Overall when researching a topic or crafting a research proposal, determining the design approach is very important and is dependent on your investigation. A reflection of the research topic, purpose, and method of research will be imperative for validating the research study. A suggested questionnaire may be helpful in fashioning the research study:
1. In my research will I need to . . .
- observe and report on phenomena?
- control variables in an experiment?
2. Will my data consist mostly of . . .
3. Will I use. . .
- inductive reasoning in my conclusions?
- deductive reasoning in my conclusions?
4. Are variables. . .
- difficult to identify?
- easy to identify?
5. Does the research answer. . .
- how or why?
- who or what?
6. Will I be. . .
- exploring a question or problem?
- testing a hypothesis?
7. Will my research design. . .
- emerge and change as the study takes place?
- be decided in advance?
8. Will . . .
- participant responses affect which questions are asked?
- data collection and research methods remain stable throughout the investigation?
9. Will . . .
- I, as the researcher, be one of the instruments of measurement?
- various tools and instruments measure the investigation?
10. Does my study use. . .
- semi-structured, flexible methods to collect data?
- highly structured methods to collect data?
11. Will instruments of measure be. . .
- flexible in collecting and categorizing data?
- rigid in collecting and categorizing data?
12. Will my questioning be. . .
13. Does my problem/issue lend itself to investigation. . .
- of people’s lives, feelings and attitudes?
- with experiments and/or data surveys?
If you have more a’s, you should use a qualitative approach in your research design.
If you have more b’s, you should use a quantitative approach in your research design.
You will now follow a specific pathway dependent upon your above choice. Each approach has
its own methodology, and the steps you follow will be specific to your approach. The next step
is to start the specific III. Crafting the Proposal: The Methodology planning guide that goes
with your approach.
Remember: The type of investigation you have chosen, its purpose, and the research question itself will suggest the best methodology for a study. Keeping this in mind will eliminate mismatched efforts and results that can frustrate a beginning researcher. It is also important to understand that although your overall project design may use one approach or the other, it is possible that your actual methods used in your investigative procedure will borrow from each approach. (4)
- Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (1998). Qualitative research in education. An introduction to theory and methods. Allyn & Bacon, A Viacom Company, 160 Gould St., Needham Heights, MA 02194; Internet: www. abacon. com.
- Creswell, J. W. (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage.
- Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.