Research Design and its Types

A research design is a systematic approach that a researcher uses to conduct a scientific study. It is the overall synchronization of identified components and data resulting in a plausible outcome.  To conclusively come up with an authentic and accurate result, the research design should follow a strategic methodology, in line with the type of research chosen. To have a better understanding of which research paper topic, to begin with, it is imperative to first identify the types of research.

What are the types of Research Design?

There are four types of research designs which are:

  • Exploratory Research: Just as the word implies, it explores, that is to find out about something by answering the question in “what” or “How” manner.
  • Descriptive Research: This is a more in-depth research, that answered the question what and how.
  • Explanatory Research: This seeks to explain the subject matter being researched and tries to answer the question what, how and why.
  • Evaluation Research: This is quite extensive as it measures the effectiveness of a program.

With a clear understating of the types of research designs, a design research can be drawn. Just like the way an architect chooses a layout from its many designs to fit a specific landscape, the same way a research design is picked from the many designs to fit the type of research being carried out. On a general term, research design is viewed from two perspectives, a quantitative research design or a qualitative research design, which both have extended components. They can both be used or applied distinctively or together.

What is Quantitative Research design?

A quantitative research design is used to examine the relationship between variable by using numbers and statistics to explain and analyze its findings and there are four types of quantitative research design:

  • Descriptive design research: As the name implies, it is intended to describe the present status of a This type of design does not require hypothesis to begin with. These analyses are generated from existing data.
  • Correlational design research: This seeks to discover If two variables are associated or related in some way, using statistical analysis, while observing the variable.
  • Experimental design research: This is a method used to establish a cause and effect relationship between two variables or among a group of variables. The independent variable is manipulated to observe the effect on the depended variable. For example, a certain group is exposed to a variable and then compared with the group not exposed to the variable.
  • Quasi-experimental design research: This experiment is designed just like the true experimental design, except that it does not use randomized sample groups. Also, it is used when a typical research design is not practicable.

What is Qualitative Research Design?

Qualitative research design, on the other hand, is exploratory in nature as it tries to explore not predict the outcome. It seeks to answer the questions what and how. A qualitative research design is used to explore the meaning and understanding of complex social environments, like the nature of people’s experience, using case studies. A quantitative research design shares similar characteristics with a scientific research in the following ways.

  • An outline question stating the problem that needs to be solved.
  • Has a set order and procedure used to answer these questions?
  • Analyses the data generated.
  • Draws its conclusion after the data has been collated and analyzed so that the conclusion drawn from the findings are not predetermined.

Besides the similarities identified above, a qualitative research design also intends to understand, describe or discover the findings. The researcher is usually the primary instrument that formulates the question and interprets the meaning of a data. The data used are mostly documented words from interview, newspapers videos etc. More than one type of data is collected during this research, from the field, where the participants are. In other words, the research goes beyond the intended scope, so making it emergent because the method of research changes and different types of data might be collected as the research goes on.

What is a good Research design?

A good research design is characterized by its flexibility, efficiency, appropriateness etcetera. A research design is one that has little to no error. Having a clear objective for a research is a reflection of how explicit the research question is. Depending on the research problem, you have to combine a number of design approaches to end up with the required outcome.

How to develop a research design?

  1. Classify the intended outcome what needs to be understood
  2. Developing the research question
  3. What needs to be measured
  4. Select the population for the experiment
  5. Identify the ideal data collection method
  6. Construct Interrelated characteristics
  7. Use correct analysis tools
  8. Choose a channel for disseminating your findings

For students who are interested in reading about how to write a good research proposal to apply for the scholarship, must have a clear objective to persuade the admission committee.