Different Types of Research Designs

Different Types of Research DesignsThe research design is the structure of a scientific work.  A good research design will obviously describe the strategy to be employed for choosing samples, collecting data, managing costs along with other factors which are important for conducting research.

The research methods which are employed and purpose of the research can also be utilized to classify the different types of research designs. The method you select will influence your results and the way you conclude the findings. The majority of researchers are curious about getting reliable observations which can help the understanding of a phenomenon. There are different research designs that are utilized in research, all with certain benefits and drawbacks. Which one the researcher employs, is dependent upon the goals of the study and the nature of the phenomenon. It is dependent on following factors:

  • Exactly what information are you interested in? The objectives of the study.
  • The type of the phenomenon – Is it possible to gather the data, and if so, will it be valid/reliable?
  • How trustworthy should the information be?
  • Is it ethical to carry out the research?
  • The expense of the design
  • Is there little or much existing scientific theory and materials on the subject?

What are the Different Types of Research Designs Methods ?

It is crucial that you select a suitable research design before any research is started. Various types can be classified as:

1. Historical Research Design – The idea is to gather, validate, synthesize evidence to establish facts which defend or oppose your hypothesis. It makes use of primary sources, secondary sources, and a lot of qualitative data sources for example logs, diaries, official data, reports, and so on. The issue is that the sources need to be both authentic and valid.

2. Case Study: It is an in-depth investigation of a specific research problem as opposed to a sweeping statistical survey. It is usually employed to limit a very wide area of research into one or a few easily research-able examples. The case study research design can also be helpful for testing whether a particular theory and model actually pertains to phenomena in real life. It is a useful design if not much is known about a phenomenon.

3. Descriptive research: Descriptive research includes much government backed research such as the population census, the gathering of a broad range of social indicators and economic information for example household expenditure patterns, time use studies, employment and crime statistics.

4. Causal Design: Causality research could be regarded as understanding a phenomenon with regards to conditional statements in the form, “If A, then B.” This kind of research is utilized to determine what affect a certain change may have on present norms and assumptions. The majority of social scientists seek causal explanations which reflect tests of hypotheses. Causal effect takes place when variation in one phenomenon, an independent variable, results in, on average, in variation in another phenomenon, the dependent variable.

5. Longitudinal Research Design: A longitudinal study consists of a panel, which is a fixed sample of elements. The elements could be shops, retailers, individuals, or other entities. The panel, or sample, stays relatively constant over time, despite the fact that members may be added to replace dropouts or to keep it representative. The sample members in a panel are calculated regularly over time, in contrast with the one-time measurement in a cross-sectional study.

6. Cross-Sectional Design: Cross-sectional research designs have 3 exclusive features: no time dimension, a reliance upon present differences rather than change following intervention; and, groups are chosen according to existing differences as opposed to random allocation. The cross-sectional design can only measure differences between or from among a number of people, subjects, or phenomena instead of change. As a result, researchers employing this design can only use a relative passive approach to making causal inferences based on findings.

7. Correlation or Prospective Research Design: It tries to discover relationships to make predictions. It uses one set of subjects with a couple of variables for each.

8. Cohort Design: A cohort study is a research program looking into a specific group with a certain trait, and observes over a period of time. A few examples of cohorts may be those who have taken a certain medicine, or have a medical problem.

9. Observational Design: This kind of research design draws a conclusion by evaluating subjects against a control group, in situations where the researcher doesn’t have control over the experiment. There are a couple of general types of observational designs. In direct observations, people realize that you are watching them. Unobtrusive measures include any way of studying behavior where individuals have no idea they are being observed. An observational study allows a good insight into a phenomenon and eliminates the ethical and practical complications of establishing a large and cumbersome research project.

10. Experimental Research Design: This design is best suited in controlled settings for example labs. The design assumes random assignment of subjects and random assignment to groups (A and C). It tries to investigate cause and affect associations where causes could be manipulated to generate different types of effects. Due to the requirement of random assignment, this design can be challenging to carry out in the real world (non laboratory) setting.

11. Philosophical Design: This method makes use of the tools of argumentation based on philosophical traditions, concepts, models, and theories to critically explore and challenge, for instance, the relevance of logic and evidence in academic debates, to evaluate arguments about fundamental problems, or to discuss the cause of existing discourse about a research problem.

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12. Explanatory Research: It concentrates on why questions. For instance, it is one thing to describe the crime rate in a nation, to analyze trends over time or to compare the rates in various countries. It is quite a different thing to develop explanations regarding why the criminal activity rate is as high as it is, why some kinds of crime are growing or why the rate is higher in some nations than in others.

Research design provides direction and systematizes the research. The research design details the real research problem and the process for solving it.

The objective of a research design is to make certain that evidence obtained allows you to successfully address the research problem as unambiguously as possible. Various types of research design methods have distinct pros and cons.


  1. Share mi the best way that i can make literuture review

  2. what is an example of research design that best suited the problem of attitude of the students towards learning mathematics

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