How to Choose the Right Research Design

Wondering how to choose the right research design? A researcher needs to begin preparing the research design as soon as they have determined the research topic and are sure of the information they want. Research design is more like research planning.How to Choose the Right Research Design It is a detailed plan to do the study in an orderly manner and use the available research resources. Your overall decision of the research design you will select will depend on your project. That is why it is vital to know how to choose the right research design for your study. If you do not know how to select the research design, you should feel relaxed.  We have provided you with a guide to help you in the selection process. Additionally, we have also defined a research design and its functions to design your study effectively.  

Research Design Definition

A research design is defined as the framework of the research techniques and methods that a researcher applies to incorporate various research elements and components.  The plan includes several decisions that need to be made correctly to make sense to you and the committee. Researchers do this to operate the research problem efficiently. Most importantly, research designs give insights into how to conduct the research using a specific research methodology. They are meant to help you find answers to your research questions.

Purpose of Research Design

Regardless of the research design you choose, every research plan has multiple functions. The extent of the performance of the research design will depend on how it was formed. A research design has the following purpose:
  • A research design provides you with a blueprint. Building a house without a plan is challenging; likewise, a lack of a plan for your research will cause many problems. Therefore, it is essential to make some decisions before the implementation of the study. For instance, you should know what the research is about, the type of data you need to tackle the research questions, where you will collect the necessary data, and the study area and time.
  • Secondly, it determines your research work’s outline to enable you to concentrate on the study entirely. A research design highlights the specific objectives of the research. Without this, your research will become an endless practice.
  • The research design will help you resolve several shortcomings before beginning the study. It will be possible through a review of the literature. When reviewing the literature, you can look at alternative ways of resolving your research problem.

Components Of A Research Design

A research design has the following components:
  • The intersection of philosophy: Philosophical ideas largely influence research, and they need to be identified. The information is crucial in explaining why you chose qualitative quantitative or mixed methods design. When writing about worldviews, your proposal should include:
  • The philosophical worldview the study proposes
  • Primary considerations of the worldview and its definition
  • How the worldview shaped their views to the study
  • Strategies of inquiry: You are required to select the research design and study type within the design. Strategies of inquiry provide a particular direction for the research design procedures. Quantitative strategies include survey and experimental research. Survey research describes the trends, opinions and attitudes of a population by studying a population sample. On the other hand, experimental research seeks to determine if a specific action influences an outcome. Qualitative strategies include ethnography, grounded theory, case studies, narrative research, and phenomenological research.  There are also mixed method strategies that are less known than either quantitative or qualitative strategies. The three types of mixed method strategies are; sequential, concurrent and transformative mixed methods.
  • Specific methods: This involves data collection, analysis and interpretation that the investigator proposes for the study. It is necessary to consider a variety of data collection possibilities and organize the methods appropriately.

Types of Research Design

Research designs have been categorized into different types. The following are the best types of research design:
  • Exploratory research design: An example of this type of research design is interviews and observations.
  • Descriptive research design: Ethnography is an example of the design.
  • Explanatory research design: Sampling falls in this category.

Essential Things on How To Choose The Right Research Design

The biggest question you will have is how you will design your study. In this case, you should have a supervisor who will guide you through every step of the research process. Keep reading this article to know some things to consider when choosing your research designs to guide you in the right direction. The following questions will help you when choosing your research design:
  • What are your research topic and problem?
  • What are the objectives of your research?
  • What is your research methodology?
When you have specific responses to the above questions, you will be better positioned to select the most suitable research design. Moreover, knowing the different types of research designs will also make it easier to decide.

The Research Problem

A research problem is an issue that you need to address in your research. There are social research problems that will require a specific approach. For instance, if your research problem needs to identify factors contributing to an outcome or understand predictors of an outcome, the best option will be a quantitative approach. In contrast, if you need to understand a phenomenon because little research has been done in the area, then a qualitative approach will be better. The qualitative method is exploratory, and it is significant when you do not know the variables to explore. You may need to use this technique if your research topic is new, has not been studied with a particular sample, and if existing theories do not apply to the group under study. A mixed method design will be helpful when the qualitative or quantitative approach is inadequate to understand the research problem better.  Additionally, it can also be used when the strengths of both research designs can better understand a concept.

Personal Experiences

Your personal experiences and training will also influence your choice of design. You will most likely select quantitative design if you have training in scientific writing, statistical computer programs, and technical and are familiar with quantitative articles. On the other hand, people who like writing in a literary manner or carrying out interviews are likely to gravitate towards the qualitative method. Individuals who are familiar with both quantitative and qualitative research will most likely use mixed methods design. Such an individual will also have the necessary resources and time to collect both data types and have mixed method studies outlets. Quantitative studies being a traditional research mode with worked-out procedures, some researchers may be comfortable with those systematic processes. Qualitative approaches have room for researchers to be innovative and work within their frameworks. They allow creativity and literary writing style, a form that some researchers prefer to use. The mixed method fits individuals who enjoy the quantitative technique’s structure and the flexibility of qualitative research.


Lastly, researchers need to choose a research design that will suit their audience. Your audience may be journal readers, conference attendees, journal editors, colleagues in the field, and graduate committees. You should consider using an approach that is supported and used by the supervisor. The experiences they have had with the different designs will enable you to shape your choices.

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