Introduction1.1. Initiating aGood Research Thelikelihood of accomplishing a successful project can enhance significantlydepending on how well the project itself is prearranged or planned.
If precisegoals and justifications are stated, and a research design is developedefficiently, your research will most likely be deemed as a good accomplishment(Condon & Dunham, 1999). Eachand every individual will have his/her own reason for initiating a researchproject of any kind. Whether this is for identifying a gap in researchliterature, or merely out of fascination by something, it is extremely vital todevelop a good cause for doing so. That is to say, the way you conduct yourresearch and report your results will have a big effect on the process of your project.Also, in order to increase and ensure motivation and enthusiasm throughoutconducting the research, the researcher must show interest in the topic beingobserved.
However before stating the purpose of one’s project, it is importantto define your study by identifying what it is about. Having a topic which iseither broad or narrow means you will be unable to do so. Anotherquestion which must be focused upon for a well-planned research is ‘who will beyour participants?’ During the initialpart of the project, the number of participants is not vital to consider untilgoing further into the research, although it is important to bear in mind thetype of participants and the means of keeping them in contact. In addition tothis, the geographical terms will help provide a narrowed topic, asacknowledging the place of your research and the resources to be used isanother necessity. Finally, a question which will help the researcher becomeaware of whether or not the projected can be conducted within the time scaleprovided, is when the study will take place. (citation? with u )1.2.
The Aim of thisProject (Polit et al, 2001)claim that the “researcher’s overall for answering the research question ortesting the research hypothesis” is called a research design. As mentionedabove, a well-planned research makes the difference between a successful oneand a failure. That is, the process of writing a research plan/design shouldbegin as soon as possible when developing the ideas of an investigation.
Forthis reason, this paper aims to give a brief illustration of some key pointsand types of a ‘Research Design’ for those new to the topic. LiteratureReview2.1.IntroductionThischapter aims to present a detailed review of the existing literature totheoretically explain the term ‘Research Design’. Based on the researchedtopic, the following pages explicate the numerous interpretations anddefinitions given by various authors. This section also evaluates the benefitsof Research design, the correlation between research design and researchmethodology, as well as the differences between qualitative, quantitative andthe mixed method approach, followed by a conclusion to sum up.
2.2.Definitions of Research Design When conducting a research, it is necessary that ageneral framework is developed in order to provide guidance about therequirements of a study. According to Wyk (n.d.), a Research design is ageneral plan for connecting the conceptual research problems to the relevantempirical research.
Parahoo (1997) also agrees to this fact and claims that aresearch design is a ‘plan’ which describes how, when and where data iscollected and analysed. Likewise, Burns (2003) define this term as “a blueprint for conducting a study withmaximum control over factors that may interfere with the validity of thefindings”. In addition to this, Polit et al (2001) state that the researchdesign provides an overall answer for both the research questions andhypothesis. Creswell claims that selecting aresearch design is dependent upon a few points. These include: the nature of theresearch problem, the researcher’s personal experience, as well as the audienceintended for the study. He adds on with an explanation that a research approachor methodology is the plan and procedure for a project or research. It consistsof the steps of data collections, research methodologies, analysis andinterpretations. Creswell emphasizes on the importance of acknowledging theresearch design and research methodology by labelling them as ‘key terms’ whichsuccessfully present the construction of any research (2014).
This leads to thefollowing subheading differentiating both fundamental terms. 2.3.The Relationship between Research Design and Research MethodologyAlthough both research design and researchmethods are slightly different, they are still closely related to each other.As mentioned above, the research design is a plan to answer your researchquestions, whereas the research method is, as the name suggests, the strategyby which this plan will be implemented.
Thus in order to ensure that the dataobtained for the study answers all questions of the project, the design mustshow effectiveness and precision. Accordingto Hall, the choiceof research design and research methods should be seen as a reciprocalprocedure extending well into your research. He states that the design is theblueprint explaining what will be done in the research and how it will happen.It also determines the way in which the method chosen to be applied will answerthe research questions of the project (2007). Wyk(n.d,) also gives a brief differentiation by claiming that the main focus of aresearch design is the end-product. That is, the results which the researcherintends to reach, and the kind of study being planned.
This is opposed to theresearch methodology which he says focuses on the research process, meaning theprocedures and tools being employed in the study. Thefailure to distinguish between design and method could lead to a poorevaluation of design. (A.Ddevus, 2001) it is a common error for research designto be treated as a manner of data collection instead of a consistentconstruction of inquiry. Research design differs from the other in terms of thedata collected. Ddevus claims that when a design of data is collected with any processof data collection, it is the way in which data is gathered that could beirrelevant to the logic of the design. Here is a figure he created whichillustrates the relationship between research design and certain datacollection methods:- Figure 1 2.
4.The Importance of Research Design Aresearch design reduces the ambiguity of much research evidence. It is requiredin order to facilitate the process of research and to yield as much informationwith as less effort and expenses possible. In her article on the meaning andimportance of Research Design, Munshi (2013) highlights a few vital functionsthrough which a research design will be deemed effective. She points out tothree main details a research design must deliver, which are:1- Stating the objectives or output of your study2- Stating the data outputs which will solve theresearch problem3- The methods of analysing the data inputs. Inaddition to these vital points, she also makes a list of the questions by whichthe design decisions will be made.
These will help the researcher begin asystematic and clear project:– What is the study about?- What is the main purpose of the study?- Where will the study take place?- What types of data is needed?- From where can data be found?- When will the study take place?- What will be the sample design?- What data collection techniques will be utilized?- How will data be analysed?Not only is a research design a plan to ensuremaximum efficiency and reliability, but according to the universal teacher website, aresearch design helps to achieve the objectives of any study by bridging thegap between what has been achieved and what is still yet to be established. Inorder to show full understanding of the ideas to be performed in one’s study,it is advisable to have the design in clear and written terms. By this, the researcher will ensure explicitconcepts and findings.2.5.Types of Research Design2.5.1.
Qualitative DesignsAqualitative research is described by Burns and Grove (2003, pg. 19) as “asystematic subjective approach used to describe life experiences and situationsto give them meaning.” Parahoo (1997)also says that a qualitative research generally focuses on the uniqueness of anindividual as well as one’s life experiences. Furthermore, others have referred to this type of research as a form of”social enquiry that focuses on the way people interpret and make sense oftheir experience and the world in which they live” (Holloway& Wheeler,2002, pg.30). According to Field & Morse (1996), researchers use thequalitative approach in order to understand and contemplate the elements ofexperience, viewpoints and behaviour of people. Manyhave stated that qualitative research can be used in many different fieldsincluding social sciences as well as applied linguistic.
It is a term withvarious backgrounds including sociology, philosophy, and anthropology.Moreover, there are a variety of approaches which come under the qualitativetype of research, in addition to certain data collection methods, researchtechniques and strategies, all of which contribute to result in awell-constructed qualitative design (Schwandt, 2007). A qualitative research usuallyfocuses on the participants of a study. The topic of interest in this case isthe ordinary day to day life of participants, whether this is at home, in a workplace, classrooms oreven online.
As Rossman & Rallis (2003) emphasize, observers do not”extricate people from their everyday worlds” despite the complex and dynamicsettings, the main focus is on the experience and interaction of participantswith a specific phenomenon at a specific time and place. Seen as the qualitative approach isreferred to as an exploratory research methodology used to generate newtheories and determine new insights, it is usually considered the most usefulmethod when little is known about a phenomenon or existing research. It is saidthat defining specific research questions at the beginning of a study willenforce the researcher’s own framework on the research context.
It is for thisreason that investigators should begin with merely a sense of the initial focusof interest as well as a research purpose and conceptual framework. Hence, itis only after becoming familiar with the context, participants and to the main problem;that a research question can be determined (Freeman, 2009). The richer the description providedby the researcher in a qualitative design, the easier it is for participants tobe able to judge on the relevance of the study for them.
This makes theresearcher himself the main instrument of the study, as it is up to him/her tocollect data and observe or interview participants. This will inevitably helpresearchers become responsive and adaptive to the participants of the study andsetting as well as explore unanticipated areas of research (Merriam, 2002). As previously mentioned, thereare various research approaches which come under the qualitative type ofdesign. Five of the most commonly used approaches in linguistics will bepointed out briefly in this section: Firstly, a ‘narrative inquiry’ is based onthe perspective and point of view of the participants themselves. According toBruner (1990), this is so that they are able to make sense of who they are andhow their lives change. This method gives an analysis of the participant’slife, and as its name suggests, uses the first person narrative to describelife experience and data. Garold Murray ( )says that this type of approach is usually gathered through interviews.
The second type of approach is known as the’case study’ which is said to use several sources of data and data collectiontechniques. (Hood, …) This kind of approachforms a detailed analysis and explanation of a restricted system consisting ofone person, organisation or pedagogical context. Seen as this method focuses onone or a few cases only, it should give a very detailed description of a specificresearch setting.
As opposed to narrative inquiry and casestudy, which tend to observe the individual, the third type called’ethnography’ is said to aim at groups of people because its main focus isculture. Ethnography describes and analyses the common patterns of a groupsharing the same culture through a long term observation. The main aim is toreconstruct the shared practices, beliefs, knowledge and behaviour of thisgroup (Merriam, 2002).
The fourth typeis called ‘Action Research’ and is based on an approach to help teachers form aself-reflection of the issues they face inside the classroom. Burns (2009)highlights the flexibility and open-endedness of the data collection for thistype of research approach. The resultsand outcome of this research usually come in the form of a change inunderstanding and behaviour rather than a written report. According to Parahoo (1997) ‘Reflexivity’ isa “continuous process whereby researchers reflect on their preconceived valuesand those of the participants”. This is often seen as a difficult approach asthe researcher must adopt a self-critical stance to the sample of the study,their relationships, roles and the study itself. In order to clarify andjustify their judgements, researchers must also receive confirmation of theirinterpretations by going back to participants (Holloway &Wheeler 2002). Inmost qualitative studies, researchers also depend on a number of datacollection methods to acquire as many perceptions possible on the phenomenon beinginvestigated. All these methods consist of a textual analysis and notnumerical.
That is, written notes are generated from observations, transcriptsand summaries are generated by interviews, and texts are generated by theparticipants of questionnaires and diaries. Cowie (…)clarifies that an observation collects information about the external behaviourof participants with the choice of being a complete observer or a participantobserver. Interviews however can be used to elicit information needed throughinteraction with participants.
Richards (…)emphasizes that interviews can be well structured or more open. Furthermore,open response items in questionnaires and surveys require participants toanswer out of their own free will with no limitations. This type is usuallyused when researchers require quick data from a large sample number (Dean Brown…..).
Lazaraton(….) explains that the language used indiscourse analysis is spontaneous and comes from naturally occurring events.Therefore when analysing this data, biased concepts should hardly be included.This type of data collection focuses on the way language is used in both spokenand written communication.
They are all in thesame pdf file.. just dnt know the dates2.5.2.Quantitative Research Design In order to answer research questions on relationships withinmeasurable variables, and to explain, predict and control a phenomena, Leedy(1993) states that a quantitative research method is the approach suitable forthis case. That is to say, the Quantitative research design deals with figuresand the relationship between any systematically measured phenomena. Also, aquantitative approach is one which develops knowledge, employs strategies ofinvestigation like surveys and experiments and collects information whichyields statistical data.
://colinmayfield.com/public/WaterHealthSept2015/course2/content/Resources/RESEARCH%20DESIGN%20QUA%20QUAN%20(1).pdfFor a clear vision of the several types of quantitative research design,it is vital to consider the way in which variables will be controlled in theinvestigation. In a continuum where each end represents a variable, one beingcontrolled and the other not, the relationship between the variables which arenot controlled is only described. However, on the other end where variables arecontrolled, the connection between these variables is clearly established. A quantitative analysis is presented innumerical form through statistics. It is a process for obtaining systematic,quantifiable information and is usually used to test and examine the cause andeffects of relationships.
html Justas the qualitative design consists of certain types of research, similarly,four common types which categorize under the quantitative design will bebriefly discussed. These are: descriptive, correlational, quasi experimentaland experimental research. To begin with, the main purpose of the descriptiveresearch is to describe, observe and document. Polit & Hunger, (1999) claimthat this type helps to discover new facts and describes what is alreadyexistent. Questionnaires, interviews with closed questions, and observations inthe form of checklists are examples of data collection instruments that willprovide the description required for this situation. InThe Baltimore county public school seminar, a descriptive research is described as a systematiccollection of information which requires precise measurement of each variable.
An example given for the descriptive approach is a description of the waystudents spend their summer holidays (2017).The main aim of the quantitativecorrelational research is to describe the nature of the association betweenvariables in the real world. This comes from the quantifiable data (Porter &Carter, 2000). A correlation usually exists when onevariable changes with another variable by either increasing or decreasingcorrespondingly. The numbers collected for data in this method reflectmeasurements of characteristics of research questions. Correlational researchis sometimes considered as a descriptive research. An example is therelationship between intelligence and self-esteem.
Asmuch as the Quasi- experimental research may seem like an experimental research,as the independent variable is manipulated, it is in fact different as it lacksa control group and randomisation. This type is therefore unable to deliver thecause and effects of results. Another differentiation is that although there ispresence of the independent variable, it is not manipulated by theresearcher. The experimenter must usegroups that are formed from pre-existing groups without assigning a new one(Carter DE, 2000). An example of a quasi-experimental research is the effect ofage on lung capacity. Finally, the experimental group also known as trueexperimentation establishes the cause and effects of the relationships ofvariables in a study. An experimental study usually involves a control groupwho are randomly selected and only they are exposed to the variables of thestudy.
It also involves the control and manipulation of phenomena. In this casea dependant variable is manipulated to determine the effects on the dependantvariables. An example is the effects of a new plan to treat breast cancer.
https://www.bcps.org/offices/lis/researchcourse/develop_quantitative.html 2.5.3. Mixed Method Approach Accordingto Creswell & Clark (2011), a mixed method approach involves a mixture ofboth the qualitative and quantitative approaches at more than one phase in theprocess of research.
It is a research design with a methodology, as well as amethod of inquiry focusing on collecting and analysing data; in order tounderstand a research problem. He also notes that a combination of bothapproaches usually provides a much clearer understanding of a research problem.There are various reasons which lead to the choice of using this kind ofapproach. These include the reason to provide different perspective in aresearch, extra data resource to better explain the research questions of astudy, and a further explanation of initial results. Theutilization of a mixed method approach can ensure the inclusion of manypositive aspects to a study as it helps to gather rich data, and to provide adetailed comprehension of a research problem, which neither a qualitative nor aquantitative approach can deal with unaccompanied. Nevertheless, some disadvantagesto this kind of approach may include the complexity of planning it and the needof more sources. It is also more time consuming (Creswell, 2003). 2.
6. Summary Tosum up, this paper consisted of a brief introduction to the means of starting upa new research, as well as a theoretical review of the researched topic(Research Design). A few definitions were illustrated, differences werementioned, advantages were stated and the different types of designs were givenin this paper.