In order to write specific objectives that will be effective to the researcher, the following guidelines should be followed:
Reflection -This involves analyzing the aim of the study, the topic, and title before formulating the specific objectives. Specific objectives should relate to all these aspects.
Formulation -The researcher should write down the specific objectives ensuring that they are measurable and if accomplished will answer the research question.
Evaluation – After the formulation of objectives, the researcher should attempt to answer the following questions: Do the objectives address all parts of the research problem? Do the objectives measure what is being researched? Are the objectives feasible? If too ambitious, could the scope of the study be reduced? Answers to these questions will assist the researcher formulate effective objectives.
There are various challenges faced in objective formulation. This include the following:
Lack of clarity – In some studies, the objectives are not clearly articulated. The objectives do not focus clearly what the study hopes to accomplish.
Overambitious objectives – At times the objectives stated by the researcher are too many and cannot be achieved within the time frame stated and the finance implied. The scope may also be too wide.
The objectives do not follow a logical order.
Unrelated objectives – Formulating objectives that do not deal with all aspects of the research problem.
Not specific – Some stated objectives are not specific and therefore difficult to evaluate. Objectives stated by non-action verbs such as, to appreciate, to understand or to study, are difficult to assess.