Research Design: Types and Research Methods

Research Design Definition, Research Design Types, and Research Design Methods

A Research Design is a methodical, well-organized procedure utilized by a researcher, or a scientist to carry out a scientific study. It is a comprehensive co-existence of already identified elements and any other information or data leading to a reasonable end result.

The research design is required to follow a pre-planned, well-thought-out methodology, in agreement with the pre-selected research type, in order to come up with an error-free, authentic conclusion.

What is the purpose of Research Design?

A Research Design provides a scientist, or a researcher with a well-structured, objective plan of study that enables him or her to efficiently assess causes and effect relationships between various dependent and independent variables such as the Classic Controlled Experiment.

What are the types of Research Design?

A Research Design is necessary since it enables the smooth sailing of the varying research components, thus making your research more reliable, efficient, and flexible.

There are four major types of research designs, which include:

  • Descriptive Research

As the name implies, this is an in-depth sort of research design that answers what and how.

  • Explanatory Research

This sort of research design explains the subject of the research and thereby answers what, why, and how.

  • Exploratory Research

This sort of research explores the subject matter and answers what and how.

  • Evaluation Research

This sort of research determines the productivity of the subject matter, or a program and is, therefore, quite extensive.

The Types of Evaluation Research are:

    1. Quantitative Research
    2. Qualitative Research

The Types of Quantitative Research are:

    • Descriptive Design
    • Correlational Design
    • Quasi-Experimental Design
    • Experimental Design

What is Quantitative Research Design?

Quantitative Research – A Quantitative Research analyzes variable relationships in terms of numbers and statistical strategies to review findings, and is generally divided into four main types, namely:

  • Descriptive Design

This sort of design describes the present status of a phenomenon, or a variable, and does not require any hypothesis for initiation: It is developed only after the data is collected. For instance; case-studynaturalistic observationsurveys, etc.

  • Correlational Design

This sort of design utilizes statistical analysis in order to determine whether two variables are related or not e.g., case-control studyobservational study.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design

This sort of design resembles a true experimental design, and is utilized when a standard research design is not applicable, however; it is not based upon randomized sample groups.

  • Experimental Design

This sort of design determines cause and effect relationships among various variables in such a way that the independent variable is changed in order to observe its effect on the dependent variable e.g., experiment with random assignment.

What is Qualitative Research Design?

Qualitative Research – A Quantitative Research is known as exploratory research since it is utilized to explore the answers to ‘what’ and ‘how’ rather than just predicting the results of research and it may share certain features with the research, such as:

    • A central question that states the objective, or the problem;
    • Has a pre-set procedure or sequence in order to answer research questions;
    • Reviews the generated data;
    • The collection and analysis of data are done in order to draw conclusions.

What is the difference between Fixed Design and Flexible Design?

A Fixed Design generally follows a pre-set or pre-determined design, or a sequence, before the collection of data, and is usually driven by theory. Additionally, the variables are usually measured via quantitative research.

A Flexible Design, on the other hand, offers freedom when it comes to the collection of data. This is usually because the variable, in this case, is not measured quantitatively e.g., culture. In a few cases, the theory may not even be available before the actual research begins.

How do you Create a Research Design?

    • Pinpoint your learning outcomes, objectives, etc.;
    • Pick out your research questions;
    • Develop a research design;
    • Choose a sampling framework;
    • Pick suitable methods of data collection;
    • Set up appropriate measurement instruments;
    • Identify proper data analysis techniques, tools, etc.;
    • Contemplate dissemination and publication of your findings.

What is the difference between Research Design and Approach?

A Research Design is the overall framework, or outline, or structure of a research proposal whereas a Research Approach incorporates various tools, techniques, procedures or processes utilized to collect or review data or information.

A Research Design demonstrates how your selected research design or method is applied to tackle a specific research question while a Research Approach utilizes different methods to answer different research questions.

What makes a good Research Design?

A good Research Design is usually characterized by the following features:

    • A good research design ought to be flexible, effective, efficient, appropriate, reliable, economical, etc.
    • A good research design ought to increase reliability and decrease bias of any data or information collected and reviewed.
    • The good research design must be less prone to an error whenever it comes to experiments, surveys, etc.

Nevertheless, your research design is based upon your research problem, research objective, or any other research questions that you have. Thus, you may even be required to combine a variety of research designs and approaches in order to accomplish your research goal.

What is the Research Method?

A Research Method is a well-structured, logical, or a standard plan utilized by a researcher, or a scientist in order to conduct research.

For instance, Sociologists, during the course of their research, depending on both qualitative and quantitative research methods such as experiments, primary or secondary data collection, surveys, participant study or observation, etc.

What are the characteristics of Research Design?

A good research design ought to maximize reliability and minimize bigotries regarding the data collected and reviewed. Additionally, a research design ought to be error-free, thus a design that provides the least experimental error ought to be selected.

Yousaf Saeed

I'm Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, founder of the AScholarship Education Portal. My academic path includes 3 prestigious international scholarships — Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS — for my higher studies. I am also an IChemE affiliate whereas I've also worked for companies like Aramco and BYCO oil refinery as an production engineer at the start of my career. I completed MS, and PhD with major research publications in leading SCI journals (details on my Researchgate Profile). This reflects my commitment to educating and therefore i started it for the purpose to guide aspiring international students for find scholarships for their higher education dream. As an experienced educator and mentor, I specialize in navigating the intricacies of research and patent and write useful articles on these topics too.