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How to Write a Research Design

Dissertation Research Design

Research design is a structure that combines different components of research with the help of different techniques and methodology used in a logical manner to answer the research question. How to write a research design can be answered by making an insight plan to conduct research by using different methodological approaches. Before conducting research, the researcher makes some decisions to address the list of research questions which is done with the help of research design. Below are the key aspects of the decision-making process:

  • Data type required for research
  • Research resources
  • Participants required for research
  • Hypothesis upon research question(s)
  • Data analyzing methodologies
  • Variables
  • The location and timescale for conducting the data
  • The time period required for research

Research design provides the strategy of investigation for your project. Furthermore, it defines the parameters and criteria to compile the data for the evaluation of results and drawing a conclusion. The validity of your project depends on the data collection and interpretation techniques, but a strong research design reflects a strong dissertation, scientific paper, or research proposal.

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Step 1: Priorities Required for Research Design

The important question that must be addressed before conducting a research study is how to write a research design because it is the pillar of the research study. Research design depends on the priorities and choices of the researcher because every research has different priorities therefore, the study may have more than one research design. If one research design is weak in one area, then another research design can cover that area of the research study. For instance, a descriptive dissertation research design having different situation or cases will have more than one research design.

Example of Research Design:

  • An experimental research may provide an investigation about laboratory experience, but it does not provide an accurate investigation into the real world.
  • Quantitative research is good for the statistical part of the project, but it may not provide an in-depth understanding of the topic.
  • Also, a cor-relational research will not provide experimental results because it is the technique which helps researchers understand and assess the statistical relationship between two variables.

While scientific considerations are a fundamental aspect of research design, It is equally important that the researcher should think practically before structuring research design. Here are some questions that you should think of;

  • Do you have enough time to gather data and write up the research?
  • Will you be able to collect the necessary data by interviewing a specific person or visiting a specific location?
  • Do you have an in-depth knowledge about the different statistical analysis and data collection techniques to address the research question or test the hypothesis

If you think that the chosen research design cannot answer the research questions properly then you can refine your research questions to gain better insight.
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Step 2: Data Type You Need for Research

The type of data to be collected depends on the type of research you need to perform and based on your research questions or research hypothesis. There are two types of research data that can be used to answer the research questions:

Primary Data vs Secondary Data

Primary DataThe researcher collects the primary data from first-hand sources with the help of different data collection methods such as interviews, experiments, surveys, etc. Primary research data is considered to be far more authentic and relevant, but it involves additional cost and time.
Secondary DataResearch on academic references which themselves incorporate primary data will be regarded as secondary data. There is no need to do a survey or interview with a person directly and it is time effective. The researcher should focus on the validity and reliability of the source.

Qualitative vs Quantitative Data

Qualitative DataThis data encircles the descriptive experience of the data and shows the relationship between the observation and collected data in terms of interpretation and conceptual understanding of the research. There are many theories involved which can approve or disapprove the mathematical and statistical calculation. For instance, you are searching how to write a research design proposal, it means you require qualitative data about the mentioned topic.
Quantitative DataIf your research requires statistical and mathematical approaches for measuring the variable and testing your hypothesis then your objective is to compile quantitative data. Many businesses and researchers use this type of data for their research design with pre-determined data collection methods and variables to be measured.

The research design can further divide into five types; descriptive, experimental, correlational, diagnostic and explanatory research design. Below is the image of the table which provide the in-depth analysis about the research design type.

Also see; Research methods, design, and analysis.

Step 3: Data Collection Techniques

If you have already selected the type of research to be employed to answer your research question, then you need to decide where and how you will collect the data.

It is time to determine the research method to find answer to the research problem. Research methods involve procedures, techniques, materials, and tools used for your study. For instance, dissertation research design and methodology identify the criteria and structure of your whole dissertation research by providing different resources and data collection techniques.

Research Methods

MethodsWhat to consider
SurveysThe survey planning requires;

 Selection of responses and how many responses are required for the research?

 Survey distribution techniques (online, by post, in person, etc.)

 Techniques to design the question

Interviews Criteria to select the interviewee.

 Time and location of the interview.

 Type of interviews; i.e., structured, semi-structured or unstructured.

Experiments  Place of the experiment; laboratory or in the field.

 Measuring of the variables

 Design of the experiment

Secondary Data  Criteria to select the references and source for the data.

 The reliability of the references.

 The technique used for compiling the data source.

Step 4: Procedure of Data Analysis

Use of the correct data and statistical analysis technique is important to find the answer to your research questions or test the hypothesis. Therefore, the researcher needs to find which type of data is required for the study. The analysis method might be a final step for the research design which divides it into two main categories;

Quantitative Data Analysis

It is the statistical methodology required to analyze the numerical data with the help of different applications such as; SPSS, STATA, Excel, origin lab, etc.

Different type of variables for instance; spectrum, frequencies, averages lies in the statistical methodologies. The research question and the hypothesis must be established before creating research design so that the variables can be identified. The hypothesis can be tested out after choosing the appropriate quantitative methodology.

Qualitative Data Analysis

Qualitative data analysis of figures, themes and words allows for flexibility and researcher’s subjective opinions. This means that researcher’s primary focus will be on the interpretation of patterns, tendencies and accounts as well as understanding the implications and social framework. The researcher should be clear about their research objectives before starting to analyse the data. For example, you should ask yourself whether you simply need to explain respondents’ experiences and insights or do you also need to analyse their responses with reference to a certain social framework. Do you also need to figure out how and why something was said?

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Step 5: Write your research proposal

The dissertation research design is a very important component for creating a proposal because it provides the planning about the execution of the project which can be shared with the supervisor to check the feasibility and capacity of the results and conclusion. After developing a research design, it is necessary to follow the guidelines to write a research proposal. The research proposal is written in the future tense because you are writing your proposal before conducting research. The research methodology or research design on the other hand is generally written in past tense.

How to Write a Research Design – Conclusion

It is the plan, structure, strategy of investigation conceived to obtain an answer to research questions. The dissertation research design can be classified into primary and secondary data as well as the qualitative and quantitative research design. Above mentioned five steps are the answer to how to write a research design. So, follow these steps to write a perfect research design for your dissertation.

Research Prospect writers have years of experience in creating research designs that are in line with the aim and objectives of dissertation. If you are struggling with your dissertation methodology chapter, then take a look at our dissertation part writing service. Our dissertation writers are also able to help you with the full dissertation paper. No matter how urgent or complex you need may be, Research Prospect can help.

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