How to Choose the Right Research Design

There are various types of research designs that researchers can opt for. However, to opt for the right design, you first need to know the differences. Also, do not forget that the type of design depends on various variables from your research. Therefore, understanding these variables is of importance. If you are new to academic work or are just here to refresh your memory, this article has just the right content for you. Today, we will focus on the different types of research designs.

11.10.2021

How to Choose the Right Research Design

This article focuses on different types of research designs and explains how to choose the right research design for your study. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

There are various types of research designs that researchers can opt for. However, to opt for the right design, you first need to know the differences. Also, do not to forget that the type of design depends on various variables from your research. Therefore, understanding these variables is of importance. If you are new to academic work or are just here to refresh your memory, this article has just the right content for you. Today, we will focus on the different types of research designs.

What is research design?

A research design is a strategy adopted by your study to answer your research question using empirical data. When you have a research design that means you are making decisions about:

  • Overall aim and approach of the study

  • Type of research design you’ll use in your study

  • Sampling methods and criteria for selecting study subjects

  • Data collection methods that will be used in your study

  • Procedures for data collection

  • Data analysis methods

As we have already mentioned, there are various types of research designs. However, each design has its own pros and cons. As for choosing the right research design for your study, you first need to determine the following questions:

  • What kind of questions you are asking?

  • What is the purpose of your research?

  • What resources do you have available to you?

When you have an answer to these questions, determining the right type of research design will become easier.

Types of research designs

If we categorize research designs broadly, they could be divided into two main types — quantitative and qualitative approaches. The main difference between both is that while quantitative research depends on statistics and numbers, qualitative research depends on words and descriptions.

The quantitative research type seeks to numerically prove a theory, while qualitative research tries to understand an idea or concept. However, these two types of study/research design are barely scratching the surface.

In general, there are five main types of sub-research designs:

1. Experimental research design

Experiments in academic studies are used to measure causal relationships between study variables. Researchers manipulate one or more independent variables and measure their effect on the dependent variable(s). Thus, experimental research design consists of two variables: a dependent variable and an independent variable.

The relationship between both is determined by the cause and effect between the variables. This research requires constant observation of both the dependent and independent variables, recording their reaction and to each other under various circumstances.

This type of research design is particularly useful for studying human behavior. Therefore, it is very common for experimental designs to be used in psychological and social research.

2. Descriptive research design

Descriptive research design is completely theory-based, where the researcher tries to describe and theorize any situation, event, concept, or idea. The phases involved in descriptive study design are as follows:

  • Gathering data

  • Analyzing data

  • Presenting data

Descriptive research design mainly tries to answer questions such as the why and how of any research.

3. Diagnostic research design

Diagnostic research design is best used for understanding the rudimentary cause of an event or phenomenon. With diagnostic research design, a researcher can help understand the causes leading to a particular event. The research methodology in this design is divided into three phases:

  • Interception of the phenomenon

  • Diagnosis of the phenomenon

  • Solution for the situation

4. Correlational research design

Correlational research design is a non-experimental study. The main purpose of correlational research design is to understand the relationship between two variables that are closely related to each other. Here, two groups of variables are involved, and no assumptions are made. Instead, statistical and analysis methods are used to understand the relationship between both variables.

The relationship between the variables can be either positive or negative and is ranged between negative 1 and positive 1 through correlation coefficient. If the values lean toward negative 1, the relationship is negative. If the values lean toward positive 1, the relationship is considered positive.

5. Explanatory research design

The purpose of explanatory research design is to explore the already developed ideas and theories of a researcher to further explore more concepts and ideas. This design is used for exploring unanswered questions that were not addressed earlier.

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Quantitative research vs. qualitative research

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