Definition of Research Design

The formidable problem which follows the work of defining the research problem is the preparing of the design of the research project, typically referred to as the “research design”. Research design can be defined as a conceptual structure within which research will likely be done. It comprises the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data.

Decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means with regards to an enquiry or a research design are taken. It is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a way which seeks to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in process.

Meaning and Definition of Research Design

1. Wikipedia says, a research design includes the process and methods used to carry out scientific research. The design defines the type of study (descriptive, correlational, experimental, etc) and sub-type (e.g., descriptive, longitudinal, case study), research question, hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, experimental design, and, if relevant, data collection methods and a statistical analysis plan.

2. According to Kerlinger, “Research in the plan, structure and strategy of study conceived in order to get answers to research questions and also to control variance.”

3. It is a thorough outline of how a study is going to take place. It will generally consist of how data is to be collected, what tools will be used, how the tools will be used and the intended means for analyzing collected data.

4. It is the determination and statement of the general research approach or approach followed for the specific task. It is the heart of planning. If the design sticks to the research objective, it will guarantee that the client’s needs will be served. – David J Luck and Ronald S Rubin

5. According to Green and Tull, “ It is the specification of techniques and processes for obtaining the information required. It is the over-all operational pattern or framework of the project which states what data is to be gathered from which source by what processes.”

Definition of Research Design by Authors

Figure 1 – Research Design Meaning

6. Research design “deals with a logical problem and not a logistical problem” (Yin, 1989: 29).

7. It is a group of advance decisions which comprise the master plan revealing the methods and procedures for accumulating and analyzing the necessary data.

8. The research design is defined as, it is the plan for collecting and utilizing data so that desired information can be obtained.

Read Also: Major Components of Research Design

9. The word “research design” describes the way an investigator puts a research study together to solve a question or a list of questions. It works as an organized plan detailing the study, the researchers’ ways of collection, information on how the study will get to its conclusions and the limitations of the research. Design is not restricted to a specific type of research and may include both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

10. The fundamental parameters of a research project, such as factors like its primary approach (qualitative, quantitative or some combination); the sample or target to be questioned or observed; numbers of interviews or observations; research locations; questionnaire or discussion outline; tasks and materials to be presented; and so on.

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11. It guides the researcher in the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting observations. It is a logical model of proof that enables the investigator to draw inferences concerning causal relations among the variables being investigated.

Read Also: Meaning of Research Design

12. Design in basic terms could be defined as the scheme of work to be done or carried out by a researcher throughout the various stages of a research project.

13. It is the strategic plan for a project or research programme, detailing the broad outline and important features of the work to be performed, for example the methods of data collection and analysis to be used, and showing the way the research strategy deals with the specific aims and objectives of the study, and whether the research issues are theoretical or policy-oriented.

There are hundreds of definitions of research design provided by various authors, i have tried to list a few of them to explain the meaning and make the topic understandable.

Read Also: Basic Elements of Research Design


  1. I have been searching for this topic for my project work. Your article helped me a lot. thanks for providing the definition of research design.

  2. Can you kindly send the reference of this work to my mail box, pls it’s urgent. Thanks!

  3. please can you mail me 10 different definitions of research designs with the name of the author and year of the book. Thanks

  4. Tity tabs says

    Please can u send me the reference of this definition to my email address asap. also if you can add the definitions from different authors that will really be helpful thanks .
    its so Urgent

  5. ratimash says

    kindly please send me the definition of research designs with 3 authors and year (include page no) of the book. I am struggling to find books at the library in my area. I will really appreciate.

  6. Yusuf Sabo says

    Intresting,the topic have been of great importance to so many schoolars.We all appreciate it.Thanks so much.

  7. Ayinde Opeoluwa Stephen. says

    Pls sir / ma can someone email me the characteristics and explanatory of each research

  8. Suleiman says

    The definitions are useful but you could add the references to it we would greatful

  9. Sarah dickson says

    please can i get the reference of that definition of research design..?

  10. Deepika Chaudhry says

    Thanks a ton ? essential info about research design…pretty helpful for me.

  11. thanks a lot for the provision of research design definition, may you please add references to it or send to my email.

  12. Khennie says

    You’ve done a good job for these definitions. however, its incomplete without reference. Send the definitions with references into my mail box. Thanks

  13. can you give me a 10 definition of reasearc with different authors and the date they written it.

  14. You have done well defining but you also give full references of the definitions.

  15. Ate Clinton says

    Thanks very much sir. Could you please email me with the various types of research designs ?

  16. can you please send the references to my email. thanks in advance

  17. can you plz send me the the definitions of research design according to authors in my mail.thank you!

  18. Vroom Raymond says

    kindly please send me the definition of research designs with 3 authors and year (include page no) of the book. thank you.

  19. Aminah Matovu says

    The definitions are useful but it would really be great if at all you provide with the years.
    thank you…

  20. Daniel mensah says

    Please kindly send me the definition of research design with 3 authors and year including page number of the book.

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