4 Types Of Research Design | Step By Step Pro Guide



A research design is a systematic approach that a researcher uses to conduct a scientific study. It is the overall synchronization of identified components and data resulting in a plausible outcome.

To conclusively come up with an authentic and accurate result, the Types of research design should follow a strategic methodology, in line with the type of research chosen. To have a better understanding of which research paper topic, to begin with, it is imperative to first identify the types of research to start writing a research proposal.

What are the types of Research Design?

There are 4 types of research design which are:

1. Exploratory Research:

  • Just as the word implies, it explores, that is to find out about something by answering the question in “what” or “How” manner.

2. Descriptive Research:

  • This is more in-depth research, that answered the question of what and how.

3. Explanatory Research:

  • This seeks to explain the subject matter being researched and tries to answer the question of what, how, and why.

4. Evaluation Research:

  • This is quite extensive as it measures the effectiveness of a program.

With a clear understating of the types of research design, design research can be drawn. Just like the way an architect chooses a layout from its many designs to fit a specific landscape, the same way a research design is picked from the many designs to fit the type of research being carried out.

On the general term, the types of research design is viewed from two perspectives, quantitative research design or qualitative research design, which both have extended components. They can both be used or applied distinctively or together.

What is Quantitative Research design?

A quantitative research design is used to examine the relationship between variables by using numbers and statistics to explain and analyze their findings.

There are 4 types of quantitative research design:

  • Descriptive design research: As the name implies, it is intended to describe the present status of this type of design that does not require a hypothesis, to begin with. These analyses are generated from existing data.
  • Correlational design research: This seeks to discover If two variables are associated or related in some way, using statistical analysis, while observing the variable.
  • Experimental design research: This is a method used to establish a cause and effect relationship between two variables or among a group of variables. The independent variable is manipulated to observe the effect on the dependent variable. For example, a certain group is exposed to a variable and then compared with the group not exposed to the variable.
  • Quasi-experimental design research: This experiment is designed just like the true experimental design, except that it does not use randomized sample groups. Also, it is used when a typical research design is not practicable.

What are the Essential Elements of Research Design?

After deciding what types of research design you want to use, the next step is to determine the essential elements of research design and implement them into your document. Check them out in the list below:

  • Purpose of statement
  • The techniques that you are using to collect and analyze the research data;
  • Describe the specific method that is being used to analyze all the details;
  • Your preferred type of research methodology;
  • All the probable objections for research;
  • All the settings for the research study;
  • The timeline of the research design;
  • Make sure to include the measurement of analysis.

What is Qualitative Research Design?

Qualitative research design, on the other hand, is exploratory in nature as it tries to explore not to predict the outcome. It seeks to answer the questions of what and how.

A qualitative research design is used to explore the meaning and understanding of complex social environments, like the nature of people’s experience, using case studies.

A quantitative research design shares similar characteristics with scientific research in the following ways:

  • An outline question stating the problem that needs to be solved.
  • Has a set order and procedure used to answer these questions?
  • Analyses the data generated.
  • Draws its conclusion after the data has been collated and analyzed so that the conclusion drawn from the findings is not predetermined.

Besides the similarities identified above, a qualitative research design also intends to understand, describe or discover the findings. The researcher is usually the primary instrument that formulates the question and interprets the meaning of the data.

The data used are mostly documented words from interviews, newspapers videos, etc. More than one type of data is collected during this research, from the field, where the participants are.

In other words, the research goes beyond the intended scope, so making it emergent because the method of research changes and different types of data might be collected as the research goes on.

What is a good research design?

A good research design is characterized by its flexibility, efficiency, appropriateness etcetera. A research design is one that has little to no error.

Having a clear objective for research is a reflection of how explicit the research question is. Depending on the research problem, you have to combine a number of design approaches to end up with the required outcome.

How to develop a research design?

  1. Classify the intended outcome of what needs to be understood
  2. Developing the research question
  3. What needs to be measured
  4. Select the population for the experiment
  5. Identify the ideal data collection method
  6. Construct Interrelated characteristics
  7. Use correct analysis tools
  8. Choose a channel for disseminating your findings

For students who are interested in reading about how to write a good research proposal to apply for the scholarship, must have a clear objective to persuade the admission committee.  A research proposal is also required to contain a well-written study plan for submission.

11 thoughts on “4 Types Of Research Design | Step By Step Pro Guide”

  1. Muh’d Yousaf,
    Thank you for this beautiful explanation.
    I want to do a work which will be both prospective and retrospective but having a challenge . Could I speak with you to guide me.

  2. Hello, I would like to ask you, if it’s possible to get to the sources of literature what you were reading to write this good article. If you have it somewhere, can you send me this sources?

    Thanks for the answer.

  3. Assalamo Alaikum Muhammad Yousaf
    i found your work very informative and helping. can you please help me in finalizing my research design?
    i am working on needs assessment of curriculum for special children so what kind of research design and study it would be??


Leave a Comment