A research design is a structure that combines different components of research. It involves the use of different data collection and data analysis techniques logically to answer the research questions.
It would be best if you made some decisions about addressing the research questions adequately before starting the research process, and this is achieved with the help of the research design. Below are the key aspects of the decision-making process:
The research design provides the strategy of investigation for your project. Furthermore, it defines the parameters and criteria to compile the data to evaluate results and draw a conclusion.
The research design can be divided into five broad categories; descriptive, experimental, correlational, diagnostic, and explanatory.
An important question that you must address before conducting any research study is "how to create a research design."
The research design depends on the researcher's priorities and choices because every research has different priorities. For a complex research study involving multiple research methods, you may choose to have more than one research design.
Multimethodology or multimethod research includes using more than one method of data collection or research in a research study or set of related studies.
If one research design is weak in one area, then another research design can cover that weakness. For instance, a dissertation analysing different situations or cases will have more than one research design.
While scientific considerations are a fundamental aspect of the research design, It is equally important that the researcher think practically before deciding on their research design structure. Here are some questions that you should think of;
If you think that the chosen research design cannot answer the research questions properly, you can refine your research questions to gain better insight.
Decide on the type of data you need for your research. The type of data you need to collect depends on your research questions or research hypothesis. Two types of research data can be used to answer the research questions:
Also see; Research methods, design, and analysis.
Once you have selected the type of research to be employed to answer your research question, you need to decide where and how you will collect the data.
It is time to determine your research method to address the research problem. Research methods involve procedures, techniques, materials, and tools used for the study.
For instance, a dissertation research design includes the different resources and data collection techniques and helps establish your dissertation's structure.
The following table shows the characteristics of the most popularly employed research methods.
What to consider
The 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
Criteria to select the interviewee.
Time and location of the interview.
Place of the experiment; laboratory or in the field.
Measuring of the variables
Design of the experiment
Criteria to select the references and source for the data.
The reliability of the references.
The technique used for compiling the data source.
Use of the correct data and statistical analysis technique is necessary for the validity of your research. Therefore, you need to be certain about the type of data that would best address the research problem. Choosing an appropriate analysis method is the final step for the research design. It can be split into two main categories;
The quantitative data analysis technique involves analysing the numerical data with the help of different applications such as; SPSS, STATA, Excel, origin lab, etc.
This data analysis strategy tests different types of variables such as spectrum, frequencies, averages, and more. The research question and the hypothesis must be clearly established to identify the variables for testing.
Qualitative data analysis of figures, themes, and words allows for flexibility and the researcher's subjective opinions. This means that the researcher's primary focus will be on interpreting patterns, tendencies, and accounts and understanding the implications and social framework.
You should be clear about your research objectives before starting to analyse the data. For example, you should ask yourself whether you need to explain respondents' experiences and insights or do you also need to evaluate their responses with reference to a certain social framework.
The research design is an important component of a research proposal because it provides the planning about the project's execution, which you can share with the supervisor, who would evaluate the feasibility and capacity of the results and conclusion.
Read our guidelines to write a research proposal if you have already formulated your research design. 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 the past tense.
A research design is the plan, structure, strategy of investigation conceived to obtain an answer to the research question and test the hypothesis. The dissertation research design can be classified based on the type of data and the type of analysis.
Above mentioned five steps are the answer to how to write a research design. So, follow these steps to formulate the perfect research design for your dissertation.
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