Chapter 1 Purpose of the Study PhD MBA Dissertation Paper Outline

The thesis purpose statement is a concise paragraph that describes the intent of the study. The Purpose of the Study section should flow directly from the problem statement. This section should specifically state the reason for conducting the study and also outline the research questions.


The purpose statement provides a rationale for conducting the research and quickly identifies the research method used in the study such as the qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method. You should clearly state the research design in this subsection.


The Purpose of the Study should be aligned with the problem statement. This usually starts with the sentence, “The purpose of this [quantitative, qualitative, mixed] study is to (Succinctly describe the overarching study goal that reflects the study questions). A brief overview of how, with what instruments or data, with whom and where follows the sentence.


The purpose of the study identifies the specific population of the study. This includes stating the estimated number of participants who will serve as a sample population, based on a power analysis (quantitative or mixed method) or design conventions (qualitative).


You may include the geographic location of your study. In the PhD/ MBA dissertation research paper writing section, you identify the phenomenon, concept, idea, variables, or constructs of the following

  • Quantitative research variables or constructs. The research variables or constructs are identified and cited, and should come from a valid and reliable instrument only. This includes briefly identifying and discussing the potential confounding variables, covariates, and mediating variables.



  • Qualitative research variables or constructs. This identifies a single phenomenon, an idea, or a concept that you are going to study or explore.


  • Mixed Method research includes all that were present in the quantitative and qualitative variables or constructs.





Remember that the core purpose of the study is to answer the research questions, whose purpose is to solve the research problem. However, contributing knowledge toward a solution of the wider problem could be stated as a second purpose.


In this section, you are required to write an outline or summary of the purpose of your study. You may use the following questions to guide you in writing your purpose of the study

  • Are the goals of the study stated clearly and are specific?


  • Do the questions help clarify the statement of the problem?


  • Are the research questions and goals of the study directly related to the review of the literature?


  • What is the overall purpose of your study?


  • Does this section provide an overview of the major findings in prior research?


Sometimes, the purpose of the research paper is to develop, refine, or explore an existing theory. A purpose statement may be as short as one or two sentences in length and worded in the past tense.


One alternative in writing a purpose statement is to create several research questions that are interrogative, clear, and succinctly state the major questions of the study. Note that your decision to write the problem as a purpose statement or research question is acceptable and is a matter of personal choice.

However, you need to check with your thesis panel committee or tutor if they allow writing the purpose statement in terms of research questions. Some dissertations or thesis has both purpose statements and research questions under the purpose of the study.


If you use both, you may write the purpose statement as something that provides the broad overall purpose of the study while the research questions as the subproblems that may fulfill the purpose of the study.


The Purpose of the Study, the Research Questions, and the Research Hypothesis are closely connected. One technique in writing a purpose statement is to state your purpose and directly link it to either your research question or your research hypothesis.


A purpose statement should summarize the specific topic and goals of the research in a declarative way to give the reader an accurate and a concrete understanding of the core topics, what the reader can gain from reading it, and what the document covers. This means that it should be clearly stated in terms of the desired outcomes, and not written in a general or obscure manner.


The Purpose of the Study is can be written in a sentence of several sentences. A good qualitative purpose statement contains the central phenomenon, the participants, and the research site.


A good quantitative purpose statement contains the independent, dependent, mediating, moderating, or control variables in addition to the participants and the research site. The qualitative researchers often posed the research questions while the quantitative researchers often posed the variables.


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