Understanding the Different Types of Research

Understanding the Different Types of Research

To achieve the goal of your research, you need to first understand the kind of research you are doing. Yes, there are different types of research. Understanding the type of research you are doing determines a lot of things in your research journey and what you’ll decide when you reach the decision making stages in your research journey. Research, being a careful investigation into a particular subject, must be done carefully and with precision but all this will be futile if you do not understand the type of research you have been asked to carry out.

Research is classified into different categories. Research is based on;

Data Collection Method

The data gathering method applied is a huge way you can determine the type of research you are doing. Take a look at these data collection types;

Primary Research Method

In this type of data collection method, data is collected primarily by you; the researcher, through various methods. These include interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, etc. To do this, you need to ask yourself if the information needed for your research already exists. If not, you will need to carry out primary research. Most times, people might need to carry out primary research to provide answers to some peculiar questions embedded in their research. This is a lot of work and takes up more resources, but the answers discovered through this method are tailored to your needs.

Secondary Research Method

This is the use of information already in existence for your research. The answers to the questions embedded in your research already exist; in libraries, previous researches, textbooks etc. all you have to do is gather it. There is no need for you to conduct surveys or set up interviews. Working with a guide so you do not get swept off by the amount of information available would help. Most people prefer to combine both primary and secondary research methods in their work to enrich their research with the best of information from all angles.

Qualitative Research Method

Research facts are usually provided either numerically with the use of statistics and numbers or via words. For qualitative research, it is the use of words. The viewpoints of people as well as their experiences are used in this research method to solidify the argument of the research. Complicated topics that cannot be explained with numbers are explored with this method. It is more descriptive, less numerical, and more about phenomena in society and the various human views and beliefs towards them. For example, if you aim to study the fate of women in Sub-Saharan Africa, your research is going to be qualitative. 

Quantitative Research Method

Here, your research data method is more numerical. Numbers are used to buttress your points. This research method seeks to answer the what, when, and why of a situation, using numbers to provide answers. Your data is collected, analyzed and a conclusive answer is submitted in numbers.

Aim of Research

The goal you hope to achieve with your research can also determine the type of research you are carrying out. Below are some examples;

Exploratory Research Method

Here, your aim is not to argue a fact but to throw more light on an idea. No concluding result is offered at the end of the research and data used here is usually qualitative. The goal of this type of research is to give a clear idea of the situation or problem, to provide insight and explore the primary aspects of a problem that does not seem to be getting enough attention.

Explanatory Research Method

In this research method, the direction of the research is obvious; to explain in detail a problem that exists, its variables, and the consequences of its existence; and provide a worthy solution to the said problem.

Action Research Method

Here, the goal is to discover results and answers that will help create a better social world; usually solutions to problems that exist in the world, concerning culture, practices and social beliefs, practices etc. that hamper healthy social existence amongst us.

Basic Research Method

This is utilized when the aim of your research is to develop theories or knowledge. Are you investigating a natural phenomenon or something relating to pure science? Then, your research method is basic. Also known as theoretical research, the idea of basic research is not to solve any practical problem but, provide systematic insight into the problem.

Applied Research Method

In applied research, problems are solved using well-grounded and accepted theories and principles. Most applied researches form their basis from basic research as basic research provides the detailed knowledge needed to solve these problems.

Research types vary; as you have seen according to these various categories. However, one research can fall under more than two categories; your research could be classified as explanatory, using the secondary research method for data collection and still be classified under the action research method. These classifications are not created to box your research into one tiny corner, but to help you understand the type of research you are doing so you know what steps to take, what kind of data gathering method to implement and in the end, give your research readers the best and most explicit version of your work.