Types of Research Design

Research Analyst

In every field of study, research has played an important role by exploring and coming up with insightful findings and conclusions. Be it science and technology, art and culture, media studies, geography, mathematics and other subjects, research has always been the route towards finding the unknown. Take an example of medical sciences, it is only through extensive research and analysis that scientists are able to find medicines, cures and vaccines which could save millions of lives. In the present gloomy circumstances when Coronavirus has shattered the world, a vast amount of research is being carried out to find vaccines for its treatment. In this blog, we will understand what are the various types of research design and its related components. 

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What is a Research Design?

By the term ‘research’, we can understand that its a collection of data which includes critical information by taking research methodologies into consideration. In other words, it is a compilation of information or data explored by setting a hypothesis and consequently coming up with substantive findings in an organised way. Research can be done on academic as well as on a scientific basis as well. Let’s first understand what a research design actually means.

A Research Design is simply a structural framework of various research methods as well as techniques that are utilised by a researcher.

The research design helps a researcher to pursue their journey into the unknown but with a systematic approach by their side. The way an engineer or architect frames a design for a structure, likewise the researcher picks the design from various approaches in order to check which type of research to be carried out. 

Must Read: What does a Research Assistant do?

Understanding the Types of Research Design 

Keeping its dynamics into consideration, the research design is categorised into two different perspectives, i.e. Quantitative Research Design and Qualitative Research Design. Further, there are four main characteristics of research design which include Reliability, Neutrality, Validity as well as Generalization. Further, a researcher should have a clear understanding of how their project can be implemented in the research design. Let’s explore what Quantitative and Qualitative Research Designs mean:

Quantitative Research Design

In Quantitative Research Design, a researcher examines the various variables while including numbers as well as statistics in a project to analyze its findings. The use of graphics, figures, pie charts is the main form of data collection measurement and meta-analysis (it is information about the data by the data).

Qualitative Research Design

This type of research is quite contrary to quantitative research design. It is explanatory in nature and always seeks answers to “What’s” and “How’s”. It mainly focuses on why a specific theory exists and what would be the respondent’s answer to it. This allows a researcher to draw a conclusion with proper findings. Case studies are mainly used in Qualitative Research Design in order to understand various social complexities. 

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What are the 4 Types of Research Designs?

Now that we know the broadly classified types of research, Quantitative and Qualitative Research can be divided into the following 4 major types of Research Designs:

  • Descriptive Research Design
  • Correlational Research Design
  • Experimental Research Design
  • Quasi-Experimental or Causal-Comparative Research Design

These four types of Research Designs are considered the most close and exact to true experiments and are preferred in terms of accuracy, relevance as well as quality.

Descriptive Research Design

In Descriptive Research Design, the scholar explains/describes the situation or case in depth in their research materials. This type of research design is purely on a theoretical basis where the individual collects data, analyses, prepares and then presents it in an understandable manner. It is the most generalised form of research design. 

Experimental Research Design

Experimental Research Design talks about the cause and effect of the situation and their relationship with each other. It is done under the proper observation of independent variables on the dependent variable. The independent variable is always changed or manipulated by the researcher in order to change the discourse of the research and to gain control over the research methodology. 

Correlational Research Design

In this type of research design, the scholar establishes a relationship between two connected variables in the research project. Further, it also completely non-experimental in nature and the variables are dependent on each other. 

Quasi-Experimental Research Design

A Quasi-Experimental Research Design is referred to as a true experiment because it aims to intricately build a cause and effect relationship between an independent variable with a dependent variable. One unique aspect about this research design is it doesn’t base itself on a random assignment but rather it assigns subjects to diverse groups on a non-random basis.

Apart from the aforementioned research designs, there are copious other types of research design which can also be incorporated to pursue a research project and some of these are:

  • Diagnostic Research Design
  • Explanatory Research Design
  • Historical Design
  • Longitudinal Design
  • Observational Design
  • Philosophical Design
  • Sequential Design
  • Cross-Sectional Design
  • Cohort Design
  • Causal Design
  • Case Study Design
  • Action Research Design

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Benefits of Research 

Since we are dealing with the types of research design, it is imperative to understand how beneficial the practice of doing research is and some of its major advantages are:

  • Research helps in getting a deeper understanding of the subject.
  • You will learn about its varied aspects as well as its different sources like primary and secondary.
  • It helps to resolve the complex problems in any field through critical analysis and measurement of unsolved problems. 
  • You will also get to know about how a hypothesis is created by weighing preserved assumptions. 

Also Read: Research Institutes in India

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Certainly, research is the fuel that can potentially drive the solutions to redress all the world’s problems. In order to help to gain a deeper understanding of any subject matter, knowing types of research design plays a critical role in carrying out your thesis. If you are aspiring to pursue your career in the field of research and aim to pursue a PhD, sign up for a free 30-minute career counselling session with our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you find a suitable program and university that fit your aspirations, interests and preferences and can guide you towards a fulfilling career in this domain.

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