Research design is a plan of how to conduct research. It includes defining research subject, questions, theories, methods, techniques, data collection methods (LINK), data analysis, report and distribution channels for the report. Designing research allows researchers to act according to the plans and finish the project in time. It guides the researchers through the entire research process and tells them what you need to give attention to and what is unnecessary for the research.
Research design characteristics
Good research design should make the research process bias-free and guarantee that the results are as objective as possible.
While designing the research, a researcher should try making sure that the sample group – participants provide them with valid information. Otherwise, the results would not reflect reality.
Researchers should choose the sample groups carefully so that they represent the target groups as best as possible.
Now, let’s move on to the types of research design:
Descriptive research design
Descriptive research design helps to get perspective on the current status of the research subject. Even though it can’t answer why questions, it gets feedback on what, when, how questions. It describes the nature of the research subject, participants, etc. In this research, the researcher is mostly not able to control the situation and influence the respondents. Main descriptive research methods comprise observations (LINK), surveys and case studies. Descriptive research enables to obtain basic information about the issue and can be beneficial in assisting other research methods to get answers for why questions.
Correlational research design
Researchers compare two or more similar or related topics when conducting correlational research and look for the connections and relations between them. Similar to descriptive research, researchers don’t influence the correlational research process. Although this research design aims to find a correlation between the issues, it doesn’t assure the certainty of such a correlation. The research methods for this research consist of observations, surveys and secondary data sources.
Experimental research design
This research design is mostly used by researchers who do experiments in order to find answers to the questions. Unlike descriptive and correlational researches, researchers carrying experimental research can affect the research design characteristics by changing or applying specific methods they consider essential for the desired result. It is mainly used in social and physical sciences.
Explanatory research design
Researchers conduct explanatory research for the issue that is not appropriately researched or needs additional research to prove the theory. In most cases, these issues are not well defined, so researchers do a more in-depth analysis of the problems. The main methods to gather data in this research include surveys, focus groups (LINK), interviews and secondary data. The researchers try to measure how a change can affect a particular phenomenon.