All You Need To Know About Research Design: Types And More

All You Need To Know About Research Design Types And More

Research design is a blueprint that guides the methodical exploration of any research question. The study technique that involves organizing and describing a process that gathers data and analyses and interprets it is called a research design in research methodology. This field is further branched into types of research design. A well-crafted research design is critical for assuring the validity and reliability of the findings. Crucial decisions that involve data sampling, data collection, methods and an overall approach inclusive of qualitative, quantitative results, or a blend of both. A careful study process must be implemented to study and formulate the hypothesis and select appropriate techniques. The resultant design must be optimised and also validate the robustness of the conclusion making it a cornerstone in the quest for knowledge.

Major Factors Involved in Research Designs

After understanding what is research design, it is crucial to comprehend the primary factors associated with it. Below, find the strategic key factors involved in validating a groundbreaking research design:

Table of Contents

1. Purpose of The Study

You must clearly define the objectives of your research process and the questions to be answered. This establishes the groundwork for the overall design. The objective should guide the subsequent decisions with an exploratory, explanatory, descriptive, or evaluative framework. 

2. Research Questions and Hypothesis

The structure of your investigation is majorly built by the formulated precise research questions and hypotheses. This instantly starts building the body of your research design.

3. Sampling Design

The most critical task involves selecting the target population, sample size, and sampling technique. A representative sample improves the generalizability of results to the general population.

4. Data Collection Methods

You must collect suitable data based on surveys, interviews, experiments and observations to reach the overall goals of your proposed design.

5. Variables and Measurement

Variables and measurements must be clearly defined in the design. The dimensions and units should also be clear enough for an optimum design.

6. Data Analysis

Based on statistical data and content analysis, the research designs ensure compatibility with the research questions.

Types of Research Designs

Research design itself is a very broad framework, mapped thoroughly to bring about groundbreaking changes in the world. There are several types of Research Designs. Quantitative and Qualitative type of research design is the primary among them. 

1. Quantitative Research Design

This design is primarily based on data inferred from stats, graphs and tables. The data gives answers to questions like who, what, where and when throughout the research. This type of research purely focuses on numbers, and therefore, one should carefully, without any mistakes, decipher the analyzed data. This type of numeric data can be dimensions, quantities and measurements. It must be ensured to mention the units for each quantity so that the data can be at ease.

2. Qualitative Research Design

Another type of research design involves qualitative design. This design primarily gives answers to the questions of how and why. Thereby using subjective and open-ended questions. Not only does this type of research design calibrate substantial results, but it also targets the audience’s personal needs and requirements. The overall study harnesses the idea behind the research by manually adding volume to it. 

3. Experimental Research Design

The type of research design that analyses scientific problems and validates the required answers based on real-time experiments and results is termed experimental research design. Such a design interprets every variable independently and examines its impact on the proposed design in order to reach a desired conclusion. Scientists and experimentalists often make discoveries and use this type of research design to probe a problem and its solution. In the field of marketing, an experimental result would be comparing and comprehending the sales of a particular product in a market with its online sales. 

4. Correlational Research Design

In this type of design, two variables are analyzed based on the existent relationship between them. The impact of the changes on the variable over time is calculated, and results are concluded—for example, the decomposition of plants and animals over time. An archaeological survey is performed on these fossil fuels to decipher their age and origin.

5. Descriptive Research Design

A theory-based research design that is purely based on conceptual and descriptive data is termed a descriptive research design. Such design is often based on case studies, natural observations and surveys to decipher the results. Further, this hypothesis may or may not have any appropriate validation. For example, descriptive research on college students’ eating habits uses surveys, observations, and case studies to understand dietary preferences, providing valuable insights for future interventions or programs.

6. Diagnostic Research Design

A diagnostic research design often targets a problem and aims to find a solution to it. In this technique, first, the issue is thoroughly studied and examined. In the next step, necessary action is taken to investigate the issue, and then a precise solution is offered to solve the problem. Diagnostic research design usually requires in-depth study and complex decision-making to reach a conclusion.

Types of Research Design


7. Explanatory Design

In an explanatory design, researchers target the undiscovered parts of the topic and further aim to create branches of the given design or topic. The theory is purely based on thought processes and hypothetical studies. 

8. Survey

When the experimentalists target a particular audience and gather data, the research is termed a survey. This data may include one-on-one interviews, online Google forms, questionnaires or discussions with a group of people. 

9. Philosophical research design

This type of research design helps you understand and clarify your data more. It is based on philosophical conclusions deciphered by critical decision-making.

10. Mixed-Method research design

In this method, an amalgamation of both qualitative and quantitative approaches are used and results are declared.

Steps in Research Design

We have mentioned below some of the paramount steps in research design that can forge a well-organized study for your research design.

1. Choose An Aim Or A Problem

To assess and work on a research design, you must first select a topic or a concept that piques your interest. Several existing case studies, surveys, or interviews are used to establish an issue. Before beginning a study project, the scientist must not only be clear about the problem at hand but also about the offered remedies to that problem. Comparing and interpreting pre-existing theories with newly formed concepts can be a mammoth endeavor at times. To prevent these situations, the researchers first extensively examine the topic in order to arrive at appropriate remedies using innovative approaches.

2. Collecting The Required Data Samples

The second and most significant phase is to gather pre-existing data, followed by a thorough literature study to determine what experiments and research have been undertaken on the particular subject throughout the years. You may also come across comparable difficulties and potential solutions to those concerns. Appropriate keywords and texts must be used to search databases such as Google Books, Scihub, PubMed, and others. After picking a publication, the first step is to read the abstract and findings; for additional information, go through the complete text. Reviewing previously published articles provides a clear picture of how and what your selected study topic will look like. It will allow you to conduct your study more efficiently.

3. Create An Effective Research Hypothesis

Following the completion of the literature review, you need to create an effective research hypothesis. This will assist in steering the rest of the research process and ensure that all phases match with the hypothesis. Setting a research hypothesis involves numerous effective approaches. You can establish hypotheses through the evaluation of data and analysis, or another way is to consider the overall purpose of the research endeavor and what must be done to reach that goal. If you’re stuck for ideas, consider making a list of potential objectives and then limiting them to the most critical or relevant ones. You can also get advice from your supervisor or other experts in your area on what objectives would be most suited for your research project.

4. Formulation Of Your Research Design

When developing your research design, keep the type of study, demographic, and sample technique in mind. The sort of study will decide the general approach of the research, whilst the demographic and sampling technique will assist in identifying the target audience and how to effectively gather data. By taking all of these elements into account, you can create a well-rounded research design that will successfully address your research topic. 

There are several research designs to pick from, so it is critical to select the one that is most suited to your specific study. For example, if you wish to investigate a specific occurrence, you might choose to use a case study design. On the other hand, if you wish to compare two groups of people, you should use a comparative research design. After you’ve decided on a study design, you’ll need to decide on a population and a sample procedure. The population is the group of people you want to examine, and the sampling technique is the procedure by which you will pick people from the population to participate in your study.

5. Choose A Research Method

After deciding on a study design, the following step is to decide on a research technique. This will define how data will be gathered, which might include approaches like interviews, focus groups, and surveys. The research technique should be chosen in accordance with the study concept and research topic. As previously stated, interviews, focus groups, and surveys are some of the most prevalent research methodologies. 

Each study approach has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Interviews, for example, are useful for gathering detailed information from a small group of people, but they may be time-consuming and costly. Focus groups are useful for discussing ideas with a large number of individuals, but they may be challenging to manage. Surveys are useful for swiftly gathering big volumes of data. After deciding on a research technique, the following step is to create the research equipment. These will be used to collect information from research participants. Questionnaires and interview procedures are the most often used research instruments.

6. Analyse Your Collected Data

It’s time to start analyzing the data after it’s been cleaned and coded. This may be accomplished using a variety of techniques, including descriptive statistics, t-tests, and regression analysis. The first stage in analysis is determining which form of analysis is most appropriate for the research issue. Descriptive statistics are useful for summarising data and providing an overall view of what is going on. T-tests may be used to compare means between two groups, and regression analysis can be used to investigate variable relationships. Once the proper analyses have been chosen, they must be carried out. This entails carrying out the analysis and analyzing the findings. 

You need to present your findings clearly and straightforwardly, with enough information that others could reproduce the studies if they so desired. After the data has been analyzed, the results must be written up. Typically, this takes the form of a research paper or report. The findings should be presented understandably, and the consequences of the findings should be highlighted.

7. Write The Report

The report includes a front or title page, as well as a Preface and a list of tables and contents. It might also include a list of charts or graphics. The introduction to the research report, as well as the goal of the study and the presentation of the problem, will be included in the second section of the report. The researcher will next write about the hypothesis and definitions, as well as the methods used to perform the research. There is a part for secondary data analysis and a section for primary data analysis. While writing the report, researchers should have a command of the language. 

Steps of Research Design


Common Drawbacks and Ways to Avoid Them

The drawbacks mentioned below may not only create hindrances to your research design in research methodology but resolving them may also lead to a good research design. 

1. Implementing Ethical Implications

In a research design, limiting the risk to participants should be very important. Not only should you be able to address the research subject but also answer the follow-up questions at the same time. If you fail to answer the questions, the objectivity and validity of your research will be declared null and void.

2. Theoretical Framework is Invalid

It is vital to make sure that your proposed hypothesis is experimentally tested and that your research is not fundamentally flawed. 

3. Non-specific

You must make sure that your research design is apt and clear. It will be difficult to bridge knowledge and information gaps if you do not do a full research literature review and determine where there are knowledge and information gaps. You’ll also need to explain how your study can benefit a particular area and how your study is different from the previous studies. 

4. Inadequate or Incorrect Statistical Analysis

This will obviously have an impact on the quality of any quantitative research. Any meaningful interpretation will, by definition, fall short.

5. The Research Problem is Not Well Defined

Your problem description should be concise and set the stage for the formulation of research questions that address the central issue. A well-described research problem is considered one of the features of a good research design.

6. Limits of Research

Every study has some form of constraint or limit. You should be able to foresee and incorporate limits into your conclusions and fundamental research design. Include in your paper a remark about any perceived limits and how you addressed them in your design and findings.

7. Research and Instrument Techniques

You must utilize the latest ways to validate your studies, like selecting the latest survey of a group of people. Be descriptive about your instruments and methodologies, and explain why you’re utilizing them to address the problem or answer the questions raised by your study.

8. Poor Sampling

Proximity sampling, or the use of participants who are conveniently available, is a common flaw in poor research design. If their selection is purely based on ease of access and having an accessible sample base, your study method is incorrect.


The research design particularly serves as a blueprint for a study, based on a systematic collection of data and analysis. In order to generate reliable and valid results, careful planning and implementation may generate valid results. A well-constructed research design enhances credibility and relevant findings. An effective study leads to the advancement of knowledge and groundbreaking discoveries. Before you get into the area of research design you must understand the importance of research design. The importance of research design is that it leads to innovation, development and growth in this eccentric world. 

A well-established research design course seasons the skills of an individual that fosters them to become equipped in this field. One such course is offered by Dayanand Sagar University, Executive MBA, where a professional gets to evaluate various research designs and work on them with the valuable guidance of Global B-school’s faculty. This course fabricates the learner’s minds in decision-making towards rigorous research and prepares them to contribute to organizational and innovational success.

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