How to Develop a Good Research Design

Jun 23

Any systematic and organized plan made to solve a given problem is known as its research design. You may not be able to solve a problem accidentally or based on your hunch. It is very important for any research student or researcher to develop a suitable research design before starting to work on a problem. A good research design can save the time spent on unnecessary steps taken during the entire process of research. Here are some steps to come up with a good research design.

Step 1: Problem identification and selection

It is very important to identify your problem in a clear manner and justify the selection of your topic. Creating a proposal on a problem, which is not going to add to the existing body of knowledge in your study area, might not be approved. You may evaluate the worth of a few topics before finalizing your research problem. It is not only about adding to the knowledge, but also about gaining knowledge by studying your problem and conducting your study in a feasible and economic manner. Thus, your problem should be clear and justified in terms of its contributions.

Step 2: Relevant literature review

A research project cannot be developed without building a base for it. This base is the previous literature that your current problem is inspired from. Your research design should include an intelligent review of past literature in your problem area. This will help you gain knowledge on the work that has already been done in an area, as well as the way your study would be able to add on to it. You may also learn about the methods and procedures that have been used by other researchers in similar studies.

Step 3: Explicit specification of hypotheses

The next step in your research design is regarding the development of logical hypotheses that clearly make a distinction between independent and dependent variables. Clearly stated hypotheses also clearly define all variables involved in a study.

Step 4: Describing data needs and collection procedures

In your research design, you also need to give a description of the type of data that would be required for adequate hypotheses testing. This may be decided based on your hypotheses. Additionally, you should decide on the way this data would be collected.

Step 5: Describing analytical techniques

The final step in developing a good research design is to understand and describe your data analysis techniques or the planned approach to treat the collected data.

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