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Specific Aims

Scholars write specific aims to concisely and clearly communicate the what, why, and how of their research. The audience is usually someone reviewing a proposal for research funding; however, developing specific aims also helps you define the purpose of your project and the approach you will take to complete your project.

Work with your mentor(s) and peers to develop 2-3 specific aims for your research or creative scholarship project and save them in your workshop document.

Specific aims should clearly define your project objectives and convey the significance of your specific area of study. For example, what gap in knowledge in your field of study does your project aim to narrow? What big picture question do you aim to answer? What central issue does your work address? Further, aims should state your thesis or hypothesis, and lay out the approach you will use to support your thesis or test your hypothesis. Each specific aim should only be a paragraph with few to several sentences, but those sentences should flow logically and tell a compelling story.