A research design is like a map that helps the researchers reach their goal in a methodical, careful way and within the budget and amount of time they have. If the study is not done by the deadline, it will cost more money and cause a number of other problems that will lower the quality of the research. So, the hard part of a research design is turning a broad scientific idea into a procedure for operational research. Research design is a term for how a research project is planned and carried out as a whole.
The Need For Research Design
P.V. Young says that the following questions must be answered by a research design:
- What is the goal of the study, and what kind of information is needed?
- What is the purpose of the study? What is it about?
- Where do we get the information we need?
- Where should you study or what should you study?
- In general, how long will the study take?
- How much data or cases should be used in the study?
- How should the sampling method be used?
- What kind of information gathering would be best?
- How will the data be looked at?
- How much do you think it will cost?
- What would the method of research be?
- What kind of investigation, in particular, should be done?
Phases of A Research Design
The researcher may divide the whole practical research design into the following steps:
- The sample design, which is about how things are chosen to be observed for the study.
- The observational design, which is about the rules for making observations.
- The statistical design, which looks at the quantitative and statistical parts of the design and answers questions like how many things should be observed and how the information and data should be processed.
- The operational design, which is about how to use certain methods to make the model that has already been built work.
Fundamental Goals of Research Design
From the above information, we can figure out that there are two main goals:
- To answer research questions.
- To deal with differences.
In fact, these research goals are met not by the research method but by the researcher.
Concerning the first goal, research is done to give the researcher the best chance of coming up with a solution to the problem that is objective, accurate, legal, and cost-effective. The main goal of the design is to give the research a valid test of the hypothesis based on empirical evidence found by the researcher while using the least amount of resources and giving it the best chance of being accepted by other researchers working in the same field of study. This is because scientific research always begins with a hypothesis, which is a tentative idea.
The second goal of the research is to figure out how to keep the effects of potentially important independent variables from changing how the research subjects act. It basically makes it easier to find answers to important research study questions and gives the researcher more control over experimental, unnecessary, and mistaken variations that are related to the research topic being studied.
Characteristics of a Good Research Design
Designing research is quite hard, especially in the field of social sciences because careful planning and technique selection are not always sufficient to ensure reliable results. The research design may, at best, only serve as a rough outline that the researcher can utilise as a set of guiding principles to keep him moving in the right way.
- Objectivity: The conclusions are said to be objective if they speak to the way the data was gathered and the way the replies were scored. You can gauge the procedure’s objectivity by looking at how closely the final ratings provided to various individuals by multiple independent observers coincide. The observers’ observations, recordings, and evaluations of the responses are more objective the more frequently the observers agree. As a result, a good research design should allow for fairly objective measuring tools that enable everyone who watches a performance to reach the same conclusion.
- Reliability: The issue of knowledge’s dependability is typically brought up when the presence of a problem prompts the knower to require knowledge that will be useful in the given situation and possibly in other comparable circumstances. Reliable knowledge is any assertion that has been proven to be true for a certain objective.
- Validity: The absence of self-contradiction or self-consistency is a need for validity. It is associated with self-consistency or formal truth. A valid argument follows the guidelines of sound reasoning. It is the kind of reasoning where conclusions logically and automatically flow from the premises.
- Generalisability: The degree of generalisability is measured by the findings’ ability to be repeated and reproduced using various measures and environments, respectively.
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Importance of Research Design
Research design is an important part of research methodology for the following reasons:
- It might lead to the ideal kind of study with a beneficial conclusion.
- It reduces inaccuracy.
- Allows for maximum dependability and efficiency.
- Reduces time wastage.
- Reduces any research problem’s uncertainty, confusion, and practical haphazardness.
- It is of great assistance in gathering research materials and putting hypotheses to the test.
- It serves as a road map for giving research the proper direction.
- It eliminates marginal and biased errors.
- It gives a general idea of the kinds of resources?in terms of cash, labour, time, and manpower?that is required.
- Helps efficient and calm sailing (sets boundaries & helps prevent blind search)
- It maximises the accuracy of the findings.
- It gives the project a strong foundation.
- It prevents false conclusions and pointless, wasteful activity.
- It gives the chance to foresee errors and deficiencies (anticipates problems).
- It incorporates taking note of the critiques & assessments of others.
From the above explanation, it is clear that a research design is a schedule of tasks that a researcher must complete at different points to make the research process more systematic and to carry out the different operations in a systematic way.
The research project comes to life when the right types of studies are chosen based on clear research questions, enough data is collected, and finally, conclusions are drawn from well-prepared analyses.