Wk 3 CMP-9701P
Create a Purpose Statement
Once the problem statement has been drafted, you should now develop a related purpose statement. The statement of the problem and purpose of the study are related in both content and wording. Yet they are different, as the problem statement focuses solely on the identified problem, crises, or issue; while the purpose statement addresses the intent of the study. Students often mistakenly focus on the problem when developing their purpose statement. It may be helpful to create a concept map to align the problem and the purpose statements.
For Ph.D. dissertations, the purpose statement outlines the intent of the study to develop greater theoretical knowledge to better understand the identified problem. For example, if you are interested in determining whether personality influences health behavior outcomes, a given problem for a Ph.D. dissertation might be:
The problem is unhealthy eating behaviors have a serious impact on overall health and well-being.
A related purpose statement might then be:
The purpose of this study is to develop a greater understanding of how different personality types may contribute to engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors which can result in decreased health and well-being outcomes.
Week 3 – Assignment: Create a Purpose Statement
This week, your task is to create a purpose statement for your proposed study. It needs to indicate the intent, goal, and rationale for researching the problem addressed in Assignment 2. The purpose statement should begin with “The purpose of this (quantitative or qualitative) study is to . . .” Use the following list to create the purpose statement, which should be approximately one page:
- Study method
- Study design
- Target population
- Research setting
- Sampling frame
- Sampling method
- Sample size (justified by scholarly sources and a power analysis for quantitative studies)
- Data collection method (including instrumentation)
- Data analysis method
- Software to be used for analysis
- Closing statement as to how the study results may inform theory (Ph.D.)
Length: approximately 1 page
Your purpose statement should be directly aligned with the problem statement. Be sure that you have incorporated any feedback you have received from your professor into your problem statement.
Your purpose statement should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to
Lewkowicz, M. A. (2010). Purpose statement.
Purpose Statement In: Encyclopedia of Research Design
Purpose Statement In: Encyclopedia of Research Design
By: Michael A. Lewkowicz Edited by: Neil J. Salkind Book Title: Encyclopedia of Research Design Chapter Title: “Purpose Statement” Pub. Date: 2012 Access Date: May 6, 2020 Publishing Company: SAGE Publications, Inc. City: Thousand Oaks Print ISBN: 9781412961271
Online ISBN: 9781412961288 DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412961288 Print page: 1143 © 2010
SAGE Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This PDF has been generated from SAGE Research Methods. Please note that the pagination of the online version will vary from the pagination of the print book.
A purpose statement is a declarative statement that summarizes a research project’s main goal or goals. A purpose statement provides some guidance in establishing a research question and serves as an introduction to the resultant paper or dissertation chapter. Developing the Purpose Statement At the beginning of a research project, it is helpful for the researcher to use a declarative sentence to state the main goal or goals of the project in specific terms. Statements that begin with the phrase “I wish to learn …” or “I plan to examine …” can be helpful insofar as they can move the topic’s abstract notions to a concrete research question, which is the springboard for the resultant research design. Furthermore, a purpose statement can ground the researcher, providing a point of reference to which the researcher may return, particularly as the study increases in complexity. However, this does not imply that the purpose statement is final, because the researcher may revise the statement as needed. If external factors such as unavailability of relevant data force the researcher to make substantial changes to his or her research design, he or she may want to update the purpose statement to reflect those changes. Using the Purpose Statement In addition to serving as a catalyst for the underlying research project, a purpose statement can be worked into subsequent papers or dissertation chapters derived from the project. Always near the end of the introduction, a purpose statement states the paper’s intent, scope, and direction. Specifically, it provides for an abbreviated preview of the paper’s main topic, while avoiding a discussion of the author’s specific conclusions. In research papers, purpose statements often start with phrases such as “This paper examines …,” “The main purpose of this study is to …” or “The aim of this article is to Purpose statements should be specific and precise, and should avoid vague, ambiguous, or confusing language. This ensures that there is no doubt in the reader’s mind as to the research project’s intended direction. Introductions: Purpose Statements versus Thesis Statements A purpose statement also serves as the foundation for a thesis statement, which provides assertions about the topic at hand and summarizes the author’s conclusions. Unlike a purpose statement, a thesis statement provides a cursory answer to the question and is developed after the researcher has gathered evidence, which is presented in the body of the research paper. The decision to use a thesis statement in the introduction is determined by the underlying norms of the specific discipline, as well as the author’s preferences. In some cases, the author may simply state the paper’s SAGE 2010 SAGE Publications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. SAGE Research Methods Page 2 of 3 Purpose Statement intended purpose at the outset, delaying the discussion of any results until the end of the paper. At the very least, a research paper introduction should provide a discussion of the research question and some information about how the author intends to explore the question, even if the answers are not presented until the conclusion. Examples of Thesis and Purpose Statements Ineffective purpose statement #1: “This paper examines the impact of elites upon elections.” It is unclear about what types of elites, what types of elections, or even which potential electoral effects the researcher intends to examine. Effective purpose statement #1: This paper examines the extent to which public endorsements by political elites shape electoral participation, particularly in proposition elections where the traditional information shortcut of partisanship is absent.” Thesis statement #1: Elite cues help increase electoral participation because they provide information shortcuts to potential voters who may not be fully informed about the details of a given electoral contest.” Ineffective purpose statement #2: “This paper examines changes to election laws.” In addition to being nonspecific as to what types of election laws are being examined, it is unclear as to whether the author is examining the sources of those changes, or the potential impact of those changes. Effective purpose statement #2: This paper examines the potential impact of the straight-ticket voting option upon electoral down-ballot outcomes.” Thesis statement #2: Although Illinois Republicans appeared to eliminate the straight-ticket option in 1997 for partisan reasons, evidence suggests that Democrats might have actually benefitted from this ballot format change.” Michael A. Lewkowicz http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412961288.n346 See also • Dissertation • Research • Research Question Further Readings Popper, K.(1959). The logic of scientific discovery.New York: Basic Books. SAGE 2010 SAGE Publications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. SAGE Research Methods Page 3 of 3 Purpose Statement
How to Write a Purpose Statement for a Dissertation Proposal
Dennull, H. (2016). How to write a purpose statement for a dissertation proposal.
The purpose statement of a dissertation proposal explains why a researcher’s study will be conducted and what the study will accomplish. It guides the research, describes the expected outcomes, and explains the means for collecting data. Purpose statements typically are a half to three-quarters of a page in length and should include a single statement that clearly identifies the research method and design, problem, population and setting.
Identify the Research Method
The purpose statement should clearly indicate the research method to be used in the study. The researcher should identify whether the method will be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative research uses numerical data. Qualitative research uses descriptive or narrative data.
Identify the Research Design
Once the researcher identifies the research method, the research design should be identified next. Qualitative research designs include: case study, phenomenological, grounded theory and ethnographic. Quantitative research designs include: experimental, correlational and historical. For example, a writer might state that, “The purpose of this qualitative grounded theory study is to develop a theory regarding ninth-grade students who are reading below grade level.”
Identify the Problem
An effective purpose statement will relate back to the specific problem identified in the problem statement. The problem explains what will be studied. For example: Ninth-grade students are reading below grade level.
Identify the Population
It should be clear in the purpose statement the specific population the researcher intends to study. The population reflects the individuals who are affected by the problem to be studied, such as ninth-grade high school students who are reading below grade level.
Identify the Setting
Explain where the problem takes place by clearly identifying the setting. The environment should be specific to the population being studied. For example: an urban Title I high school in southwestern Ohio.
Cite this Article
- com: How to Write a Purpose Statement for a Dissertation or Thesis
- com: Writing a Purpose Statement
- Laerd Dissertation: The Purpose Statement
- Penn State Graduate Writing Center: Writing Conference, Thesis, and Dissertation Proposals
About the Author
Heather Dennull has been active in the education field since 2003. She teaches developmental English and introductory courses in humanities and philosophy at the college level. She has a master’s degree in education and is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership.