Types of Research Design in Research

 Types of Research Design

There are numerous ways to classify research design. Based on the purpose and method, we could distinguish among them research design types:

1. Historical research

Historical research is a research design in which we apply the scientific method in order to describe past events. It is the process of collecting, synthesizing past evidence systematically to reach a conclusion. The main purpose of historical design is to show the relationship of past events to the present.

2. Descriptive research

It just describes the situation but not gives any clue about the solution or answer to the research problem. It is used to check the validity of the existing theory.

This method includes data collection analysis and presentation. It lets the researcher obviously present the problem statement in order to agree with others to better understand the need for this kind of research. Without a clear problem statement, you’re not doing descriptive but exploratory research.

3. Developmental research

It is used to predict the future trend about a variable by studying past and present direction, sequences, and other inter-related factors at a time. It is done in three ways

> Longitudinal growth study

> Cross-sectional growth study

>> Trend study

4. Case study research

A case study is an intensive study of a single social unit i.e. a person, a family, a community, an institution, a social group. A case study enables us to explore and understand a problem but it cannot allow us to generalize the findings. Actually, it just represents the reality of a single unit but not represent the total reality of the population.

5. Correlation research

Two variables are said to be correlated if a change in the value of one variable is related to the change in the value of other variables, the research to find the degree and direction of the relationship is called correlation research.

Just as its name suggests, correlation design allows the researcher to establish some kind of a relation between two closely related topics or variables. It’s a non-experimental research design type that requires at least two groups of data.

6. Casual-comparative research

It is also termed regression research. In this method, the researcher takes one or more dependent variables and examine the data through backward movement to examine causes, relationship etc. Here investigators also predict the dependent variable on the basis of independent variables. It is ex-post facto’ in nature.

7. Ex-post facto research

It is systematic, empirical research in which the researcher does not have direct control of independent variables. It is carried out without any hypothesis and is based on scientific and analytical examination of dependent and independent variables. According to Kerlinger- “ex-post facto research is that research within which the independent variable or variables have already occurred and within which the researcher starts with the observation of a dependent variable or variables. He then studies the independent variables on reflection for his or her possible relevancy a control on, the dependent variable or variables.”

8. True experimental research

Research design based on the true experiment is called true experimental research. According to Isaac, the purpose of experimental research is to investigate possible cause and effect relationships by exposing one or more experimental groups to one or more treatment conditions and comparing the results to one or more control groups not receiving the treatment. There are two types of experiments.

·   Laboratory experiment: most of experiment related to physical science is conducted in the laboratory

·   Field experiment: while in social and managerial science experiments are conducted in the field.

9. Evaluation research

Evaluation research is used to evaluate the performance of the development projects and other economic programs that have already been implemented:

10. Action research

Action research is also known as applied research. It is used to find out a solution for an immediate problem faced by society. It is conducted at any time whenever required to solve the existing problem.

11. Field study research

It is a scientific study done to discover relationships among variables in social institutions. Field study research is mainly concentrated on exploratory studies and hypothesis testing.

The differences between exploratory and conclusive research as following






To provide insights and understanding

To test a specific hypothesis and examine the relationship


• Information needed is defined only loosely

• Research process is flexible and unstructured

• Sample is small and non-representative

• Analysis of primary data is qualitative


• Information needed is clearly defined

• Research process is  formal and structured

• Sample is large and representative

• Data analysis is quantitative






Generally followed by further exploratory or conclusive research


Findings used as input into decision making



Research design types by grouping

Yet another classification of research design types are often created based on the means participants are classified. In most cases, grouping depends on the research hypothesis and also the approach participants are being sampled.

For example, during a typical study based on experimental research design, there’s typically a minimum of one experimental and one management group. In medical studies, let’s say, one group, can be receiving treatment, whereas the opposite would be no treatment. You get the idea.

Based on participant grouping, we will distinguish among four types of research design:

Cohort study

A cohort study could be a form of longitudinal research that samples a cohort (a group of individuals with a shared characteristic) whereas doing a cross-sectional at specific time intervals. it’s a type of panel study wherever the people within the panel share a common characteristic.

Cross-sectional study

A cross-sectional study is common in social science, medical research, and biology. this kind of research design analyzes information either from a population or from a sample, at a given point in time.

Longitudinal study

A longitudinal study could be a research design that involves repeated observations of identical variables over short or long periods of your time. it’s usually a type of observational study, though they’ll even be structured as longitudinal randomized experiments.

Cross-sequential study

Cross-sequential research design combines longitudinal and cross-sectional research style, planning to compensate for a number of the problems inherently gift in the two same designs.


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