What is the difference between general and specific objectives?

We explain that what is the difference between general objectives and specific objectives in tabular form with all important details. Trust is our difference, differencey.com. Lets read the difference between general objectives and specific objectives.

If you have reached the point where you need to establish the general and specific objectives of some academic work, but you do not have a clear idea of ​​how to do it, we will teach you. This article aims to shed light on this issue so that you can continue writing without stones in the way.Mainly, the objectives are constituted as one of the most important points of any research work. Therein also lies its complexity. What is proposed as an objective, you must understand, is what you are trying to achieve to resolve a situation that is configured as problematic. From the application of certain techniques, content of the theoretical framework and specific methodologies that you have been acquiring throughout your academic training.

General objective and specific objectives are fundamental elements for carrying out academic work, such as the TCC.

The general objective must summarize and present the central idea of ​​a work, also describing its purpose. The specific objectives will give a greater delimitation to the theme, in addition to detailing the processes necessary to carry out the work.

What are general and specific objectives?

Objectives are nothing more than the purpose that guides the research. In pursuit of the objectives of the TCC, the researcher builds the entire research process. Upon completing the investigation work, it is expected that the objectives have been achieved and the initial questions answered. There are two types of objectives in a TCC, the general objective and the specific objective.

General objective concept

As the very word that complements the objective to elucidate, the general objective is the summary of the idea of ​​the academic work. From the description of the general objective of the scientific work, the students and the guiding professors know what will be the direction of the research. Thus, the general objectives should be described as a broad synthesis of what will be researched.

Specific objective concept

On the other hand, the specific objective presents the particularities of the general objective. These goals are more concrete than general ones. When reading a specific objective, we understand how the research will be carried out. Therefore, they are ramifications of the general objective itself. In academic works they define how researchers intend to reach the general objective.

.Differences between general and specific objectives

The general objectives refer to the purpose of the research and are formulated with the aim of specifying the activities that you have to carry out as a researcher. On the other hand, the specific objectives , on the other hand, are based on the general one, delimit the research topic, and are fulfilled as the work is developed. Normally, investigations have a single general objective, while they have between 3 and 5 specific objectives.

According to the type of research that you will carry out in your work, you can also have theoretical objectives and practical objectives. Both the general and the specific ones emerge from the research questions. For example, if the unknown is “what kind of relationship is established between X and Z?”. Or “How is this relationship generated?”, the objectives would be like this. General, set the type of relationship between X and Z; while the specific objectives could be “investigate the modes of relationship between X and Z, define the variations in the relationship according to a certain factor”, etc. This as to illustrate the point.

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As mentioned, there are two research objectives, general and specific. Some researchers call them primary and secondary as well. The general objective is the one that represents the goal that must be achieved to answer the research questions. This includes what you want to know, or inquire about some situations or characteristics, or what, or when, among other keys.

Every general objective must have a verb (infinitive) that determines the complexity and scope, the event to be studied, the unit of study, the temporality. Example «compare the quality of life of the teaching staff working in the public primary school X in the year 2020». The specific objectives, meanwhile, define each part of the general. The specific objectives, as they are fulfilled, are integrated and reach the general objective. Therefore, meeting the general objective inevitably implies having first achieved the specific objectives that were set.

Differences between general and specific objectives in tabular form

General objectives Specific objectives
Occupation Summarize and present the central idea of ​​an academic work. It presents in more detail the results that are intended to be achieved through the search.
Sense Wider. More detailed.
Elements It must contain the hypothesis or problem that will be investigated in the work, as well as the definition of the theme. It should describe the research steps in the execution sequence. It should also relate the object of the work with its particularities, helping to define it.

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What types of goals are there?difference between General and specific objectives

Broadly speaking, there are three types of objectives that relate directly to the type of research and work you will be doing. They can be descriptive, correlational, or causal , depending on what you want to do. That is, if you are looking to generate theoretical content, establish relationships between contexts or situations, or determine the causes of certain problems. You should consider that the objectives are divided into general and specific ones, as we have mentioned. The latter are those that emerge, precisely, from the general objective. The decomposition of the objective that is constituted as central to the work must be pertinent, clear and justified. In this way, there are differences between the general objective and the specific ones.

Specific Goals General and specific objectives

Specific goals relate directly to general goals. This is because they detail the processes needed to carry them out. In this way, the specific objectives serve as a guide to the content that will be covered in the work.

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Characteristics of the specific objectives

Characteristics of specific objectivesIt is important to note that research objectives have different levels of complexity. According to Jacqueline Hurtado de Barrera (2008) there are ten categories of objectives, according to these levels of complexity, which, in turn, are grouped into four levels: perceptual, apprehensive, comprehensive and integrative. In the perceptual degree, the event is studied from the most obvious point of view (explore, describe). In the apprehensive relationship between characteristics and reinterpretations are established (compare, analyze). On the other hand, the comprehensive level refers to explanations and connections between different events.

With the goal of anticipating situations and subsequently developing proposals for improvement, intervention or transformation (explain, propose, predict). Finally, the integrative level focuses on concrete and planned actions to transform the event studied (modify, confirm, evaluate, improve).

I set goals consistently so that they can be properly completed and achieved. For this I take into account several aspects, in addition to the resources that you will use to be able to do it. This will allow you to verify that the objectives that you set in your research work are really achievable. It should be noted that the objectives, regardless of their type, always begin with verbs in infinitives that are directly related to the type of investigation. For example: elaborate, verify, describe, characterize, define, etc. They cannot be questions, or value judgments, or hypotheses , since each of these points has its place within the investigation, but not particularly within the objectives.

General Goal

The general objective must present the central idea of ​​an academic work. Therefore, you should describe in a succinct and objective way the purpose for which you are carrying out the study and what goal you are seeking to achieve.

It must contain the hypothesis or problem that will be investigated in the work, as well as the definition of the theme.

In it, the subject can explain what he is trying to achieve with the study. In addition to making a proposal that solves a problem you want to solve, exploring an opportunity, proposing the analysis of a solution, among others.

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General ObjectivesGeneral objective example

“Verify if there is a relationship between the increase in internet access and the decrease in television use in the southeast region of Brazil.”

In this case, the purpose of the work would be “to verify if there is a relationship between the increase in internet access and the decrease in the use of television”. The delimitation would be “in the southeast region of Brazil”.

Example of specific objective

In continuation of the previous example, the specific objectives could be:

  • Analyze the increase in internet access in the last year;
  • Analyze the number of televisions in homes in the Southeast region of Brazil;
  • Check the use of television in homes in the Southeast region;
  • Compare the pattern of increased Internet access with a decrease in the use of televisions.

What is the ultimate goal of setting the objectives in an investigation?

In this way, the objectives that you set in the research work are the ones that will be in charge of giving unity and establishing a common thread to all your work. And precisely for this reason they are so relevant and deserve a lot of attention and dedication when writing them. In addition, they have some characteristics that you have to follow in order to make them in the best possible way. In general, the objectives you set for yourself, both general and specific, must meet the following requirements:

  1. be achievable.
  2. Feasible to be measurable.
  3. Be specific and clear.
  4. Present relevance to the area of ​​study in which your research work is inserted.

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What are the accepted verbs to elaborate objectives?

It is known that in academic life and career, as you carry out more and more research work, you discover a series of verbs that are accepted (and others that are not) for the elaboration of the objectives of said work. We will also tell you a little about these issues so that you know how to write them. Although we will emphasize those that you can use, from now on we will leave you some that are not recommended. Be it because of its informality, vagueness or because there really are better ones. For example, you should avoid verbal phrases like “learn to visualize”, constructions like “cast lights”. Conjugated verb forms (they are always in the infinitive), or verbs or constructions that are not of an academic nature such as “fit in”, “make see”, among other points.

You should know that the objectives are one of the most important points of any research work. And therein also lies the difficulty of dealing with them accordingly. As mentioned, the objectives fulfill the function of delimiting what is to be achieved in order to resolve a situation that is configured as problematic. From the application of certain techniques, theoretical content and specific methodologies that you have been acquiring throughout your academic training.


Thus, in relation to what you want to do in your research work, it will be the objective and, therefore, the verb you use to describe your objective. We leave you a list of verbs that you can use , depending on what you intend to do, considering that each verb corresponds to an action:

-Explore, investigate, review, observe, record, detect, describe, encode, enumerate.

-Classify, define, characterize, compare, differentiate, compare, collate, analyze, break down, criticize.

-Explain, understand, comprehend (although in many cases they are considered vague or ambiguous).

-Predict, anticipate, forecast, propose, propose, formulate, design, elaborate, carry out (accepted phrase).

-Modify, change, apply, improve, transform, intervene, confirm, verify, demonstrate, test, evaluate.

-Assess, estimate, adjust, among many other verb options that focus on the academic field and the action of research.

As you have seen, the objectives focus on the achievements or goals that they want to achieve from a job. In this case, research, and are raised prior to writing and research. These allow to guide the theme of the work and estimate intended results, to measure them after the investigation has been carried out.

The general objectives, unlike the specific ones, are those that point to the general problem . That is, the final result that seeks to be achieved with the investigation, the motivation and the reason why it is being investigated. For their part, the specific objectives are configured as each one of the strategies focused on fulfilling the general one. They must be specific, limited and measurable, since they must be limited to a single aspect of the investigation.

Based on what has been stated, we will leave you with a series of guidelines that you can follow for the elaboration of general and specific objectives that will serve you both for writing and to determine those specific objectives for the research that you seek to carry out.

Objective verbs for academic work

goal verbs

Learning the concepts of the objectives of a TCC, it is necessary to develop them. There are many ways to develop your research objectives. It is common for students to get examples of ready-made objectives on the internet, which is not recommended. Because the specific objective of a research is something unique to it, which cannot be replicated in other works. Therefore, the best tip is to write your own objectives according to the purpose of the research.

Start by sketching the ideas you have for your work. Ask yourself what you want to research, what field of study you like best, if you want to use your work to impact other people. Answer these questions and find an outline of your goals. Before starting to write the objectives of the TCC, it is worth mentioning that some words are more suitable for general objectives and other verbs for specific ones.

Verbs for general objectives

The verbs indicated to write the general objective of this work should convey the idea of ​​amplitude. In this way, the objective becomes identified with its concept, as a broad and general research guide. Here are some tips for verbs that can be used to describe the general goals of academic papers and examples of usage.



Include Cover a way of studying the main concepts of sustainability
To analyze To analyze all the elements of occurrence in the precipitation of rains in the Northeast
Search Fetch all temperature spikes over the last five years
Understand Understand the thesis on review and detailing of watersheds
to meet Know all the content and main features of Milton Santos’ work
To interpret Interpret research on the doubt about the concept of objectives, research object and models of objectives

Note that the words used in the general objectives description examples show that the research object is open. When reading the descriptions, it is impossible to understand how the research will be carried out and how the student will reach his objective. This description should come in the specific objectives.

Verbs for specific objectives

To describe the specific objectives one should use verbs that denote practical actions. This is because, by reading the specific descriptions, the researcher will understand what he needs to do to achieve the general. The specific objectives, therefore, serve as a step-by-step guide on how to get to the general. Therefore, the tip here is to use verbs that represent a specific action, for example:

  • Point out the data from the Central Committee for the Environment
  • Take a look at climate change in South America
  • Translate documents into a foreign language
  • Calculate the average temperature for the next ten years
  • Compile a list of the most polluting countries in 2021

Note that the verbs used above, to describe the specific objectives, translate the idea of ​​immediate action that must be performed by someone, in this case, the student researches. Therefore, to facilitate your course conclusion dissertation, write the specific objectives as a mode of action that should be taken in the research. Other example verbs:

Investigate To produce Accomplish
Authorize To emphasize Rebuild
Quote Express remember
To set up Climb Review
to rank engineer Get together
To quote carve To report
categorize explain reverberate
To marry Stabilize Reduce
Code exemplify Restrict
To arrive enunciate Regenerate
To correct Express To reveal
Capitulate To provide rebate
Conclude Generalize To sustain
Contest Identify Select
Check To illustrate stress
counteract Impose substantiate
To convert Infer situate

Remember that this is a list of the main verbs to present the idea of ​​specificity. However, there are numerous other verbs that can be used. Verbs deal with action and whenever you see a delimitation of this action in the verb, it is a verb of specificity and can be used in the specific objectives of your work.

Specific objectives

In order to clarify the role of verbs in the description of objectives, the following section of a dissertation project will be presented, aimed at determining the objects of study, both general (OG) and specific (OE). In the first paragraph, the section is described without the proper verbs, and in the second with the proper verbs. Watch.

no verbs

with verbs

OG – The form of the research will be directed towards the electric energy sector to solve doubts and all the problems that involve the lack of energy in the country. OG – To analyze the appropriate form of scientific investigation for the electric energy sector to seek solutions to the doubts and all the problems that involve the lack of energy in the country.
OE – With the data found, we will answer the main questions about the differences between clean energy and dirty energy. SO – Use the data found to answer questions about the differences between clean and dirty energy.

Demonstrate your goals with more right verbs

Knowledge verbs

Acquire – Associate – Calculate – Cite – Classify – Define – Describe – Distinguish – Enumerate – Specify – Establish – Exemplify – Express – Identify – Indicate – Measure – Show – Name – Sort – Recognize – Remember – Record – Relate – Report – Reproduce – Select.

Comprehension Verbs

Conclude – Deduce – Demonstrate – Describe – Determine – Differentiate – Discuss – Exemplify – Express – Sketch – Explain – Express – Extrapolate – Identify – Illustrate – Interpolate – Interpret – Locate – Modify – Narrate – Prepare – Report – Rework – Reorder – Reorganize – Represent – ​​Review – Summarize – Transform – Transmit.

Application Verbs

Apply – Classify – Defeat – Develop – Sketch – Employ – Choose – Structure – Illustrate – Interpret – Modify – Operate – Organize – Practice – Relate – Restructure – Select – Trace – Transfer – Use.

Analysis Verbs

Analyze – Classify – Categorize – Combine – Compare – Prove – Criticize – Deduce – Differentiate – Discuss – Debate – Detect – Discover – Discriminate – Examine – Experiment – ​​Identify – Investigate – Select – Subdivide.

Synthesis Verbs

Combine – Communicate – Compile – Compose – Coordinate – Create – Prove – Develop – Direct – Document – ​​Specify – Explain – Schematize – Formulate – Modify- Organize – Plan- Produce – Propose – Relate – Report – Rewrite – Rebuild – Synthesize.

Evaluation Verbs

Evaluate – Conclude – Contrast – Criticize – Consider – Choose – Interpret – Justify – Standardize – Need – Relate – Select – Validate – Value.

Need help?

If you are having difficulties in building your dissertation goals, don’t worry, we can help with StudyBay’s team of experts. We have the best professionals in the academic market, ready to solve your problem and help you develop your monograph. Find all information about the purpose of your scientific essay here on StudyBay. We are ready to help.

What to do

what not to do

Separate goals into general and specific  Write just a small excerpt about what you want to achieve with the work
Use breadth verbs to describe your overall purpose Do not use any generalization verbs to explain the central purpose
Use verbs that show the specificity of the action for the specific purpose  Stop writing specific actions with verbs that show certain actions


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How to write research objectives?

General and specific objectivesYou must establish them based on the following question: why and for what do you want to investigate that? What do you want to achieve? What motivates you? Answering these questions will make it easier for you to define your goals and help you set the direction of your work. As we have told you before, the research objectives must be correct and appropriate for the job. And it forms one of the most important points of your thesis or academic article. The objectives determine the scope, direction and depth of the work.

They are derived from the questions and queries, and finally must be answered with the results obtained in the development of the study. In addition, the objectives determine what is going to be studied and establish the steps that will be followed to achieve, in the end, comply with what has been proposed. The specific objectives are derived from the general, and are useful to facilitate their fulfillment.

In this way, the general objective responds to broader results, while the specific ones focus on particular points that, as a whole, respond to the general one. For each generated objective, several specific ones are proposed so that the realization of the latter allows reaching the first.

Confirm what you have learned with these extra examples

Now, we will leave you with a series of extra examples so that you can corroborate what we have proposed so far. The general objective will be “to analyze the effects of the organizational culture of X on the profitability of the company”. From this, the following specific objectives can be proposed that will facilitate the achievement of said general objective. “Recognize the nature of the organizational culture in X as a projection for 2022.” “Determine the profitability of company X for the period considered.” «Identify the factors that affect the organizational culture of X».

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Finally, it is worth mentioning that without objectives set correctly and coherently, research has no reason to exist. Since they are present at every step of the research process, they focus on the problem, determine the methodology of the work, and guide the reading. They allow a correct formulation of one or more hypotheses, they avoid the exposure of unnecessary or little relevant information for the investigation.

You will save effort in collecting information and data that in the end may not be necessary (because they focus the work, as was well mentioned), among other important points. Now you know: give the research objectives the importance they deserve, and strive to write and build them in the best possible way. Cheers!

Checklist of the specific and general objectives of your work

Understand the differences between general and specific objective

Make drafts of your central idea and with them, write a paragraph that summarizes the focus of your research

Write down the steps to reach the end goal. These will be the specific objectives

Remember to use the appropriate words for the scope of the objective

Frequently asked questions about general and specific objectives

How many specific objectives should a TCC have?

As many as are needed to explain how the general will be achieved, normally, this number of specific purposes is greater than one and has no limit number.

What are the goals of scientific research for?

It serves to guide the student in academic work, mainly during the information gathering, data analysis and dissertation construction stage.

Difference between objective and justification?

While the objective is the compass that will guide the student, the justification is the explanation that led the student to research on the topic.

What is the difference between the general objective and the research problem?

Research problem consists of a contradiction, difficulty or problem encountered by the student and which led him to develop a work on the topic. General objective is the central line of construction of the scientific work, the one that will guide all stages of the work.

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