper being published or your grant proposal being funded. In this article, we look at:

  • the purpose of a research rationale
  • its components and key characteristics
  • how to create an effective research rationale

What is a research rationale?

Think of a research rationale as a set of reasons that explain why a study is necessary and important based on its background. It's also known as the justification of the study, rationale, or thesis statement.

Essentially, you want to convince your reader that you're not reciting what other people have already said and that your opinion hasn't appeared out of thin air. You've done the background reading and identified a knowledge gap that this rationale now explains.

A research rationale is usually written toward the end of the introduction. You'll see this section clearly in high-impact-factor international journals like Nature and Science. At the end of the introduction there's always a phrase that begins with something like, "here we show..." or "in this paper we show..." This text is part of a logical sequence of information, typically (but not necessarily) provided in this order:

the order of the introduction to a research paper

Here's an example from a study by Cataldo et al. (2021) on the impact of social media on teenagers' lives.

an example of an introduction to a research paper

Note how the research background, gap, rationale, and objectives logically blend into each other.

The authors chose to put the research aims before the rationale. This is not a problem though. They still achieve a logical sequence. This helps the reader follow their thinking and convinces them about their research's foundation.

Elements of a research rationale

We saw that the research rationale follows logically from the research background and literature review/observation and leads into your study's aims and objectives.

This might sound somewhat abstract. A helpful way to formulate a research rationale is to answer the question, “Why is this study necessary and important?”

Generally, that something has never been done before should not be your only motivation. Use it only If you can give the reader valid evidence why we should learn more about this specific phenomenon.

A well-written introduction covers three key elements:

  • What's the background to the research?
  • What has been done before (information relevant to this particular study, but NOT a literature review)?
  • Research rationale

Now, let's see how you might answer the question.

1. This study complements scientific knowledge and understanding

Discuss the shortcomings of previous studies and explain how'll correct them. Your short review can identify:

  • Methodological limitations . The methodology (research design, research approach or sampling) employed in previous works is somewhat flawed.

Example : Here , the authors claim that previous studies have failed to explore the role of apathy “as a predictor of functional decline in healthy older adults” (Burhan et al., 2021). At the same time, we know a lot about other age-related neuropsychiatric disorders, like depression.

Their study is necessary, then, “to increase our understanding of the cognitive, clinical, and neural correlates of apathy and deconstruct its underlying mechanisms.” (Burhan et al., 2021).

  • Contextual limitations . External factors have changed and this has minimized or removed the relevance of previous research.

Example : You want to do an empirical study to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of tourists visiting Sicily. Previous studies might have measured tourism determinants in Sicily, but they preceded COVID-19.

  • Conceptual limitations . Previous studies are too bound to a specific ideology or a theoretical framework.

Example : The work of English novelist E. M. Forster has been extensively researched for its social, political, and aesthetic dimensions. After the 1990s, younger scholars wanted to read his novels as an example of gay fiction. They justified the need to do so based on previous studies' reliance on homophobic ideology.

This kind of rationale is most common in basic/theoretical research.

2. This study can help solve a specific problem

Here, you base your rationale on a process that has a problem or is not satisfactory.

For example, patients complain about low-quality hospital care on weekends (staff shortages, inadequate attention, etc.). No one has looked into this (there is a lack of data). So, you explore if the reported problems are true and what can be done to address them. This is a knowledge gap.

Or you set out to explore a specific practice. You might want to study the pros and cons of several entry strategies into the Japanese food market.

It's vital to explain the problem in detail and stress the practical benefits of its solution. In the first example, the practical implications are recommendations to improve healthcare provision.

In the second example, the impact of your research is to inform the decision-making of businesses wanting to enter the Japanese food market.

This kind of rationale is more common in applied/practical research.

3. You're the best person to conduct this study

It's a bonus if you can show that you're uniquely positioned to deliver this study, especially if you're writing a funding proposal .

For an anthropologist wanting to explore gender norms in Ethiopia, this could be that they speak Amharic (Ethiopia's official language) and have already lived in the country for a few years (ethnographic experience).

Or if you want to conduct an interdisciplinary research project, consider partnering up with collaborators whose expertise complements your own. Scientists from different fields might bring different skills and a fresh perspective or have access to the latest tech and equipment. Teaming up with reputable collaborators justifies the need for a study by increasing its credibility and likely impact.

When is the research rationale written?

You can write your research rationale before, or after, conducting the study.

In the first case, when you might have a new research idea, and you're applying for funding to implement it.

Or you're preparing a call for papers for a journal special issue or a conference. Here , for instance, the authors seek to collect studies on the impact of apathy on age-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

In the second case, you have completed the study and are writing a research paper for publication. Looking back, you explain why you did the study in question and how it worked out.

Although the research rationale is part of the introduction, it's best to write it at the end. Stand back from your study and look at it in the big picture. At this point, it's easier to convince your reader why your study was both necessary and important.

How long should a research rationale be?

The length of the research rationale is not fixed. Ideally, this will be determined by the guidelines (of your journal, sponsor etc.).

The prestigious journal Nature , for instance, calls for articles to be no more than 6 or 8 pages, depending on the content. The introduction should be around 200 words, and, as mentioned, two to three sentences serve as a brief account of the background and rationale of the study, and come at the end of the introduction.

If you're not provided guidelines, consider these factors:

  • Research document : In a thesis or book-length study, the research rationale will be longer than in a journal article. For example, the background and rationale of this book exploring the collective memory of World War I cover more than ten pages.
  • Research question : Research into a new sub-field may call for a longer or more detailed justification than a study that plugs a gap in literature.

Which verb tenses to use in the research rationale?

It's best to use the present tense. Though in a research proposal, the research rationale is likely written in the future tense, as you're describing the intended or expected outcomes of the research project (the gaps it will fill, the problems it will solve).

Example of a research rationale

Research question : What are the teachers' perceptions of how a sense of European identity is developed and what underlies such perceptions?

an example of a research rationale

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology , 3(2), 77-101.

Burhan, A.M., Yang, J., & Inagawa, T. (2021). Impact of apathy on aging and age-related neuropsychiatric disorders. Research Topic. Frontiers in Psychiatry

Cataldo, I., Lepri, B., Neoh, M. J. Y., & Esposito, G. (2021). Social media usage and development of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence: A review. Frontiers in Psychiatry , 11.

CiCe Jean Monnet Network (2017). Guidelines for citizenship education in school: Identities and European citizenship children's identity and citizenship in Europe.

Cohen, l, Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education . Eighth edition. London: Routledge.

de Prat, R. C. (2013). Euroscepticism, Europhobia and Eurocriticism: The radical parties of the right and left “vis-à-vis” the European Union P.I.E-Peter Lang S.A., Éditions Scientifiques Internationales.

European Commission. (2017). Eurydice Brief: Citizenship education at school in Europe.

Polyakova, A., & Fligstein, N. (2016). Is European integration causing Europe to become more nationalist? Evidence from the 2007–9 financial crisis. Journal of European Public Policy , 23(1), 60-83.

Winter, J. (2014). Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The AJE Team

The AJE Team

See our "Privacy Policy"

Ensure your structure and ideas are consistent and clearly communicated

Pair your Premium Editing with our add-on service Presubmission Review for an overall assessment of your manuscript.

eyeglasses with gray frames on the top of notebook

How to Write a Compelling Justification of Your Research

When it comes to conducting research, a well-crafted justification is crucial. It not only helps you convince others of the importance and relevance of your work but also serves as a roadmap for your own research journey. In this blog post, we will focus on the art of writing compelling justifications, highlighting common pitfalls that juniors tend to fall into and providing an example of how to write a justification properly.

The Importance of a Strong Justification

Before we delve into the dos and don’ts of writing a justification, let’s first understand why it is so important. A strong justification sets the stage for your research by clearly outlining its purpose, significance, and potential impact. It helps you answer the question, “Why is this research worth pursuing?” and provides a solid foundation for the rest of your work.

Pitfalls to Avoid

As junior researchers, it’s common to make certain mistakes when writing a justification. Here are a few pitfalls to watch out for:

  • Lack of Clarity: One of the biggest mistakes is failing to clearly articulate the problem or research question. Make sure your justification clearly explains what you intend to investigate and why it matters.
  • Insufficient Background: Providing a strong background is essential to demonstrate your knowledge of existing literature and the context of your research. Avoid the trap of assuming that your readers are already familiar with the topic.
  • Weak Significance: Your justification should emphasize the significance of your research. Highlight the potential benefits, practical applications, or theoretical contributions that your work can offer.
  • Lack of Originality: It’s important to showcase the novelty of your research. Avoid simply replicating previous studies or rehashing existing ideas. Instead, highlight the unique aspects of your approach or the gaps in current knowledge that your research aims to fill.

Writing a Proper Justification

Now that we’ve covered the common pitfalls, let’s take a look at an example of how to write a proper justification. Imagine you are conducting research on the low proportion of uncontrolled hypertension in a specific population. Here’s how you could structure your justification:

Introduction: Begin by providing an overview of the problem and its significance. Explain why uncontrolled hypertension is a critical health issue and the potential consequences it can have on individuals and society.

Background: Offer a comprehensive review of the existing literature on hypertension, highlighting the current knowledge gaps and limitations. Discuss the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension and the factors contributing to its low proportion in the specific population you are studying.

Objectives: Clearly state the objectives of your research. For example, your objectives could be to identify the barriers to hypertension control, evaluate the effectiveness of current interventions, and propose strategies to improve the management of uncontrolled hypertension.

Methodology: Briefly describe the research methods you plan to employ, such as surveys, interviews, or data analysis. Explain how these methods will help you address the research objectives and fill the existing knowledge gaps.

Expected Outcomes: Highlight the potential outcomes and impact of your research. Discuss how your findings could contribute to improving hypertension control rates, enhancing healthcare policies, or guiding future research in this field.

Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your justification and reiterate the significance of your research. Emphasize why your work is unique and necessary to advance knowledge and address the problem of low proportion of uncontrolled hypertension.

Remember, a compelling justification should be concise, persuasive, and grounded in evidence. It should convince your audience that your research is not only relevant but also necessary. By avoiding common pitfalls and following a structured approach, you can craft a justification that captivates readers and sets the stage for a successful research endeavor.

Share your love

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.


Rationale for the Study

It is important for you to be able to explain the importance of the research you are conducting by providing valid arguments. Rationale for the study, also referred to as justification for the study, is reason why you have conducted your study in the first place. This part in your paper needs to explain uniqueness and importance of your research. Rationale for the study needs to be specific and ideally, it should relate to the following points:

1. The research needs to contribute to the elimination of a gap in the literature. Elimination of gap in the present literature is one of the compulsory requirements for your study. In other words, you don’t need to ‘re-invent the wheel’ and your research aims and objectives need to focus on new topics. For example, you can choose to conduct an empirical study to assess the implications of COVID-19 pandemic on the numbers of tourists visitors in your city. This might be previously undressed topic, taking into account that COVID-19 pandemic is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Alternatively, if you cannot find a new topic to research, you can attempt to offer fresh perspectives on existing management, business or economic issues. For example, while thousands of studies have been previously conducted to study various aspects of leadership, this topic as far from being exhausted as a research area. Specifically, new studies can be conducted in the area of leadership to analyze the impacts of new communication mediums such as TikTok, and other social networking sites on leadership practices.

You can also discuss the shortcomings of previous works devoted to your research area. Shortcomings in previous studies can be divided into three groups:

a) Methodological limitations . Methodology employed in previous study may be flawed in terms of research design, research approach or sampling.

b) Contextual limitations . Relevance of previous works may be non-existent for the present because external factors have changed.

c) Conceptual limitations . Previous studies may be unjustifiably bound up to a particular model or an ideology.

While discussing the shortcomings of previous studies you should explain how you are going to correct them. This principle is true to almost all areas in business studies i.e. gaps or shortcomings in the literature can be found in relation to almost all areas of business and economics.

2. The research can be conducted to solve a specific problem. It helps if you can explain why you are the right person and in the right position to solve the problem. You have to explain the essence of the problem in a detailed manner and highlight practical benefits associated with the solution of the problem. Suppose, your dissertation topic is “a study into advantages and disadvantages of various entry strategies into Chinese market”. In this case, you can say that practical implications of your research relates to assisting businesses aiming to enter Chinese market to do more informed decision making.

Alternatively, if your research is devoted to the analysis of impacts of CSR programs and initiatives on brand image, practical contributions of your study would relate to contributing to the level of effectiveness of CSR programs of businesses.

Additional examples of studies that can assist to address specific practical problems may include the following:

  • A study into the reasons of high employee turnover at Hanson Brick
  • A critical analysis of employee motivation problems at Esporta, Finchley Road, London
  • A research into effective succession planning at Microsoft
  • A study into major differences between private and public primary education in the USA and implications of these differences on the quality of education

However, it is important to note that it is not an obligatory for a dissertation   to be associated with the solution of a specific problem. Dissertations can be purely theory-based as well. Examples of such studies include the following:

  • Born or bred: revising The Great Man theory of leadership in the 21 st century
  • A critical analysis of the relevance of McClelland’s Achievement theory to the US information technology industry
  • Neoliberalism as a major reason behind the emergence of the global financial and economic crisis of 2007-2009
  • Analysis of Lewin’s Model of Change and its relevance to pharmaceutical sector of France

3. Your study has to contribute to the level of professional development of the researcher . That is you. You have to explain in a detailed manner in what ways your research contributes to the achievement of your long-term career aspirations.

For example, you have selected a research topic of “ A critical analysis of the relevance of McClelland’s Achievement theory in the US information technology industry ”.  You may state that you associate your career aspirations with becoming an IT executive in the US, and accordingly, in-depth knowledge of employee motivation in this industry is going to contribute your chances of success in your chosen career path.

Therefore, you are in a better position if you have already identified your career objectives, so that during the research process you can get detailed knowledge about various aspects of your chosen industry.

Rationale for the Study

My e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation in Business Studies: a step by step assistance offers practical assistance to complete a dissertation with minimum or no stress. The e-book covers all stages of writing a dissertation starting from the selection to the research area to submitting the completed version of the work within the deadline.

John Dudovskiy

404 Not found


Research proposal, thesis, exegesis, and journal article writing for business, social science and humanities (BSSH) research degree candidates

Topic outline, introduction and research justification.

examples of justification of study in research

Introduction and research justification, business, social sciences, humanities


  • Signalling the topic in the first sentence
  • The research justification or 'problem' statement 
  • The 'field' of literature
  • Summary of contrasting areas of research
  • Summary of the 'gap' in the literature
  • Research aims and objectives

Summary of the research design

Example research proposal introductions.

This topic outlines the steps in the introduction of the research proposal. As discussed in the first topic in this series of web resources, there are three key elements or conceptual steps within the main body of the research proposal. In this resource, these elements are referred to as the research justification, the literature review and the research design. These three steps also structure, typically, but not always in this order, the proposal introduction which contains an outline of the proposed research.

These steps pertain to the key questions of reviewers:

  • What problem or issue does the research address? (research justification)
  • How will the research contribute to existing knowledge? (the 'gap' in the literature, sometimes referred to as the research 'significance')
  • How will the research achieve its stated objectives? (the research design)

Reviewers look to find a summary of the case for the research in the introduction, which, in essence, involves providing summary answers to each of the questions above.

The introduction of the research proposal usually includes the following content:

  • a research justification or statement of a problem (which also serves to introduce the topic)
  • a summary of the key point in the literature review (a summary of what is known and how the research aims to contribute to what is known)
  • the research aim or objective
  • a summary of the research design
  • concise definitions of any contested or specialised terms that will be used throughout the proposal (provided the first time the term is used).

This topic will consider how to write about each of these in turn.

Signaling the topic in the first sentence

The first task of the research proposal is to signal the area of the research or 'topic' so the reader knows what subject will be discussed in the proposal. This step is ideally accomplished in the opening sentence or the opening paragraph of the research proposal. It is also indicated in the title of the research proposal. It is important not to provide tangential information in the opening sentence or title because this may mislead the reader about the core subject of the proposal.

A ‘topic’ includes:

examples of justification of study in research

  • the context or properties of the subject (the particular aspect or properties of the subject that are of interest).

Questions to consider in helping to clarify the topic:

  • What is the focus of my research?
  • What do I want to understand?
  • What domain/s of activity does it pertain to?
  • What will I investigate in order to shed light on my focus?

The research justification or the ‘problem’ statement

The goal of the first step of the research proposal is to get your audience's attention; to show them why your research matters, and to make them want to know more about your research. The first step within the research proposal is sometimes referred to as the research justification or the statement of the 'problem'. This step involves providing the reader with critical background or contextual information that introduces the topic area, and indicates why the research is important. Research proposals often open by outlining a central concern, issue, question or conundrum to which the research relates.

The research justification should be provided in an accessible and direct manner in the introductory section of the research proposal. The number of words required to complete this first conceptual step will vary widely depending on the project.

Writing about the research justification, like writing about the literature and your research design, is a creative process involving careful decision making on your part. The research justification should lead up to the topic of your research and frame your research, and, when you write your thesis, exegesis or journal article conclusion, you will again return to the research justification to wrap up the implications of your research. That is to say, your conclusions will refer back to the problem and reflect on what the findings suggest about how we should treat the problem. For this reason, you may find the need to go back and reframe your research justification as your research and writing progresses.

The most common way of establishing the importance of the research is to refer to a real world problem. Research may aim to produce knowledge that will ultimately be used to:

  • advance national and organisational goals (health, clean environment, quality education),
  • improve policies and regulations,
  • manage risk,
  • contribute to economic development,
  • promote peace and prosperity,
  • promote democracy,
  • test assumptions (theoretical, popular, policy) about human behaviour, the economy, society,
  • understand human behaviour, the economy and social experience,
  • understand or critique social processes and values.

Examples of 'research problems' in opening sentences and paragraphs of research writing

Management The concept of meritocracy is one replicated and sustained in much discourse around organisational recruitment, retention and promotion. Women have a firm belief in the concept of merit, believing that hard work, education and talent will in the end be rewarded (McNamee and Miller, 2004). This belief in workplace meritocracy could in part be due to the advertising efforts of employers themselves, who, since the early 1990s, attempt to attract employees through intensive branding programs and aggressive advertising which emphasise equality of opportunity. The statistics, however, are less than convincing, with 2008 data from the Equal Employment for Women in the Workplace agency signalling that women are disproportionately represented in senior management levels compared to men, and that the numbers of women at Chief Executive Officer level in corporate Australia have actually decreased (Equal Opportunity for Women Agency, 2008). Women, it seems, are still unable to shatter the glass ceiling and are consistently overlooked at executive level.

Psychology Tension-type headache is extremely prevalent and is associated with significant personal and social costs.

Education One of the major challenges of higher education health programs is developing the cognitive abilities that will assist undergraduate students' clinical decision making. This is achieved by stimulating enquiry analysis, creating independent judgement and developing cognitive skills that are in line with graduate practice (Hollingworth and McLoughlin 2001; Bedard, 1996).

Visual arts In the East, the traditional idea of the body was not as something separate from the mind. In the West, however, the body is still perceived as separate, as a counterpart of the mind. The body is increasingly at the centre of the changing cultural environment, particularly the increasingly visual culture exemplified by the ubiquity of the image, the emergence of virtual reality, voyeurism and surveillance culture. Within the contemporary visual environment, the body's segregation from the mind has become more intense than ever, conferring upon the body a 'being watched' or 'manufacturable' status, further undermining the sense of the body as an integral part of our being.

examples of justification of study in research

Literature review summary

The next step following the research justification in the introduction is the literature review summary statement. This part of the introduction summarises the literature review section of the research proposal, providing a concise statement that signals the field of research and the rationale for the research question or aim.

It can be helpful to think about the literature review element as comprised of four parts. The first is a reference to the field or discipline the research will contribute to. The second is a summary of the main questions, approaches or accepted conclusions in your topic area in the field or discipline at present ('what is known'). This summary of existing research acts as a contrast to highlight the significance of the third part, your statement of a 'gap'. The fourth part rephrases this 'gap' in the form of a research question, aim, objective or hypothesis.

For example

Scholars writing about ... (the problem area) in the field of ... (discipline or sub-discipline, part one) have observed that ... ('what is known', part two). Others describe ... ('what is known', part two). A more recent perspective chronicles changes that, in broad outline, parallel those that have occurred in ... ('what is known', part two). This study differs from these approaches in that it considers ... ('gap', research focus, part three). This research draws on ... to consider ... (research objective, part four).  

More information about writing these four parts of the literature review summary is provided below.

1. The 'field' of literature

The field of research is the academic discipline within which your research is situated, and to which it will contribute. Some fields grow out of a single discipline, others are multidisciplinary. The field or discipline is linked to university courses and research, academic journals, conferences and other academic associations, and some book publishers. It also describes the expertise of thesis supervisors and examiners. 

The discipline defines the kinds of approaches, theories, methods and styles of writing adopted by scholars and researchers working within them.

For a list of academic disciplines have a look at the wikipedia site at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_academic_disciplines

The field or discipline is not the same as the topic of the research. The topic is the subject matter or foci of your research. Disciplines or 'fields' refer to globally recognised areas of research and scholarship.

The field or discipline the research aims to contribute to can be signalled in a few key words within the literature review summary, or possibly earlier withn the research justification.

Sentence stems to signal the field of research 

  • Within the field of ... there is now agreement that ... .
  • The field of ... is marked by ongoing debate about ... .
  • Following analysis of ... the field of ... turned to an exploration of ... .

2. A summary of contrasting areas of research or what is 'known'

The newness or significance of what you are doing is typically established in a contrast or dialogue with other research and scholarship. The 'gap' (or hole in the donut) only becomes apparent by the surrounding literature (or donut). Sometimes a contrast is provided to show that you are working in a different area to what has been done before, or to show that you are building on previous work, or perhaps working on an unresolved issue within a discipline. It might also be that the approaches of other disciplines on the same problem area or focus are introduced to highlight a new angle on the topic.

3. The summary of the 'gap' in the literature

The 'gap' in the field typically refers to the explanation provided to support the research question. Questions or objectives grow out of areas of uncertainty, or gaps, in the field of research. In most cases, you will not know what the gap in knowledge is until you have reviewed the literature and written up a good part of the literature review section of the proposal. It is often not possible therefore to confidently write the 'gap' statement until you have done considerable work on the literature review. Once your literature review section is sufficiently developed, you can summarise the missing piece of knowledge in a brief statement in the introduction.

Sentence stems for summarising a 'gap' in the literature

Indicate a gap in the previous research by raising a question about it, or extending previous knowledge in some way:

  • However, there is little information/attention/work/data/research on … .
  • However, few studies/investigations/researchers/attempt to … .

Often steps two and three blend together in the same sentence, as in the sentence stems below.

Sentence stems which both introduce research in the field (what is 'known') and summarise a 'gap'

  • The research has tended to focus on …(introduce existing field foci), rather than on … ('gap').
  • These studies have emphasised that … …(introduce what is known), but it remains unclear whether … ('gap').
  • Although considerable research has been devoted to … (introduce field areas), rather less attention has been paid to … ('gap').

The 'significance' of the research

When writing the research proposal, it is useful to think about the research justification and the  ‘gap in the literature’ as two distinct conceptual elements, each of which must be established separately. Stating a real world problem or outlining a conceptual or other conundrum or concern is typically not, in itself, enough to justify the research. Similarly, establishing that there is a gap in the literature is often not enough on its own to persuade the reader that the research is important. In the first case, reviewers may still wonder ‘perhaps the problem or concern has already been addressed in the literature’, or, in the second, ‘so little has been done on this focus, but perhaps the proposed research is not important’? The proposal will ideally establish that the research is important, and that it will provide something new to the field of knowledge.

In effect, the research justification and the literature review work together to establish the benefit, contribution or 'significance' of the research. The 'significance' of the research is established not in a statement to be incorporated into the proposal, but as something the first two sections of the proposal work to establish. Research is significant when it pertains to something important, and when it provides new knowledge or insights within a field of knowledge.

4. The research aim or objective

The research aim is usually expressed as a concise statement at the close of the literature review. It may be referred to as an objective, a question or an aim. These terms are often used interchangeably to refer to the focus of the investigation. The research focus is the question at the heart of the research, designed to produce new knowledge. To avoid confusing the reader about the purpose of the research it is best to express it as either an aim, or an objective, or a question. It is also important to frame the aims of the research in a succinct manner; no more than three dot points say. And the aim/objective/question should be framed in more or less the same way wherever it appears in the proposal. This ensures the research focus is clear.

Language use

Research generally aims to produce knowledge, as opposed to say recommendations, policy or social change. Research may support policy or social change, and eventually produce it in some of its applications, but it does not typically produce it (with the possible exception of action research). For this reason, aims and objectives are framed in terms of knowledge production, using phrases like:

  • to increase understanding, insight, clarity;
  • to evaluate and critique;
  • to test models, theory, or strategies.

These are all knowledge outcomes that can be achieved within the research process.

Reflecting your social philosophy in the research aim

A well written research aim typically carries within it information about the philosophical approach the research will take, even if the researcher is not themselves aware of it, or if the proposal does not discuss philosophy or social theory at any length. If you are interested in social theory, you might consider framing your aim such that it reflects your philosophical or theoretical approach. Since your philosophical approach reflects your beliefs about how 'valid' knowledge can be gained, and therefore the types of questions you ask, it follows that it will be evident within your statement of the research aim. Researchers, variously, hold that knowledge of the world arises through:

  • observations of phenomena (measurements of what we can see, hear, taste, touch);
  • the interactions between interpreting human subjects and objective phenomena in the world;
  • ideology shaped by power, which we may be unconscious of, and which must be interrogated and replaced with knowledge that reflects people's true interests; 
  • the structure of language and of the unconscious;
  • the play of historical relations between human actions, institutional practices and prevailing discourses;
  • metaphoric and other linguistic relations established within language and text.

The philosophical perspective underpinning your research is then reflected in the research aim. For example, depending upon your philosophical perspective, you may aim to find out about:

  • observable phenomenon or facts;
  • shared cultural meanings of practices, rituals, events that determine how objective phenomena are interpreted and experienced;
  • social structures and political ideologies that shape experience and distort authentic or empowered experience;
  • the structure of language;
  • the historical evolution of networks of discursive and extra-discursive practices;
  • emerging or actual phenomenon untainted by existing representation.

You might check your aim statement to ensure it reflects the philosophical perspective you claim to adopt in your proposal. Check that there are not contradictions in your philosophical claims and that you are consistent in your approach. For assistance with this you may find the Social philosophy of research resources helpful.

Sentence stems for aims and objectives

  • The purpose of this research project is to … .
  • The purpose of this investigation is to … .
  • The aim of this research project is to … .
  • This study is designed to … .

The next step or key element in the research proposal is the research design. The research design explains how the research aims will be achieved. Within the introduction a summary of the overall research design can make the project more accessible to the reader.

The summary statement of the research design within the introduction might include:

  • the method/s that will be used (interviews, surveys, video observation, diary recording);
  • if the research will be phased, how many phases, and what methods will be used in each phase;
  • brief reference to how the data will be analysed.

The statement of the research design is often the last thing discussed in the research proposal introduction.

NB. It is not necessary to explain that a literature review and a detailed ouline of the methods and methodology will follow because academic readers will assume this.

Title: Aboriginal cultural values and economic sustainability: A case study of agro-forestry in a remote Aboriginal community

Further examples can be found at the end of this topic, and in the drop down for this topic in the left menu. 

In summary, the introduction contains a problem statement, or explanation of why the research is important to the world, a summary of the literature review, and a summary of the research design. The introduction enables the reviewer, as well as yourself and your supervisory team, to assess the logical connections between the research justification, the 'gap' in the literature, research aim and the research design without getting lost in the detail of the project. In this sense, the introduction serves as a kind of map or abstract of the proposed research as well as of the main body of the research proposal.

The following questions may be useful in assessing your research proposal introduction.

  • Have I clearly signalled the research topic in the key words and phrases used in the first sentence and title of the research proposal?
  • Have I explained why my research matters, the problem or issue that underlies the research in the opening sentences,  paragraphs and page/s?
  • Have I used literature, examples or other evidence to substantiate my understanding of the key issues?
  • Have I explained the problem in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and concern?
  • Have I indicated the field/s within which my research is situated using key words that are recognised by other scholars?
  • Have I provided a summary of previous research and outlined a 'gap' in the literature?
  • Have I provided a succinct statement of the objectives or aims of my research?
  • Have I provided a summary of the research phases and methods?

This resource was developed by Wendy Bastalich.

File icon



  • Enugu, Nigeria.
  • (234)-701-114-7037
  • [email protected]
  • Week Days: 09.00 to 18.00 Sunday: Closed

How to Write Justification of the Study in Research

Justification of the study

  • Latest Blog

The justification of the study is also referred to as the rationale for the study . It is what inspired you to research a given topic. As students, it is very important to know that research writing is not just one of the things we do for leisure, research is a vital part of human endeavour, it is through research done in the past that a lot of improvements are seen today around the world. Research should be able to fill a gap and provide solutions to an existing problem, hence researchers must do due diligence in identifying the reasons for starting a research work and be able to justify their reasons for embarking on a research journey.

If a research project is to be carried out on “Introduction of Digital Libraries for Students in Nigeria Senior Secondary Schools” it is expected that the researcher has found some setbacks in the study pattern of students or the limitations of using the physical libraries on campus.

The researcher must be able to give the reasons behind his choice of research topic, the importance of digital library should outweigh the challenges it poses.

The researcher should be able to justify the reasons for selecting a chosen project topic and discuss why the research study is needed.

For research to be justified, four main criteria must be discussed to convince the supervisor or readers that a study is worthy of undertaking.

  • The size or area involved in the study should be discussed, the researcher needs to show the geographical area or locations that the research would cover and provide reasons for the choice of area and what the outcome of the study will do for such area.
  • The research gaps found in previous literature of similar studies should be discussed. The researcher must show the missing piece from other literature that needs to be bridged and the reasons for the endeavour. The importance of filling research gaps should be told including the necessary contributions to the body of knowledge that the study would project at the end of the investigations and findings.
  • The researcher should be able to justice that there has been an improved methodology or the processes of carrying out the type of research undertaken and should show how the study intends to incorporate the enhanced methods of carrying out research in the selected field or subject to investigate.
  • The researcher should discuss the main benefits of the research to the general public, profession, group, institutions, the government policies and practices in the concerned field of study and how these benefits will enable future researchers and authors to make or develop future theories, literature and additional inputs in the coming days.

For private consultancy or tutor contact us

Leave a Comment .

Cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is justification in research/15 examples of justification

Photo of Ahmad Javed

Research in science is fundamental projects to obtain advances and new knowledge that allow us to better understand the world, managing and dealing with all kinds of phenomena. But investigations are not a spontaneous phenomenon: they require planning, design and, especially, a reason that justifies their being carried out. This rationale must be particularly compelling in cases where financial and other means are required for the investigation to begin. What is justification in research ?

For this reason, before starting a scientific project, it is necessary to develop a justification for that research . Next we are going to see  different examples of justification for an investigation  and what questions they must answer.

What is justification in an investigation/research?

The justification of an investigation is the  part of a scientific project in which the reasons and arguments that have led the person behind proposing it and wanting to carry it out are exposed  . This justification must be added when writing the work in writing, usually appearing at the beginning of it, both in the abstract and in the theoretical introduction. Its objective is to try to answer what, how, why and for what purpose the investigation has been carried out.

Therefore, the part of the justification is something fundamental that all scientific work must explain, since it provides the reasons that have led one or more people to decide to start the research that they present in the article or book. These are the reasons that are considered to make research useful and beneficial to the scientific community . It is very important to indicate in it what benefits for common knowledge can carry out or have carried out such research, as well as to advance in the understanding of a certain knowledge as its practical applications.

As its name indicates, the justification of an investigation is the part that justifies the work, that is, within it a series of arguments must be highlighted that must be valid and powerful enough to prove the need to carry out the investigation. When it comes to demonstrating that the work will be useful, there are many options for arguing and defending such research . What is justification in research ?

Among the most common we have the fact that  this research will allow science to advance in a specific field of knowledge  , something that serves as a precedent for more complex and larger investigations to be developed in the future. It can also be indicated that the research will serve so that what has been discovered can be applied as a solution to an important problem for society.

Another interesting argument used in the justification of an investigation is that, based on what has been discovered in it, a new method can be developed of something that was already known to be solved but that will be more economical, that is, that the investigation will allow develop a new system to face a certain problem but lowering costs, improving efficiency or reducing the consumption of resources, improving the quality of life of people who could not afford to pay the classical method or promoting social and educational changes without having as obstacle to the liquidity of funds.

Several examples of justification for an investigation

Now that we know what the justifications of an investigation are and what questions they must answer, using solid and valid arguments,  we move on to see several examples of justification of an investigation from different areas  . Most come from real investigations, only that here a summary of the part of the introduction has been exposed in which the antecedents of the field to be investigated are exposed a little and what are the reasons, objectives and arguments that have led the research team to deepen on that theme .

1. The effects of television on the behavior of young people

“ Television has become the most influential medium in the development of behavior and thought patterns in children and adolescents around the world, some of them quite disruptive (violence, aggressiveness, lack of respect towards teachers and other reference adults. ..). The relationship between television and youth behavior is suspected, but no clear causal link had been identified.

This article aims to  review the evidence in favor of the hypothesis of the harmful effects of television , trying to understand more fully the effect of this means of communication on younger audiences, its repercussions at a social level and define how it should be a more responsible television “. What is justification in research ?

2. Local development and microfinance as strategies to attend to social needs

“Today, states are involved in two important processes but seen too much at a global level: economics and politics. People often make the mistake of leaving aside the local, a sphere that, focusing on the economic aspect, cannot be understood without understanding the nature of small-scale social development (family, neighborhood, town …) and small economic transactions. that occur in it: microfinance. Although microfinance has been largely ignored, it undoubtedly influences socio-economic policies, albeit often in unexpected ways.

The development of a society cannot be approached only at the global level, but also by paying special interest to the local and trying to understand microfinance in its multiple dimensions: economic, social, environmental, political, cultural and institutional. The objective of this article is precisely to explore these dimensions, addressing the different theoretical approaches to the notions of local development and microfinance in order to establish them as tools for addressing the socioeconomic needs of people with fewer resources.

Since the needs and the capacity to satisfy them are indicative of the poverty of the society ,  these seemingly insignificant socio-economic aspects should be included in the political agenda  , in order to understand and design better intervention strategies for the most disadvantaged people ”.

3. Expression of rabies virus G protein in carrots and corn

“Rabies supposes great economic losses, both in cure methods and in prevention vaccines. The current vaccines are difficult to access and acquire for the population of developing countries, since they do not have the logistical or economic resources so that they The entire population is vaccinated against this pathology, which is why it is necessary to develop new rabies vaccine alternatives, made with resources that can be obtained in countries with mostly subsistence economies.

Among the advantages of plant-derived vaccines we have lower costs in production , storage, transportation and distribution. Furthermore, it is possible to administer plant tissue to human animals without the need to purify the protein of interest. For this reason, it  is of interest to find out how the G protein of the rabies virus is expressed in vegetables, specifically in carrots and corn , plants widely cultivated throughout the world. ” What is justification in research ?

4. Comprehensive use of crustacean waste

“The shrimp industry discards every year hundreds of tons of crustacean remains, specifically the exoskeleton (the shell) and the cephalothorax (head). These parts contain a substance, chitin, which could have applications in the preservation of highly perishable foods, such as fresh fruits.

At present, several methods have been used to preserve fruit and not all of them are respectful with the environment . The objective of this research is to determine if the application of a biofilm of chitin and chitosan, obtained by green chemistry, is beneficial to extend the useful life of fruits and  propose it as a new ecological method in the conservation of the harvest  , since these two substances are neither harmful nor aggressive to the environment “.

5. Reduction of depression in old age through reminiscence therapy

“There is little work on the modification of autobiographical memories with different age groups. However, some research has suggested that life review based on the retrieval of autobiographical memories is effective in modifying such memories in people with depression.

This work is based on the results of several studies that indicate a significant reduction in depression symptoms in elderly people who have undergone a program with individual reminiscence sessions, a program that promotes recovery from positive and negative events. The objective of the present study is to  analyze what is the relationship between depressive symptoms in old age and the characteristics of autobiographical memories  , that is, what role do the memories obtained that explain reduce the symptoms of depression play “.

6. Adherence to pharmacological treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes

“Diabetes mellitus is a disease strongly determined by genetics, in which the individual presents alterations in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, with a relative or absolute deficit of insulin secretion. Between 85 and 90% of patients with diabetes mellitus are type 2 diabetic and it is chronic. What is justification in research ?

We understand as adherence to a treatment the behavior of the patient when it coincides with the medical prescription, taking the prescribed drugs, following prescribed diets or maintaining healthy lifestyle habits . Adherence to a treatment is important to evaluate the clinical evolution of a pathology. Studies indicate that 50% of people with chronic diseases comply with their treatment, with several risk factors for this not being the case.

We consider it important to identify in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus what is the frequency of therapeutic non-adherence, what relationship it has with metabolic control, in addition to more precisely detecting which are the most common associated risk factors, in order to carry out tending programs to change their behavior  in order to encourage them to follow the treatment that has been prescribed for them  . ”

7. Relationship between family climate and school climate

“Classic studies, like that of Bernstein in the 70s, point out that the negative or positive attitude of the adolescent towards the teachers can be determined by the perception that his family has about the educational field. Both the family environment and the attitude towards authority in the classroom seem to be two very important factors in explaining violent behavior in adolescence in the school context .

Taking this into account, the main objective of this work has been to  examine the relationship between both contexts from the adolescent’s perception of the family and school climates  , analyzing the role played by different individual factors in the interaction between these two contexts ” .

8. Prevention of gender violence in universities

“University faculties are not places outside of gender violence. As a social problem that it is, gender violence affects women of all social classes , ages, cultures and economic levels, and overcomes the classic stereotypes associated with those who suffer it , why and where it occurs It does not matter if it is a socio-economically unfavorable context or if you are in the most select private university: violence against women is everywhere. What is justification in research ?

For this reason, the purpose of this research has been to  analyze the existence of gender-based violence in Spanish universities and to identify and develop measures that can help prevent it  , detecting the main foci, motives and contexts in which there are more possibilities for it to occur. produce in the university population “.

9. Linguistic study in children with Down syndrome

“This final degree project focuses on Down Syndrome , specifically on defining the basic abilities possessed by people with this intellectual disability , focusing on the processes of literacy during Primary Education.

The purpose of the study is to  obtain information that will help those families who have a member with this syndrome  , in order to help them progress taking into account their linguistic abilities and develop resources that allow the acquisition of theoretical-practical skills to be able to progress at work , socially and personally “.

10. Effects of the implementation of a VAT system in the United Arab Emirates

“The six member countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCEAG) agreed to launch a common market to increase investment and trade among their members. To facilitate this proposal, the countries agreed to implement a value -added tax system (VAT) for the year 2012.

It is very necessary to evaluate the basic principles and the social and economic implications that this new measure could have before it is officially applied  . The purpose of this work is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the proposed VAT system and what socio-economic repercussions it could imply for the Gulf countries, in addition to identifying possible risks and developing preventive strategies. ” What is justification in research ?

11. Study on the benefits of reading aloud to students

“One of the most traditional pedagogical techniques is to read aloud to students. One student reads aloud, while the others follow the reading in their respective books, being aware of which line they go to and, if any, the teacher so requests, change another student to read aloud.

Although classic, the benefits of reading aloud and listening for content acquisition in class have not been fully evaluated. Among the suspected benefits of this technique we have that the student not only learns to control the volume of his voice or knows how to project it in a public context such as the class, but also, if he has to listen, it allows him to improve the capacity active listening, internalizing academic knowledge.

The objective of the present investigation is to find out to what extent these suspected advantages are real, and to  see if the method of reading aloud to students, both by the teacher and by one of them, improves comprehension and skills. It feeds the student’s critical thinking  , following the class more and asking himself questions about the content while simultaneously acquiring it “.

12. Project to increase production in Chino Winds

“Before 1992, the Yavapai ranch was exploited in a traditional way. About two-thirds of the ranch was not fenced and a rather simple irrigation system was used. The cattle walked freely all year round within this portion of land, having little control of what they ate and without exposing potentially fertile areas that could be used for growing fruits, vegetables , and cereals. Livestock’s favorite areas were those near water sources, wasted as there was no complex irrigation system to irrigate the entire property. What is justification in research ?

The poor exploitation of the Yavapai Ranch is surprising since, taking into account its potential profitability, it turns out to be a great wasted production opportunity. The reason for this project is to improve the irrigation system and make better use of the land, hoping for a greater increase in production and consequently a greater obtaining of income that defies investment costs. In addition, by  controlling grazing, it is expected to improve the vegetation cover of the historically exploited areas  on the ranch, albeit passively. ”

13. Teaching mathematics and understanding its usefulness in real life

“Until today, the way of teaching mathematics has focused on giving the student a definition or a formula, showing them an example of how to use it and hoping that they know how to imitate it, without explaining or having the certainty that they understand what they have to do Nor does it promote the development of the student’s creative and integrative capacity, memorization is more emphasized than comprehension, and traditional tools do not provide the tools to investigate, analyze and discern the problem.

The main objective and motive of this project is to make students learn to use mathematics in their day to day, learning that they are useful for all kinds of areas beyond the subject of mathematics: economics, technology, science … So, It is proposed to give them real examples, in which they themselves have to use their knowledge and resolution capacity to propose a resolution process, talking to each other or communicating in the most precise way all their mental processing. What is justification in research ?

The justification for this project is the large number of students who, after being explained what to do or what formula to apply, detach it from reality itself. There are not a few students who when they finish the mathematics course it is as if they had not learned anything, in the sense that they are not able to see the relationship between what they have learned in that subject and their real life. The subject of mathematics is not in the curriculum to teach useless content, but to  make it easier for people to understand reality and solve problems in real life  , like any other subject “.

14. Study on the reproduction of sockeye salmon in Canada

“The objective of this study is to observe and analyze the habits of the sockeye salmon from the Fraser River (British Columbia, Canada). The justification for this research is that, due to global environmental changes and the increase in the temperature of the water, it has been found that the population of this species in this area has changed, not being certain that the species is out of danger and even suspecting a possible risk that the sockeye salmon could end up being a threatened species ”

The incidence of human beings on this species is well known and historical, since the exploitation of natural resources in its habitat and other economic activities had already dramatically modified the ecological niche where sockeye salmon develop and reproduce. Knowing what the adaptation and change processes of this species  have been, more specific conservation programs can be developed, in addition to starting environmental projects  that prevent the total disappearance of the sockeye salmon “.

15. Justification of the treatment and use of laboratory animals

“The use of animals in scientific research is something historically seen as necessary since there are ethical codes that protect people from taking part in experiments without their consent or causing them some kind of damage, both physical and mental. Although to a certain extent Necessary point, animal research has opened many debates, since the use of non-human animals is done to test techniques that would never be used in humans, such as implanting diseases, testing potentially dangerous drugs or removing vital parts.

Despite the fact that throughout the 20th century and what we have been in the 21st, multiple ethical codes have been developed in which the ethical treatment of laboratory animals is addressed, the simple fact of using them without their consent is an aspect that movements animalists do not overlook.  Research should be carried out only if there is a clear scientific purpose, and that involves minimal harm and suffering to the animal.

This point is not the justification for actual research , but rather what is deemed necessary to justify research using animals. The scientific purpose of the research  must have a great potential benefit for scientific knowledge at the cost of suffering  , preferably not very serious, of the animal. The species that are chosen must be the most appropriate, that they are not in danger of extinction or protected by law and that it is known how to treat them in the least stressful way possible but that implies some kind of scientific benefit “.

Related Articles

Explanatory Research

What is Explanatory Research concepts objectives, examples and comparatives

How to write a research question example/phases/how to ask, how to write introduction in research proposal/3 tips.

Survey research

What is Survey research characteristics templates Advantages Disadvantages

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.


Please input characters displayed above.

Philosophical Knowledge definition

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • J Korean Med Sci
  • v.37(16); 2022 Apr 25

Logo of jkms

A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions and Hypotheses in Scholarly Articles

Edward barroga.

1 Department of General Education, Graduate School of Nursing Science, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo, Japan.

Glafera Janet Matanguihan

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Messiah University, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA.

The development of research questions and the subsequent hypotheses are prerequisites to defining the main research purpose and specific objectives of a study. Consequently, these objectives determine the study design and research outcome. The development of research questions is a process based on knowledge of current trends, cutting-edge studies, and technological advances in the research field. Excellent research questions are focused and require a comprehensive literature search and in-depth understanding of the problem being investigated. Initially, research questions may be written as descriptive questions which could be developed into inferential questions. These questions must be specific and concise to provide a clear foundation for developing hypotheses. Hypotheses are more formal predictions about the research outcomes. These specify the possible results that may or may not be expected regarding the relationship between groups. Thus, research questions and hypotheses clarify the main purpose and specific objectives of the study, which in turn dictate the design of the study, its direction, and outcome. Studies developed from good research questions and hypotheses will have trustworthy outcomes with wide-ranging social and health implications.


Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses. 1 , 2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results. 3 , 4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the inception of novel studies and the ethical testing of ideas. 5 , 6

It is crucial to have knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research 2 as both types of research involve writing research questions and hypotheses. 7 However, these crucial elements of research are sometimes overlooked; if not overlooked, then framed without the forethought and meticulous attention it needs. Planning and careful consideration are needed when developing quantitative or qualitative research, particularly when conceptualizing research questions and hypotheses. 4

There is a continuing need to support researchers in the creation of innovative research questions and hypotheses, as well as for journal articles that carefully review these elements. 1 When research questions and hypotheses are not carefully thought of, unethical studies and poor outcomes usually ensue. Carefully formulated research questions and hypotheses define well-founded objectives, which in turn determine the appropriate design, course, and outcome of the study. This article then aims to discuss in detail the various aspects of crafting research questions and hypotheses, with the goal of guiding researchers as they develop their own. Examples from the authors and peer-reviewed scientific articles in the healthcare field are provided to illustrate key points.


A research question is what a study aims to answer after data analysis and interpretation. The answer is written in length in the discussion section of the paper. Thus, the research question gives a preview of the different parts and variables of the study meant to address the problem posed in the research question. 1 An excellent research question clarifies the research writing while facilitating understanding of the research topic, objective, scope, and limitations of the study. 5

On the other hand, a research hypothesis is an educated statement of an expected outcome. This statement is based on background research and current knowledge. 8 , 9 The research hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a new phenomenon 10 or a formal statement on the expected relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. 3 , 11 It provides a tentative answer to the research question to be tested or explored. 4

Hypotheses employ reasoning to predict a theory-based outcome. 10 These can also be developed from theories by focusing on components of theories that have not yet been observed. 10 The validity of hypotheses is often based on the testability of the prediction made in a reproducible experiment. 8

Conversely, hypotheses can also be rephrased as research questions. Several hypotheses based on existing theories and knowledge may be needed to answer a research question. Developing ethical research questions and hypotheses creates a research design that has logical relationships among variables. These relationships serve as a solid foundation for the conduct of the study. 4 , 11 Haphazardly constructed research questions can result in poorly formulated hypotheses and improper study designs, leading to unreliable results. Thus, the formulations of relevant research questions and verifiable hypotheses are crucial when beginning research. 12


Excellent research questions are specific and focused. These integrate collective data and observations to confirm or refute the subsequent hypotheses. Well-constructed hypotheses are based on previous reports and verify the research context. These are realistic, in-depth, sufficiently complex, and reproducible. More importantly, these hypotheses can be addressed and tested. 13

There are several characteristics of well-developed hypotheses. Good hypotheses are 1) empirically testable 7 , 10 , 11 , 13 ; 2) backed by preliminary evidence 9 ; 3) testable by ethical research 7 , 9 ; 4) based on original ideas 9 ; 5) have evidenced-based logical reasoning 10 ; and 6) can be predicted. 11 Good hypotheses can infer ethical and positive implications, indicating the presence of a relationship or effect relevant to the research theme. 7 , 11 These are initially developed from a general theory and branch into specific hypotheses by deductive reasoning. In the absence of a theory to base the hypotheses, inductive reasoning based on specific observations or findings form more general hypotheses. 10


Research questions and hypotheses are developed according to the type of research, which can be broadly classified into quantitative and qualitative research. We provide a summary of the types of research questions and hypotheses under quantitative and qualitative research categories in Table 1 .

Research questions in quantitative research

In quantitative research, research questions inquire about the relationships among variables being investigated and are usually framed at the start of the study. These are precise and typically linked to the subject population, dependent and independent variables, and research design. 1 Research questions may also attempt to describe the behavior of a population in relation to one or more variables, or describe the characteristics of variables to be measured ( descriptive research questions ). 1 , 5 , 14 These questions may also aim to discover differences between groups within the context of an outcome variable ( comparative research questions ), 1 , 5 , 14 or elucidate trends and interactions among variables ( relationship research questions ). 1 , 5 We provide examples of descriptive, comparative, and relationship research questions in quantitative research in Table 2 .

Hypotheses in quantitative research

In quantitative research, hypotheses predict the expected relationships among variables. 15 Relationships among variables that can be predicted include 1) between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable ( simple hypothesis ) or 2) between two or more independent and dependent variables ( complex hypothesis ). 4 , 11 Hypotheses may also specify the expected direction to be followed and imply an intellectual commitment to a particular outcome ( directional hypothesis ) 4 . On the other hand, hypotheses may not predict the exact direction and are used in the absence of a theory, or when findings contradict previous studies ( non-directional hypothesis ). 4 In addition, hypotheses can 1) define interdependency between variables ( associative hypothesis ), 4 2) propose an effect on the dependent variable from manipulation of the independent variable ( causal hypothesis ), 4 3) state a negative relationship between two variables ( null hypothesis ), 4 , 11 , 15 4) replace the working hypothesis if rejected ( alternative hypothesis ), 15 explain the relationship of phenomena to possibly generate a theory ( working hypothesis ), 11 5) involve quantifiable variables that can be tested statistically ( statistical hypothesis ), 11 6) or express a relationship whose interlinks can be verified logically ( logical hypothesis ). 11 We provide examples of simple, complex, directional, non-directional, associative, causal, null, alternative, working, statistical, and logical hypotheses in quantitative research, as well as the definition of quantitative hypothesis-testing research in Table 3 .

Research questions in qualitative research

Unlike research questions in quantitative research, research questions in qualitative research are usually continuously reviewed and reformulated. The central question and associated subquestions are stated more than the hypotheses. 15 The central question broadly explores a complex set of factors surrounding the central phenomenon, aiming to present the varied perspectives of participants. 15

There are varied goals for which qualitative research questions are developed. These questions can function in several ways, such as to 1) identify and describe existing conditions ( contextual research question s); 2) describe a phenomenon ( descriptive research questions ); 3) assess the effectiveness of existing methods, protocols, theories, or procedures ( evaluation research questions ); 4) examine a phenomenon or analyze the reasons or relationships between subjects or phenomena ( explanatory research questions ); or 5) focus on unknown aspects of a particular topic ( exploratory research questions ). 5 In addition, some qualitative research questions provide new ideas for the development of theories and actions ( generative research questions ) or advance specific ideologies of a position ( ideological research questions ). 1 Other qualitative research questions may build on a body of existing literature and become working guidelines ( ethnographic research questions ). Research questions may also be broadly stated without specific reference to the existing literature or a typology of questions ( phenomenological research questions ), may be directed towards generating a theory of some process ( grounded theory questions ), or may address a description of the case and the emerging themes ( qualitative case study questions ). 15 We provide examples of contextual, descriptive, evaluation, explanatory, exploratory, generative, ideological, ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, and qualitative case study research questions in qualitative research in Table 4 , and the definition of qualitative hypothesis-generating research in Table 5 .

Qualitative studies usually pose at least one central research question and several subquestions starting with How or What . These research questions use exploratory verbs such as explore or describe . These also focus on one central phenomenon of interest, and may mention the participants and research site. 15

Hypotheses in qualitative research

Hypotheses in qualitative research are stated in the form of a clear statement concerning the problem to be investigated. Unlike in quantitative research where hypotheses are usually developed to be tested, qualitative research can lead to both hypothesis-testing and hypothesis-generating outcomes. 2 When studies require both quantitative and qualitative research questions, this suggests an integrative process between both research methods wherein a single mixed-methods research question can be developed. 1


Research questions followed by hypotheses should be developed before the start of the study. 1 , 12 , 14 It is crucial to develop feasible research questions on a topic that is interesting to both the researcher and the scientific community. This can be achieved by a meticulous review of previous and current studies to establish a novel topic. Specific areas are subsequently focused on to generate ethical research questions. The relevance of the research questions is evaluated in terms of clarity of the resulting data, specificity of the methodology, objectivity of the outcome, depth of the research, and impact of the study. 1 , 5 These aspects constitute the FINER criteria (i.e., Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant). 1 Clarity and effectiveness are achieved if research questions meet the FINER criteria. In addition to the FINER criteria, Ratan et al. described focus, complexity, novelty, feasibility, and measurability for evaluating the effectiveness of research questions. 14

The PICOT and PEO frameworks are also used when developing research questions. 1 The following elements are addressed in these frameworks, PICOT: P-population/patients/problem, I-intervention or indicator being studied, C-comparison group, O-outcome of interest, and T-timeframe of the study; PEO: P-population being studied, E-exposure to preexisting conditions, and O-outcome of interest. 1 Research questions are also considered good if these meet the “FINERMAPS” framework: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant, Manageable, Appropriate, Potential value/publishable, and Systematic. 14

As we indicated earlier, research questions and hypotheses that are not carefully formulated result in unethical studies or poor outcomes. To illustrate this, we provide some examples of ambiguous research question and hypotheses that result in unclear and weak research objectives in quantitative research ( Table 6 ) 16 and qualitative research ( Table 7 ) 17 , and how to transform these ambiguous research question(s) and hypothesis(es) into clear and good statements.

a These statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.

b These statements are direct quotes from Higashihara and Horiuchi. 16

a This statement is a direct quote from Shimoda et al. 17

The other statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.


To construct effective research questions and hypotheses, it is very important to 1) clarify the background and 2) identify the research problem at the outset of the research, within a specific timeframe. 9 Then, 3) review or conduct preliminary research to collect all available knowledge about the possible research questions by studying theories and previous studies. 18 Afterwards, 4) construct research questions to investigate the research problem. Identify variables to be accessed from the research questions 4 and make operational definitions of constructs from the research problem and questions. Thereafter, 5) construct specific deductive or inductive predictions in the form of hypotheses. 4 Finally, 6) state the study aims . This general flow for constructing effective research questions and hypotheses prior to conducting research is shown in Fig. 1 .

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is jkms-37-e121-g001.jpg

Research questions are used more frequently in qualitative research than objectives or hypotheses. 3 These questions seek to discover, understand, explore or describe experiences by asking “What” or “How.” The questions are open-ended to elicit a description rather than to relate variables or compare groups. The questions are continually reviewed, reformulated, and changed during the qualitative study. 3 Research questions are also used more frequently in survey projects than hypotheses in experiments in quantitative research to compare variables and their relationships.

Hypotheses are constructed based on the variables identified and as an if-then statement, following the template, ‘If a specific action is taken, then a certain outcome is expected.’ At this stage, some ideas regarding expectations from the research to be conducted must be drawn. 18 Then, the variables to be manipulated (independent) and influenced (dependent) are defined. 4 Thereafter, the hypothesis is stated and refined, and reproducible data tailored to the hypothesis are identified, collected, and analyzed. 4 The hypotheses must be testable and specific, 18 and should describe the variables and their relationships, the specific group being studied, and the predicted research outcome. 18 Hypotheses construction involves a testable proposition to be deduced from theory, and independent and dependent variables to be separated and measured separately. 3 Therefore, good hypotheses must be based on good research questions constructed at the start of a study or trial. 12

In summary, research questions are constructed after establishing the background of the study. Hypotheses are then developed based on the research questions. Thus, it is crucial to have excellent research questions to generate superior hypotheses. In turn, these would determine the research objectives and the design of the study, and ultimately, the outcome of the research. 12 Algorithms for building research questions and hypotheses are shown in Fig. 2 for quantitative research and in Fig. 3 for qualitative research.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is jkms-37-e121-g002.jpg


  • EXAMPLE 1. Descriptive research question (quantitative research)
  • - Presents research variables to be assessed (distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes)
  • “BACKGROUND: Since COVID-19 was identified, its clinical and biological heterogeneity has been recognized. Identifying COVID-19 phenotypes might help guide basic, clinical, and translational research efforts.
  • RESEARCH QUESTION: Does the clinical spectrum of patients with COVID-19 contain distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes? ” 19
  • EXAMPLE 2. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
  • - Shows interactions between dependent variable (static postural control) and independent variable (peripheral visual field loss)
  • “Background: Integration of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensations contributes to postural control. People with peripheral visual field loss have serious postural instability. However, the directional specificity of postural stability and sensory reweighting caused by gradual peripheral visual field loss remain unclear.
  • Research question: What are the effects of peripheral visual field loss on static postural control ?” 20
  • EXAMPLE 3. Comparative research question (quantitative research)
  • - Clarifies the difference among groups with an outcome variable (patients enrolled in COMPERA with moderate PH or severe PH in COPD) and another group without the outcome variable (patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH))
  • “BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD is a poorly investigated clinical condition.
  • RESEARCH QUESTION: Which factors determine the outcome of PH in COPD?
  • STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of patients enrolled in the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA) with moderate or severe PH in COPD as defined during the 6th PH World Symposium who received medical therapy for PH and compared them with patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) .” 21
  • EXAMPLE 4. Exploratory research question (qualitative research)
  • - Explores areas that have not been fully investigated (perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment) to have a deeper understanding of the research problem
  • “Problem: Interventions for children with obesity lead to only modest improvements in BMI and long-term outcomes, and data are limited on the perspectives of families of children with obesity in clinic-based treatment. This scoping review seeks to answer the question: What is known about the perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment? This review aims to explore the scope of perspectives reported by families of children with obesity who have received individualized outpatient clinic-based obesity treatment.” 22
  • EXAMPLE 5. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
  • - Defines interactions between dependent variable (use of ankle strategies) and independent variable (changes in muscle tone)
  • “Background: To maintain an upright standing posture against external disturbances, the human body mainly employs two types of postural control strategies: “ankle strategy” and “hip strategy.” While it has been reported that the magnitude of the disturbance alters the use of postural control strategies, it has not been elucidated how the level of muscle tone, one of the crucial parameters of bodily function, determines the use of each strategy. We have previously confirmed using forward dynamics simulations of human musculoskeletal models that an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. The objective of the present study was to experimentally evaluate a hypothesis: an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. Research question: Do changes in the muscle tone affect the use of ankle strategies ?” 23


  • EXAMPLE 1. Working hypothesis (quantitative research)
  • - A hypothesis that is initially accepted for further research to produce a feasible theory
  • “As fever may have benefit in shortening the duration of viral illness, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response when taken during the early stages of COVID-19 illness .” 24
  • “In conclusion, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response . The difference in perceived safety of these agents in COVID-19 illness could be related to the more potent efficacy to reduce fever with ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen. Compelling data on the benefit of fever warrant further research and review to determine when to treat or withhold ibuprofen for early stage fever for COVID-19 and other related viral illnesses .” 24
  • EXAMPLE 2. Exploratory hypothesis (qualitative research)
  • - Explores particular areas deeper to clarify subjective experience and develop a formal hypothesis potentially testable in a future quantitative approach
  • “We hypothesized that when thinking about a past experience of help-seeking, a self distancing prompt would cause increased help-seeking intentions and more favorable help-seeking outcome expectations .” 25
  • “Conclusion
  • Although a priori hypotheses were not supported, further research is warranted as results indicate the potential for using self-distancing approaches to increasing help-seeking among some people with depressive symptomatology.” 25
  • EXAMPLE 3. Hypothesis-generating research to establish a framework for hypothesis testing (qualitative research)
  • “We hypothesize that compassionate care is beneficial for patients (better outcomes), healthcare systems and payers (lower costs), and healthcare providers (lower burnout). ” 26
  • Compassionomics is the branch of knowledge and scientific study of the effects of compassionate healthcare. Our main hypotheses are that compassionate healthcare is beneficial for (1) patients, by improving clinical outcomes, (2) healthcare systems and payers, by supporting financial sustainability, and (3) HCPs, by lowering burnout and promoting resilience and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to establish a scientific framework for testing the hypotheses above . If these hypotheses are confirmed through rigorous research, compassionomics will belong in the science of evidence-based medicine, with major implications for all healthcare domains.” 26
  • EXAMPLE 4. Statistical hypothesis (quantitative research)
  • - An assumption is made about the relationship among several population characteristics ( gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD ). Validity is tested by statistical experiment or analysis ( chi-square test, Students t-test, and logistic regression analysis)
  • “Our research investigated gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD in a Japanese clinical sample. Due to unique Japanese cultural ideals and expectations of women's behavior that are in opposition to ADHD symptoms, we hypothesized that women with ADHD experience more difficulties and present more dysfunctions than men . We tested the following hypotheses: first, women with ADHD have more comorbidities than men with ADHD; second, women with ADHD experience more social hardships than men, such as having less full-time employment and being more likely to be divorced.” 27
  • “Statistical Analysis
  • ( text omitted ) Between-gender comparisons were made using the chi-squared test for categorical variables and Students t-test for continuous variables…( text omitted ). A logistic regression analysis was performed for employment status, marital status, and comorbidity to evaluate the independent effects of gender on these dependent variables.” 27


  • EXAMPLE 1. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
  • “Pregnant women need skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth, but that skilled care is often delayed in some countries …( text omitted ). The focused antenatal care (FANC) model of WHO recommends that nurses provide information or counseling to all pregnant women …( text omitted ). Job aids are visual support materials that provide the right kind of information using graphics and words in a simple and yet effective manner. When nurses are not highly trained or have many work details to attend to, these job aids can serve as a content reminder for the nurses and can be used for educating their patients (Jennings, Yebadokpo, Affo, & Agbogbe, 2010) ( text omitted ). Importantly, additional evidence is needed to confirm how job aids can further improve the quality of ANC counseling by health workers in maternal care …( text omitted )” 28
  • “ This has led us to hypothesize that the quality of ANC counseling would be better if supported by job aids. Consequently, a better quality of ANC counseling is expected to produce higher levels of awareness concerning the danger signs of pregnancy and a more favorable impression of the caring behavior of nurses .” 28
  • “This study aimed to examine the differences in the responses of pregnant women to a job aid-supported intervention during ANC visit in terms of 1) their understanding of the danger signs of pregnancy and 2) their impression of the caring behaviors of nurses to pregnant women in rural Tanzania.” 28
  • EXAMPLE 2. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
  • “We conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate and compare changes in salivary cortisol and oxytocin levels of first-time pregnant women between experimental and control groups. The women in the experimental group touched and held an infant for 30 min (experimental intervention protocol), whereas those in the control group watched a DVD movie of an infant (control intervention protocol). The primary outcome was salivary cortisol level and the secondary outcome was salivary oxytocin level.” 29
  • “ We hypothesize that at 30 min after touching and holding an infant, the salivary cortisol level will significantly decrease and the salivary oxytocin level will increase in the experimental group compared with the control group .” 29
  • EXAMPLE 3. Background, aim, and hypothesis are provided
  • “In countries where the maternal mortality ratio remains high, antenatal education to increase Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) is considered one of the top priorities [1]. BPCR includes birth plans during the antenatal period, such as the birthplace, birth attendant, transportation, health facility for complications, expenses, and birth materials, as well as family coordination to achieve such birth plans. In Tanzania, although increasing, only about half of all pregnant women attend an antenatal clinic more than four times [4]. Moreover, the information provided during antenatal care (ANC) is insufficient. In the resource-poor settings, antenatal group education is a potential approach because of the limited time for individual counseling at antenatal clinics.” 30
  • “This study aimed to evaluate an antenatal group education program among pregnant women and their families with respect to birth-preparedness and maternal and infant outcomes in rural villages of Tanzania.” 30
  • “ The study hypothesis was if Tanzanian pregnant women and their families received a family-oriented antenatal group education, they would (1) have a higher level of BPCR, (2) attend antenatal clinic four or more times, (3) give birth in a health facility, (4) have less complications of women at birth, and (5) have less complications and deaths of infants than those who did not receive the education .” 30

Research questions and hypotheses are crucial components to any type of research, whether quantitative or qualitative. These questions should be developed at the very beginning of the study. Excellent research questions lead to superior hypotheses, which, like a compass, set the direction of research, and can often determine the successful conduct of the study. Many research studies have floundered because the development of research questions and subsequent hypotheses was not given the thought and meticulous attention needed. The development of research questions and hypotheses is an iterative process based on extensive knowledge of the literature and insightful grasp of the knowledge gap. Focused, concise, and specific research questions provide a strong foundation for constructing hypotheses which serve as formal predictions about the research outcomes. Research questions and hypotheses are crucial elements of research that should not be overlooked. They should be carefully thought of and constructed when planning research. This avoids unethical studies and poor outcomes by defining well-founded objectives that determine the design, course, and outcome of the study.

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Author Contributions:

  • Conceptualization: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Methodology: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Writing - original draft: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Writing - review & editing: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.

404 Not found

Research Objectives: The Compass of Your Study


Table of contents

  • 1 Definition and Purpose of Setting Clear Research Objectives
  • 2 How Research Objectives Fit into the Overall Research Framework
  • 3 Types of Research Objectives
  • 4 Aligning Objectives with Research Questions and Hypotheses
  • 5 Role of Research Objectives in Various Research Phases
  • 6.1 Key characteristics of well-defined research objectives
  • 6.2 Step-by-Step Guide on How to Formulate Both General and Specific Research Objectives
  • 6.3 How to Know When Your Objectives Need Refinement
  • 7 Research Objectives Examples in Different Fields
  • 8 Conclusion

Embarking on a research journey without clear objectives is like navigating the sea without a compass. This article delves into the essence of establishing precise research objectives, serving as the guiding star for your scholarly exploration.

We will unfold the layers of how the objective of study not only defines the scope of your research but also directs every phase of the research process, from formulating research questions to interpreting research findings. By bridging theory with practical examples, we aim to illuminate the path to crafting effective research objectives that are both ambitious and attainable. Let’s chart the course to a successful research voyage, exploring the significance, types, and formulation of research paper objectives.

Definition and Purpose of Setting Clear Research Objectives

Defining the research objectives includes which two tasks? Research objectives are clear and concise statements that outline what you aim to achieve through your study. They are the foundation for determining your research scope, guiding your data collection methods, and shaping your analysis. The purpose of research proposal and setting clear objectives in it is to ensure that your research efforts are focused and efficient, and to provide a roadmap that keeps your study aligned with its intended outcomes.

To define the research objective at the outset, researchers can avoid the pitfalls of scope creep, where the study’s focus gradually broadens beyond its initial boundaries, leading to wasted resources and time. Clear objectives facilitate communication with stakeholders, such as funding bodies, academic supervisors, and the broader academic community, by succinctly conveying the study’s goals and significance. Furthermore, they help in the formulation of precise research questions and hypotheses, making the research process more systematic and organized. Yet, it is not always easy. For this reason, PapersOwl is always ready to help. Lastly, clear research objectives enable the researcher to critically assess the study’s progress and outcomes against predefined benchmarks, ensuring the research stays on track and delivers meaningful results.

How Research Objectives Fit into the Overall Research Framework

Research objectives are integral to the research framework as the nexus between the research problem, questions, and hypotheses. They translate the broad goals of your study into actionable steps, ensuring every aspect of your research is purposefully aligned towards addressing the research problem. This alignment helps in structuring the research design and methodology, ensuring that each component of the study is geared towards answering the core questions derived from the objectives. Creating such a difficult piece may take a lot of time. If you need it to be accurate yet fast delivered, consider getting professional research paper writing help whenever the time comes. It also aids in the identification and justification of the research methods and tools used for data collection and analysis, aligning them with the objectives to enhance the validity and reliability of the findings.

Furthermore, by setting clear objectives, researchers can more effectively evaluate the impact and significance of their work in contributing to existing knowledge. Additionally, research objectives guide literature review, enabling researchers to focus their examination on relevant studies and theoretical frameworks that directly inform their research goals.

Types of Research Objectives

In the landscape of research, setting objectives is akin to laying down the tracks for a train’s journey, guiding it towards its destination. Constructing these tracks involves defining two main types of objectives: general and specific. Each serves a unique purpose in guiding the research towards its ultimate goals, with general objectives providing the broad vision and specific objectives outlining the concrete steps needed to fulfill that vision. Together, they form a cohesive blueprint that directs the focus of the study, ensuring that every effort contributes meaningfully to the overarching research aims.

  • General objectives articulate the overarching goals of your study. They are broad, setting the direction for your research without delving into specifics. These objectives capture what you wish to explore or contribute to existing knowledge.
  • Specific objectives break down the general objectives into measurable outcomes. They are precise, detailing the steps needed to achieve the broader goals of your study. They often correspond to different aspects of your research question , ensuring a comprehensive approach to your study.

To illustrate, consider a research project on the impact of digital marketing on consumer behavior. A general objective might be “to explore the influence of digital marketing on consumer purchasing decisions.” Specific objectives could include “to assess the effectiveness of social media advertising in enhancing brand awareness” and “to evaluate the impact of email marketing on customer loyalty.”

Aligning Objectives with Research Questions and Hypotheses

The harmony between what research objectives should be, questions, and hypotheses is critical. Objectives define what you aim to achieve; research questions specify what you seek to understand, and hypotheses predict the expected outcomes.

This alignment ensures a coherent and focused research endeavor. Achieving it necessitates a thoughtful consideration of how each component interrelates, ensuring that the objectives are not only ambitious but also directly answerable through the research questions and testable via the hypotheses. This interconnectedness facilitates a streamlined approach to the research process, enabling researchers to systematically address each aspect of their study in a logical sequence. Moreover, it enhances the clarity and precision of the research, making it easier for peers and stakeholders to grasp the study’s direction and potential contributions.

Role of Research Objectives in Various Research Phases

Throughout the research process, objectives guide your choices and strategies – from selecting the appropriate research design and methods to analyzing data and interpreting results. They are the criteria against which you measure the success of your study. In the initial stages, research objectives inform the selection of a topic, helping to narrow down a broad area of interest into a focused question that can be explored in depth. During the methodology phase, they dictate the type of data needed and the best methods for obtaining that data, ensuring that every step taken is purposeful and aligned with the study’s goals. As the research progresses, objectives provide a framework for analyzing the collected data, guiding the researcher in identifying patterns, drawing conclusions, and making informed decisions.

Crafting Effective Research Objectives


The effective objective of research is pivotal in laying the groundwork for a successful investigation. These objectives clarify the focus of your study and determine its direction and scope. Ensuring that your objectives are well-defined and aligned with the SMART criteria is crucial for setting a strong foundation for your research.

Key characteristics of well-defined research objectives

Well-defined research objectives are characterized by the SMART criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Specific objectives clearly define what you plan to achieve, eliminating any ambiguity. Measurable objectives allow you to track progress and assess the outcome. Achievable objectives are realistic, considering the research sources and time available. Relevant objectives align with the broader goals of your field or research question. Finally, Time-bound objectives have a clear timeline for completion, adding urgency and a schedule to your work.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Formulate Both General and Specific Research Objectives

So lets get to the part, how to write research objectives properly?

  • Understand the issue or gap in existing knowledge your study aims to address.
  • Gain insights into how similar challenges have been approached to refine your objectives.
  • Articulate the broad goal of research based on your understanding of the problem.
  • Detail the specific aspects of your research, ensuring they are actionable and measurable.

How to Know When Your Objectives Need Refinement

Your objectives of research may require refinement if they lack clarity, feasibility, or alignment with the research problem. If you find yourself struggling to design experiments or methods that directly address your objectives, or if the objectives seem too broad or not directly related to your research question, it’s likely time for refinement. Additionally, objectives in research proposal that do not facilitate a clear measurement of success indicate a need for a more precise definition. Refinement involves ensuring that each objective is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, enhancing your research’s overall focus and impact.

Research Objectives Examples in Different Fields

The application of research objectives spans various academic disciplines, each with its unique focus and methodologies. To illustrate how the objectives of the study guide a research paper across different fields, here are some research objective examples:

  • In Health Sciences , a research aim may be to “determine the efficacy of a new vaccine in reducing the incidence of a specific disease among a target population within one year.” This objective is specific (efficacy of a new vaccine), measurable (reduction in disease incidence), achievable (with the right study design and sample size), relevant (to public health), and time-bound (within one year).
  • In Environmental Studies , the study objectives could be “to assess the impact of air pollution on urban biodiversity over a decade.” This reflects a commitment to understanding the long-term effects of human activities on urban ecosystems, emphasizing the need for sustainable urban planning.
  • In Economics , an example objective of a study might be “to analyze the relationship between fiscal policies and unemployment rates in developing countries over the past twenty years.” This seeks to explore macroeconomic trends and inform policymaking, highlighting the role of economic research study in societal development.

These examples of research objectives describe the versatility and significance of research objectives in guiding scholarly inquiry across different domains. By setting clear, well-defined objectives, researchers can ensure their studies are focused and impactful and contribute valuable knowledge to their respective fields.

Defining research studies objectives and problem statement is not just a preliminary step, but a continuous guiding force throughout the research journey. These goals of research illuminate the path forward and ensure that every stride taken is meaningful and aligned with the ultimate goals of the inquiry. Whether through the meticulous application of the SMART criteria or the strategic alignment with research questions and hypotheses, the rigor in crafting and refining these objectives underscores the integrity and relevance of the research. As scholars venture into the vast terrains of knowledge, the clarity, and precision of their objectives serve as beacons of light, steering their explorations toward discoveries that advance academic discourse and resonate with the broader societal needs.

Readers also enjoyed

Research Design Basics: Building Blocks of Scholarly Research


Just fill out the form, press the button, and have no worries!

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.

examples of justification of study in research

examples of justification of study in research

Main Navigation

Group of students walking on the Coffs Harbour Campus

  • Accept offer and enrol
  • Current Students

Personalise your experience

Did you mean..., diploma of arts and social sciences, art/science collaboration wins waterhouse natural science art prize, unit of study hlth6007 health research project a (2025).

Future students: T: 1800 626 481 E: Email your enquiry here

Current students: Contact: Faculty of Health

Students studying at an education collaboration: Please contact your relevant institution

updated - DO NOT REMOVE THIS LINE 6:05 AM on Fri, 12 April

Show me unit information for year

Unit snapshot.

PG Coursework Unit

Credit points

Faculty & college.

Faculty of Health

Unit description

Learners develop a proposed research project, from conception of an idea to preparation of a study protocol. Learners discover how to formulate a research question, reviewing the literature, critically appraise the literature, develop a research justification statement, and define the parameters of a research project (including the aims, objectives, design, outcomes, data collection methods and data analysis procedures). Learners also realise how to prepare a study protocol that may be suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Unit content

  • Research project management
  • Establishing a clear, succinct research question
  • Reviewing and appraising the literature and preparing a justification statement
  • Developing a research protocol
  • Data collection methods
  • Data analysis procedures


Learning outcomes.

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes . The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

apply the principles and strategies for effective research project management to a planned research project

develop a clear and succinct research question and/or hypothesis

compose a well-supported, current and persuasive research justification statement

formulate a comprehensive research protocol outlining data collection and analysis procedures aligned to project research question and/or hypothesis

Teaching and assessment

Online (term), prescribed learning resources.

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
  • Prescribed resources/equipment information is not currently available.

Prescribed Learning Resources may change in future Teaching Periods.

Fee information

Commonwealth Supported courses For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts .

Fee paying courses For postgraduate or undergraduate full-fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees .


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.

Courses that offer this unit

Master of osteopathic medicine (2024), master of osteopathic medicine (2025), master of advanced naturopathic medicine (2025), master of advanced naturopathic medicine (2024), master of lifestyle medicine (2024), master of lifestyle medicine (2025), master of naturopathic medicine (2025), master of naturopathic medicine (2024), any questions we'd love to help.


Oxidant pollutant ozone removes mating barriers between fly species

Elevated ozone levels increase the occurrence of mostly sterile hybrids between different species of the genus drosophila.

Insect pheromones are odor molecules used for chemical communication within a species. Sex pheromones play a crucial role in the mating of many insects. Species-specific odors attract males and females of the same species. At the same time, they maintain the natural boundaries between species.

The research team led by Nanji Jiang, Bill Hansson and Markus Knaden from the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has previously shown that elevated ozone levels severely disrupt chemical communication within fly species: Ozone breaks the carbon-carbon double bonds found in most insect pheromones. As a result, male flies can no longer distinguish between females and other males and therefore court both sexes (Air pollution impairs successful mating of flies, March 14, 2024).

In their new study, the researchers investigated whether the degradation of sex pheromones by ozone also affects the mating boundaries between different species. "In particular, we wanted to know whether elevated ozone levels remove mating boundaries between species and what the consequences of a possible hybridization are. We know from previous experiments that ozone can severely disrupt mate choice in insects. Our current study indicates that even slightly elevated ozone levels, which nowadays are not uncommon on summer days in many places, cause flies to hybridize more frequently with closely related species, which could lead to a decline in insect populations due to the infertility of the resulting hybrids," says first author Nanji Jiang, summarizing the key message of the study.

Inter-species mating occurs under elevated ozone levels

The scientists chose four species of the genus Drosophila for their experiments. While Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans are cosmopolitan species found all over the world, their relatives Drosophila sechellia and Drosophila mauritiana are island-endemic and, as their names suggest, are only found in the Seychelles and Mauritius respectively. All four species use very similar pheromones, but mix them in a species-specific way. It was therefore crucial for the research team to be able to measure the quantitative changes within the pheromone mixtures after exposure to ozone.

In the mating experiments, the flies were exposed for two hours to ozone concentrations that are often measured on particularly hot days in our cities. The scientists gave ready-to-mate females the opportunity to choose between a male of the same species and a male of a different species. After a few hours, they separated the females from the males and allowed them to lay eggs. To determine whether the female had mated with a male of her own species or another species, the researchers analyzed the sexual organs of the male offspring, as species and hybrids can be distinguished on the basis of their morphology. The results of these tests showed that hybridization occurred more frequently under the influence of ozone, while few hybrids were found when the flies were previously exposed only to ambient air.

Fruit flies rely not only on chemical signals to mate, but also on the singing of species-specific songs, which they produce by vibrating their wings. Many species also use visual signals to attract mating partners. Despite these additional "aids," elevated ozone levels appeared to prevent some of the female flies in the study from distinguishing between conspecifics and males of other species. "Although we expected that the disruption of pheromone communication by ozone would lead to a slight increase in hybrids, we were surprised to find that some females were completely unable to discriminate between conspecifics and males of other species, despite other possible acoustic or visual cues," says Bill Hansson, Head of the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology.

Hybrids: a dead end in evolutionary terms

Male hybrids in flies are usually sterile or at least less fertile than non-hybrids. Male hybrid offspring is therefore a wasted investment for the flies and can contribute to the extinction of populations. Unlike male hybrids, female hybrids are usually fertile and in some cases were even preferred by males in this study. Female hybrids could therefore be a source of continuous gene flow, which in the long term could lead to the emergence of hybrid species.

"The genus Drosophila comprises more than 1500 species, and it is known that more than 100 closely related species pairs can potentially hybridize. It is therefore not unlikely that pollutant-induced hybridization in some of these species pairs could lead to hybrid speciation," says Markus Knaden, assessing the chances of success of such a hybrid species.

Air pollution is an underestimated threat to insects

Insects rely on odors, not only when choosing a mate. In addition to sex pheromones, they use aggregation pheromones to attract conspecifics of both sexes or alarm pheromones to communicate in case of danger. Social insects, such as ants, navigate along pheromone trails or use colony specific odors to recognize their nest mates. Many of these odor molecules also contain carbon-carbon double bonds, which can be broken by ozone. The scientists fear that ozone could disrupt the chemical communication of insects in many areas, and now plan to investigate this in further studies, for example in ants.

Outside the laboratory, other oxidizing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, which cannot be tested in laboratory experiments because of their toxicity, can amplify the effect of ozone. Limit values already exist for these pollutants because of their harmful effects on humans. "The limits for air pollutants should be re-evaluated, considering that even small amounts of these substances have a significant impact on the chemical communication of insects," says Markus Knaden. "As we are currently facing a dramatic decline in insect populations regarding their total biomass and their biodiversity, we should try to better understand and counteract all possible factors that potentially favor this decline."

  • Mating and Breeding
  • New Species
  • Ozone Holes
  • Air Quality
  • Environmental Issues
  • Seedless Fruit
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Ozone depletion

Story Source:

Materials provided by Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

  • Nan-Ji Jiang, Xinqi Dong, Daniel Veit, Bill S. Hansson, Markus Knaden. Elevated ozone disrupts mating boundaries in drosophilid flies . Nature Communications , 2024; 15 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-47117-7

Cite This Page :

Explore More

  • Ozone Removes Mating Barriers Between Fly ...
  • Parkinson's: New Theory On Origins and Spread
  • Clash of Stars Solves Stellar Mystery
  • Secure Quantum Computing at Home
  • Ocean Currents: Collapse of Antarctic Ice ...
  • Pacific Cities Much Older Than Previously ...
  • The Milky Way in Ancient Egyptian Mythology
  • Physical Activity Best in the Evening
  • How the Body Switches out of 'Fight' Mode
  • New Drug Prevents Flu-Related Lung Damage

Trending Topics

Strange & offbeat.

  • Share full article


Supported by

What Researchers Discovered When They Sent 80,000 Fake Résumés to U.S. Jobs

Some companies discriminated against Black applicants much more than others, and H.R. practices made a big difference.

Claire Cain Miller

By Claire Cain Miller and Josh Katz

A group of economists recently performed an experiment on around 100 of the largest companies in the country, applying for jobs using made-up résumés with equivalent qualifications but different personal characteristics. They changed applicants’ names to suggest that they were white or Black, and male or female — Latisha or Amy, Lamar or Adam.

On Monday, they released the names of the companies . On average, they found, employers contacted the presumed white applicants 9.5 percent more often than the presumed Black applicants.

Yet this practice varied significantly by firm and industry. One-fifth of the companies — many of them retailers or car dealers — were responsible for nearly half of the gap in callbacks to white and Black applicants.

Two companies favored white applicants over Black applicants significantly more than others. They were AutoNation, a used car retailer, which contacted presumed white applicants 43 percent more often, and Genuine Parts Company, which sells auto parts including under the NAPA brand, and called presumed white candidates 33 percent more often.

In a statement, Heather Ross, a spokeswoman for Genuine Parts, said, “We are always evaluating our practices to ensure inclusivity and break down barriers, and we will continue to do so.” AutoNation did not respond to a request for comment.

Companies With the Largest and Smallest Racial Contact Gaps

Of the 97 companies in the experiment, two stood out as contacting presumed white job applicants significantly more often than presumed Black ones. At 14 companies, there was little or no difference in how often they called back the presumed white or Black applicants.

Source: Patrick Kline, Evan K. Rose and Christopher R. Walters

Known as an audit study , the experiment was the largest of its kind in the United States: The researchers sent 80,000 résumés to 10,000 jobs from 2019 to 2021. The results demonstrate how entrenched employment discrimination is in parts of the U.S. labor market — and the extent to which Black workers start behind in certain industries.

“I am not in the least bit surprised,” said Daiquiri Steele, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama School of Law who previously worked for the Department of Labor on employment discrimination. “If you’re having trouble breaking in, the biggest issue is the ripple effect it has. It affects your wages and the economy of your community going forward.”

Some companies showed no difference in how they treated applications from people assumed to be white or Black. Their human resources practices — and one policy in particular (more on that later) — offer guidance for how companies can avoid biased decisions in the hiring process.

A lack of racial bias was more common in certain industries: food stores, including Kroger; food products, including Mondelez; freight and transport, including FedEx and Ryder; and wholesale, including Sysco and McLane Company.

“We want to bring people’s attention not only to the fact that racism is real, sexism is real, some are discriminating, but also that it’s possible to do better, and there’s something to be learned from those that have been doing a good job,” said Patrick Kline, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted the study with Evan K. Rose at the University of Chicago and Christopher R. Walters at Berkeley.

The researchers first published details of their experiment in 2021, but without naming the companies. The new paper, which is set to run in the American Economic Review, names the companies and explains the methodology developed to group them by their performance, while accounting for statistical noise.

Sample Résumés From the Experiment

Fictitious résumés sent to large U.S. companies revealed a preference, on average, for candidates whose names suggested that they were white.

Sample resume

To assign names, the researchers started with a prior list that had been assembled using Massachusetts birth certificates from 1974 to 1979. They then supplemented this list with names found in a database of speeding tickets issued in North Carolina between 2006 and 2018, classifying a name as “distinctive” if more than 90 percent of people with that name were of a particular race.

The study includes 97 firms. The jobs the researchers applied to were entry level, not requiring a college degree or substantial work experience. In addition to race and gender, the researchers tested other characteristics protected by law , like age and sexual orientation.

They sent up to 1,000 applications to each company, applying for as many as 125 jobs per company in locations nationwide, to try to uncover patterns in companies’ operations versus isolated instances. Then they tracked whether the employer contacted the applicant within 30 days.

A bias against Black names

Companies requiring lots of interaction with customers, like sales and retail, particularly in the auto sector, were most likely to show a preference for applicants presumed to be white. This was true even when applying for positions at those firms that didn’t involve customer interaction, suggesting that discriminatory practices were baked in to corporate culture or H.R. practices, the researchers said.

Still, there were exceptions — some of the companies exhibiting the least bias were retailers, like Lowe’s and Target.

The study may underestimate the rate of discrimination against Black applicants in the labor market as a whole because it tested large companies, which tend to discriminate less, said Lincoln Quillian, a sociologist at Northwestern who analyzes audit studies. It did not include names intended to represent Latino or Asian American applicants, but other research suggests that they are also contacted less than white applicants, though they face less discrimination than Black applicants.

The experiment ended in 2021, and some of the companies involved might have changed their practices since. Still, a review of all available audit studies found that discrimination against Black applicants had not changed in three decades. After the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, such discrimination was found to have disappeared among certain employers, but the researchers behind that study said the effect was most likely short-lived.

Gender, age and L.G.B.T.Q. status

On average, companies did not treat male and female applicants differently. This aligns with other research showing that gender discrimination against women is rare in entry-level jobs, and starts later in careers.

However, when companies did favor men (especially in manufacturing) or women (mostly at apparel stores), the biases were much larger than for race. Builders FirstSource contacted presumed male applicants more than twice as often as female ones. Ascena, which owns brands like Ann Taylor, contacted women 66 percent more than men.

Neither company responded to requests for comment.

The consequences of being female differed by race. The differences were small, but being female was a slight benefit for white applicants, and a slight penalty for Black applicants.

The researchers also tested several other characteristics protected by law, with a smaller number of résumés. They found there was a small penalty for being over 40.

Overall, they found no penalty for using nonbinary pronouns. Being gay, as indicated by including membership in an L.G.B.T.Q. club on the résumé, resulted in a slight penalty for white applicants, but benefited Black applicants — although the effect was small, when this was on their résumés, the racial penalty disappeared.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination is illegal even if it’s unintentional . Yet in the real world, it is difficult for job applicants to know why they did not hear back from a company.

“These practices are particularly challenging to address because applicants often do not know whether they are being discriminated against in the hiring process,” Brandalyn Bickner, a spokeswoman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said in a statement. (It has seen the data and spoken with the researchers, though it could not use an academic study as the basis for an investigation, she said.)

What companies can do to reduce discrimination

Several common measures — like employing a chief diversity officer, offering diversity training or having a diverse board — were not correlated with decreased discrimination in entry-level hiring, the researchers found.

But one thing strongly predicted less discrimination: a centralized H.R. operation.

The researchers recorded the voice mail messages that the fake applicants received. When a company’s calls came from fewer individual phone numbers, suggesting that they were originating from a central office, there tended to be less bias . When they came from individual hiring managers at local stores or warehouses, there was more. These messages often sounded frantic and informal, asking if an applicant could start the next day, for example.

“That’s when implicit biases kick in,” Professor Kline said. A more formalized hiring process helps overcome this, he said: “Just thinking about things, which steps to take, having to run something by someone for approval, can be quite important in mitigating bias.”

At Sysco, a wholesale restaurant food distributor, which showed no racial bias in the study, a centralized recruitment team reviews résumés and decides whom to call. “Consistency in how we review candidates, with a focus on the requirements of the position, is key,” said Ron Phillips, Sysco’s chief human resources officer. “It lessens the opportunity for personal viewpoints to rise in the process.”

Another important factor is diversity among the people hiring, said Paula Hubbard, the chief human resources officer at McLane Company. It procures, stores and delivers products for large chains like Walmart, and showed no racial bias in the study. Around 40 percent of the company’s recruiters are people of color, and 60 percent are women.

Diversifying the pool of people who apply also helps, H.R. officials said. McLane goes to events for women in trucking and puts up billboards in Spanish.

So does hiring based on skills, versus degrees . While McLane used to require a college degree for many roles, it changed that practice after determining that specific skills mattered more for warehousing or driving jobs. “We now do that for all our jobs: Is there truly a degree required?” Ms. Hubbard said. “Why? Does it make sense? Is experience enough?”

Hilton, another company that showed no racial bias in the study, also stopped requiring degrees for many jobs, in 2018.

Another factor associated with less bias in hiring, the new study found, was more regulatory scrutiny — like at federal contractors, or companies with more Labor Department citations.

Finally, more profitable companies were less biased, in line with a long-held economics theory by the Nobel Prize winner Gary Becker that discrimination is bad for business. Economists said that could be because the more profitable companies benefit from a more diverse set of employees. Or it could be an indication that they had more efficient business processes, in H.R. and elsewhere.

Claire Cain Miller writes about gender, families and the future of work for The Upshot. She joined The Times in 2008 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. More about Claire Cain Miller

Josh Katz is a graphics editor for The Upshot, where he covers a range of topics involving politics, policy and culture. He is the author of “Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk,” a visual exploration of American regional dialects. More about Josh Katz

From The Upshot: What the Data Says

Analysis that explains politics, policy and everyday life..

Employment Discrimination: Researchers sent 80,000 fake résumés to some of the largest companies in the United States. They found that some discriminated against Black applicants much more than others .

Pandemic School Closures: ​A variety of data about children’s academic outcomes and about the spread of Covid-19 has accumulated since the start of the pandemic. Here is what we learned from it .

Affirmative Action: The Supreme Court effectively ended race-based preferences in admissions. But will selective schools still be able to achieve diverse student bodies? Here is how they might try .

N.Y.C. Neighborhoods: We asked New Yorkers to map their neighborhoods and to tell us what they call them . The result, while imperfect, is an extremely detailed map of the city .

Dialect Quiz:  What does the way you speak say about where you’re from? Answer these questions to find out .


  1. (PDF) Justifying action research

    examples of justification of study in research

  2. Explanation & justification of research methods

    examples of justification of study in research

  3. Justification Report Essay Example

    examples of justification of study in research

  4. Step 4: Selecting and Justifying Your Research Design

    examples of justification of study in research

  5. Example Of Justification Of The Study In Research

    examples of justification of study in research

  6. Thesis justification

    examples of justification of study in research


  1. IntroDduction to Historiography (JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY OF HISTORY)

  2. how to write justification of the study in academic research


  4. How to write Significance of the Study

  5. Background of the Study

  6. The Positive Introspection Axiom (Justification Logic)


  1. PDF Sample Project Justification

    Justification Statement. The justification statement should include 2 to 3 paragraphs that convey the relevance of the over-arching topic in which the proposed research study is grounded. The purpose of this project is to examine the personal perceptions and safety concerns of workers in assumed low-risk. organizations.

  2. How to Write the Rationale of the Study in Research (Examples)

    What is the Rationale of the Study? The rationale of the study is the justification for taking on a given study. It explains the reason the study was conducted or should be conducted. This means the study rationale should explain to the reader or examiner why the study is/was necessary. It is also sometimes called the "purpose" or ...

  3. 7 Examples of Justification (of a project or research)

    Examples of justification. This research will focus on studying the reproduction habits of salmon in the Mediterranean region of Europe, ... Our study about the applications and programs developed through the three analyzed programming languages (Java, C ++ and Haskell), can allow us to clearly distinguish the potential that each of these ...

  4. Q: How to write the rationale or justification of a study?

    1 Answer to this question. The term used to imply why the study was needed in the first place is "rationale for research" or "rationale of a study." It is also sometimes referred to as the justification of the study. I have edited your question to reflect this. The rationale of a study is a very important part of the manuscript.

  5. What is the justification of a research?

    Answer: Research is conducted to add something new, either knowledge or solutions, to a field. Therefore, when undertaking new research, it is important to know and state why the research is being conducted, in other words, justify the research. The justification of a research is also known as the rationale.

  6. How to Write the Rationale for a Research Paper

    The rationale for your research is the reason why you decided to conduct the study in the first place. The motivation for asking the question. The knowledge gap. This is often the most significant part of your publication. It justifies the study's purpose, novelty, and significance for science or society.

  7. How is research justification or justification of a study written

    1 Answer to this question. Answer: The rationale or justification for doing any research must be gleaned from the existing literature on the subject. You will need to conduct a thorough literature survey and identify gaps in the current literature. The best way to write this is to introduce the current literature in the background/Introduction ...

  8. (PDF) Study Justification in Social Research

    Justification in social research refers to the logical discussion of the academic, scholarly and prac tical advantages or benefits of a research endeavour. It is an explanation of. the potential ...

  9. How to Write a Compelling Justification of Your Research

    Avoid simply replicating previous studies or rehashing existing ideas. Instead, highlight the unique aspects of your approach or the gaps in current knowledge that your research aims to fill. Writing a Proper Justification. Now that we've covered the common pitfalls, let's take a look at an example of how to write a proper justification.

  10. Rationale for the Study

    Rationale for the study, also referred to as justification for the study, is reason why you have conducted your study in the first place. This part in your paper needs to explain uniqueness and importance of your research. Rationale for the study needs to be specific and ideally, it should relate to the following points: 1. The research needs ...

  11. 7 Examples of Justification (of a project or research)

    The justification to the part of a research project that sets out the causes that impelled the research. And explanation is the section that declares the importance and the reasons this led who researcher until carry out the work. The justification explains to and reader why and why of chosen topic was study.

  12. Topic: Introduction and research justification

    The summary of the research design explains how the aim will be achieved (points to the case study and research partnership, and the research interviews that will provide cultural perspective). Further examples can be found at the end of this topic, and in the drop down for this topic in the left menu.

  13. How to Write Justification of the Study in Research

    The justification of the study is also referred to as the rationale for the study.It is what inspired you to research a given topic. As students, it is very important to know that research writing is not just one of the things we do for leisure, research is a vital part of human endeavour, it is through research done in the past that a lot of improvements are seen today around the world.

  14. Justification of research using systematic reviews continues to be

    Due to the common aim across the six evidence syntheses, a broad overall search strategy was designed to identify meta-research studies that assessed whether researchers used earlier similar studies and/or systematic reviews of earlier similar studies to inform the justification and/or design of a new study, whether researchers used systematic ...


    In this chapter the research approach and the techniques used to measure the concepts of this study, as well as the sampling process, data collection procedures and methods of analysis used in this study, are addressed. It describes the research design, the operationalisation process in terms of the aim and objectives of the study.

  16. From Discovery to Justification: Outline of an Ideal Research Program

    The total sample from the nine studies comes to n = 520. Since this far exceeds our requirements, we can in fact assess corroboration quality more severely. ... By contrast, a clear indicator that research has shifted to the justification context is a likelihood-ratio-based decision regarding a precisified effect size that is expectable in new ...

  17. What is justification in research/15 examples of justification

    The justification of an investigation is the part of a scientific project in which the reasons and arguments that have led the person behind proposing it and wanting to carry it out are exposed . This justification must be added when writing the work in writing, usually appearing at the beginning of it, both in the abstract and in the ...

  18. A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research

    INTRODUCTION. Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses.1,2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results.3,4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the ...

  19. 7 Examples of Justification (of a project or research)

    Examples of justification. This research will focus with studying the reproduction habits of salmon in and Mediterranean region to Europe, since due to recent ecological edit include the water and temperatures of the region produced by human economic activity, the behavior of these animals has been edited. Thus, this present work would allow to ...

  20. Justification for Adopting Qualitative Research Method, Research

    This study also provides brief justification on selecting specific qualitative research approaches, sampling strategies, sample size, interviews, and data analysis methods.

  21. Research Objectives: The Compass of Your Study

    It also aids in the identification and justification of the research methods and tools used for data collection and analysis, aligning them with the objectives to enhance the validity and reliability of the findings. ... In Economics, an example objective of a study might be "to analyze the relationship between fiscal policies and ...

  22. How to write a background and a justification for a research topic

    Write a research background or justification on the topic has the study of ICT in our education system affected our youth positively or negatively Asked by Emmanuel Kwesi on 25 Aug, 2021 Answer

  23. HLTH6007

    Learners develop a proposed research project, from conception of an idea to preparation of a study protocol. Learners discover how to formulate a research question, reviewing the literature, critically appraise the literature, develop a research justification statement, and define the parameters of a research project (including the aims, objectives, design, outcomes, data collection methods ...

  24. Challenging harmful masculinities and engaging men and boys in sexual

    More research is needed to address the impact of harmful masculinities on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), according to a new priority research agenda drawing on a global survey of researchers that was published today in The Lancet Global Health. Harmful gender norms affect boys and men in many ways, for example by increasing risky behaviours such as substance use or ...

  25. Q: How can I write about the justification of my research

    The justification is also known as the rationale and is written in the Introduction. You may thus refer to these resources for writing the justification of your research: How to write the rationale for research? Can you give an example of the "rationale of a study"? 4 Step approach to writing the Introduction section of a research paper.

  26. Oxidant pollutant ozone removes mating barriers between fly species

    Researchers show that ozone levels, such as those found in many places on hot summer days today, destroy the sex pheromones of fruit fly species. As a result, some natural mating boundaries ...

  27. What Researchers Discovered When They Sent 80,000 Fake Résumés to U.S

    Known as an audit study, the experiment was the largest of its kind in the United States: The researchers sent 80,000 résumés to 10,000 jobs from 2019 to 2021.The results demonstrate how ...

  28. Can you provide a sample of the justification of the research for my

    Answer: Firstly, your topic sounds both interesting and relevant. Now, the justification or the rationale explains why the research is needed - what gaps it aims to fill in existing literature, how it aims to add to the existing body of knowledge, or what solutions it aims to provide. In the research paper, it is meant to set the context for ...