Steps in Research Design

Steps in Research DesignExpressed in simple language, a research design is a plan of action, a plan for accumulating and evaluating data in an economical, efficient and relevant method. The research design process steps work together and frequently occur simultaneously. For instance, the design of a measurement instrument is impacted by the type of analysis which is to be done. However, the type of analysis is also impacted by the specific features of the measurement instrument.

Basic Steps in Research Design Process

Defining of a problem: The problem chosen for research needs to be described clearly in operational terms to make sure that researcher understands positively what information he is searching for and what is strongly related to the study.

Data sources: Once the problem is chosen it is the responsibility of the researcher to mention clearly the different sources of data for example library, personal documents, field work, a specific residential group, etc.

Nature of Research: The research design needs to be expressed with regards to the nature of study to be carried out. The choice of the statistical, experimental or comparative kind of study be made at this time so that the subsequent stages in planning may have relevance to the proposed problem.

Objective of Study: Whether the design is aimed at theoretical understanding or presupposes a welfare notion should be explicit at this stage. The objective needs to be very clear in the mind of the investigator as this will lead to the clarity of the design and proper response from the participants.

Social – Cultural Context: The study design needs to be set in the social-cultural context. For instance, in a research of the fertility rate in a people of ‘backward’ class the context of the so-called backward class of people and the conceptual reference needs to be clarified. Unless the meaning of the term is clearly defined there is often a big deviation in the study since the term backward may have religious, economic and political connotations.

Temporal Context: The physical limit of the design also needs to be known at this step that research linked to be hypothesis does apply to specific social group only.

Dimension: It is physically not possible to analyse the data gathered from a big universe. Therefore, the selection of an acceptable and representative sample is a by-word in any study. Based on the dimension of the planned research such a sample of the large people could be chosen to facilitate a practical design.

Basis of Selection: Choosing a right sample is a very important and critical step and this is done with the assistance of some mechanics like drawing a random stratified, deliberate, double cluster or quota sample etc. It will produce a scientifically valid sample in an unbiased manner.

Methods of Data Collection: Related to the research design an appropriate method has to be followed for the collection of necessary data. The relative advantage of observation, interview and questionnaire, when studied collectively will help in the selection of an ideal approach. Once the gathering of data is done, analysis, coding and presentation of the report obviously follow.

In this article, I have discussed the basic steps in research design process. Whatever be the characteristics of design, the above listed main steps are usually adopted.


  1. mary mutheu says

    ….whao very educative. …I have really liked your work and as you introduced in simple language.

  2. guidelines of selecting a research topic need help

  3. D.DINESH says

    very nice and useful me and peoples. thank you sir. continue

  4. The best answer I have ever found on the net till date. Thank you

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