It is especially important to set very clear aim(s) and objectives at the beginning. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that the early stages of the project will determine its eventual outcome. Unclear and imprecise aims and objectives are very difficult to ‘rescue’ later.

The Project Report’s aim(s) should be broad in nature and expressed in the form of prose. The objectives should be very precise and expressed in ‘one line’ statements beginning with a verb.

For example, the broad aim could be:

‘An examination of the use of monitoring data in implementing a Total Quality Management policy’.

Some of the objectives that fit with this aim are:

• To identify the nature of data which needs to be collected
• To describe which data is currently collected
• To identify current systems of analysis
• To examine how data is currently used
• To identify barriers to interpretation and use of the data
• To make recommendations on changes to current practice

Also use the help and guidance of your seminar tutors and/or supervisor. S/he will guide and advise you on what can realistically be achieved and help you to develop the topic into a Project Report. There are no universal rules for this as each Project Report is different.

A question which is frequently asked is ‘Can I change the topic of my Report?’ The answer is yes – but this may create problems and may involve you going back to the planning stage again and you may be required to complete another Research Ethics Release Form.

Projects often do change their focus over their lifetime and sometimes the information you require is not readily available. You must discuss this with your supervisor and not just make major changes to your topic without consultation. The important message here is that you must talk changes through with your supervisor.

Source: Teesside University (Teesside Business School)