A Quick Guide to Descriptive Research
Published byat August 16th, 2021 , Revised On August 29, 2023
It includes co-relational and comparative methods of research. Descriptive research has an essential role in sociological and psychological studies. It follows the Ex post facto research, which predicts the possible reasons behind the situation that has already occurred.
It describes the existing theory and discovers new facts about it. It is conducted to solve a problem and answer a specific question.
Descriptive research covers everything that can be counted and studied.
What is the Purpose of Descriptive Research?
Descriptive research is used to
- To observe, describe, and explain any hypothesis or situation related to a specific individual, situation, or group of people.
- To describe characteristics.
- To measure the percentage of units.
- To determine the perception of the product category.
- To determine the degree of the associated variables.
Examples of Descriptive Research
- Why do engineers leave the profession?
- What is the level of job satisfaction with the career of engineering students?
- What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
Descriptive Research Methods
Descriptive research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Some of the essential methods are discussed below:
Analysing Secondary Data
A researcher can use the existing information collected by others as the base of new research to answer a question and describe the phenomena.
Surveys can be conducted online and offline, depending on the requirement and sample size of the participants. It includes a questionnaire, including open-ended and closed-ended questions.
It is the most effective descriptive method of research. Quantitative observation aims at observing the volume, weight, shape, age, height, and scale of an entity. At the same time, qualitative observation monitors the characteristics of the participants. A researcher can also act as a participant.
It includes in-depth study, investigation, and data collection from multiple sources over time. A case study is widely used in social sciences to study the underlying information, organisation, community, or event. It does not provide any solution to the problem. Researchers cannot act as the participants of the research. The results may not be accurate due to the incorrect response of the participants.
A research design is an outline of the procedure of the research. It depends on the aim and nature of the study and includes:
- Methods of data collection
- Tools used for data collection
- Methods of data analysis
Advantages and Disadvantages of Descriptive Research
Frequently Asked Questions
To start descriptive research:
- Define your research question.
- Select the target population.
- Choose data collection methods (surveys, observations, etc.).
- Develop a structured plan.
- Collect and analyze data.
- Interpret and present findings objectively.