Research Design: Definition, Types and How to Write

So, what is a research design? The notion of research design usually refers to the general strategy that is applied by the individuals working on different case studies and experiments. Using a particular strategy, they can integrate all the elements of their research in a logical sequence. Moreover, these individuals are given the opportunity to structure their case studies in a coherent way. In the most cases, the notion of research design is referred to an outline that determines three key elements of the research paper.The major components of any case study include three different stages.

While the first one is known as data collection, the further two stages imply the processes of measurement and data analysis. Hence, it can be concluded that research design is a term used to denote a particular approach that is applied by the individuals in collecting and analyzing the materials needed for creating a case study.

Major Types of Research Design

The first and foremost thing that should be mentioned is the fact that the researchers should be able to select an adequate research design for writing their scientific paper. This issue is of great importance since, in the most cases, the inappropriate choice of the individuals may have a considerably negative impact on the validity of the results. Additionally, it affects the reliability of the conclusions that can be observed in the paper. So, it is a high time to provide a detailed description of different types of research design.As it was already mentioned, there are four types of the research approaches.

The scientists tend to claim that a list of these approaches includes exploratory research, descriptive research, explanatory research, and evaluation research.

1. Exploratory Research

When this type name is observed, it can be concluded that the main purpose of this particular research design is to explore the problem introduced in the paper. Indeed, this scientific approach is usually applied to study some issues that remain unclear as well as the ones that should be defined. For instance, in the case, if the researchers find an interesting hypothetical idea, they tend to use this type of research design to conduct a study. That’s the reason why such research papers do not provide any final offers related to the solution of the issue.


Descriptive Research

This notion is used to denote another type of the research approaches. The initial purpose of this method can be grasped from its name. In this case, this approach is used when the researchers want to provide more details regarding a particular issue that was discussed earlier. Apart from an explicit description, descriptive research design is used to explain some things and validate them as well. The list of its key methods may include the observation, the numerous surveys, and a variety of case studies.

3. Explanatory Research

Explanatory research is the following type of the approaches used in creating a case study.

The interesting thing is that such scientific papers explain different issues or phenomena as well as their causes and effects. Hence, while writing using this type of research design, the scientists attempt to provide the cause-effect analysis of the issue introduced in the paper. That’s the reason why this scientific approach may be called not only as the explanatory research but also as the causal one.

4. Evaluation Research

Evaluation research is the last but not least type of research designs. The primary goal of such research is to measure the effectiveness of the program discussed in the paper.

Different Perspectives on Research Design

Another point implies the fact that the issue of research design can be viewed from two different perspectives.

The first perspective is a quantitative research design, and the second one is regarded as aqualitative research design.A quantitative research design is the only scientific approach that implies the use of the statistical data in the attempt to explain the findings of the research and analyze them. There are four core types of a quantitative research design that are usually used in conducting any scientific study.They are the following:

1. Descriptive approach

This type of research is usually written on the basis of already existing data. Evidently, it is not required to include any hypothesis in the paper.


Correlational approach

The correlational research presents two different variables, and the purpose of this paper is to identify whether they are related to each other in a particular way. Using a statistical review, the researchers observe every single variable.

3. Experimental approach

In this case, the researchers attempt to establish the cause-effect relations between all the variables discussed in a case study.

4. Quasi-experimental approach

This quantitative design is almost identical to the experimental research method. The only thing that differentiates these types of research designs is the use of accidental sampling while selecting different groups for creating a case study.

While using a qualitative research design, the scientists do not attempt to forecast the results of the study. In turn, the researchers intend to explore the issue, and as a result, they try to understand and describe their findings.

How to Create a Research Design?

  1. Identify the expected outcome of the potential research paper.
  2. Try to pose a question that you want to discuss.
  3. What kinds of measurement will you need?
  4. Do not forget about selecting a population and identifying the method of data collection.
  5. Develop the relevant interrelations between the variables.
  6. Use the appropriate analysis technique.

  7. Think about some possible distribution channels of the research paper.

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