7 Research Methods for Completing Your Research Paper
Research methods refer to the techniques, tools, and practical steps researchers take to address the research problem and questions. Choosing an appropriate research method is imperative to ensure that you use the right data-gathering method for your paper. It also entails specifying the methods that will be used in detail and must justify the relevance of the chosen research method. This article emphasizes a list of the top seven best research methods you can utilize for completing your research paper.
What Are Research Methods?
Research methods refer to the tactics, procedures, or methods used to gather data for evaluation. It helps unearth new knowledge and develop a better grasp of a topic. These methods come under two broad categories of quantitative and qualitative research.
- Quantitative methods pertain to studies which measure and examine quantitative data.
- Qualitative research entails the methods and tools that examine textual data.
So, choosing an appropriate research method depends upon the type of research you want to do. Researchers often use a mixed-methods approach that integrates the quantitative and qualitative methods. Integrating both methods lead to varied and rich insights into the topic.
What Are Seven Research Methods for Completion of Research?
Observations are one of the best types of research methods that you can use. In this method, a researcher observes and records participants’ actions, behaviours, and discussions. Observation is a method that seeks to study the participants in their natural settings and real-life contexts. Researchers use two types of observational methods to study the subjects.
- One is the direct observational method that takes place with the consent of the participants.
- Another method is indirect observation. In this method, a researcher observes the participants indirectly and without informing them.
In observational studies, researchers detach themselves and examine the participants’ actions and behaviours.
The longitudinal observational study is a specialised kind of observational research. In longitudinal observational studies, researchers monitor the same people over several months or years while examining various data points. This approach is helpful when researchers need a sizable data set to investigate or if the research depends on monitoring data over time. If they do not have much time to devote to their subject, researchers might not choose to use observational studies. They can get help from best dissertation help providers in such a case.
Questionnaire and Survey Methods
Questionnaire and survey research methods ask questions from a large pool of respondents to examine a research problem. The questionnaire and survey methods apply to both quantitative and qualitative research studies. Surveys and questionnaires subject need a sizable population to get valuable information. Usually, quantitative data is measured using these questions. To seek patterns, researchers convert the survey responses into numerical data. Researchers ask questions with following options:
- Multiple-choice options
- Short and long answers.
Researchers can use questionnaires and survey methods to analyse simple things. For instance, preference for food among the company’s employees. Furthermore, the researcher can also study complex issues with the help of questionnaires. For example, consumer preferences and consumption patterns.
Researchers can easily access a sizeable population with the help of questionnaires and survey research methods. People can quickly fill out a questionnaire on-site and submit it later by mail if they don’t have time for lengthy individual interviews. However, participants may miss questions that provide incorrect answers to surveys and questionnaires. It results in a poor response rate. Researchers that choose to employ this method should consider the possibility of data gaps caused by survey completion errors made by humans.
Interview methods are one of the most popular research methods as these methods are helpful when the researchers want to gather deep knowledge about an issue. It helps researchers understand people’s experiences by asking them questions.
During interviews, researchers ask their respondents questions from a documented list. It creates a fairly organised study environment. The subjects can talk and elaborate on the topic when the researcher asks. You can also conduct telephone, Skype, Zoom or in-person interviews. In qualitative or quantitative research studies, analysts can use interviews.
Focus Group and Case Studies
Focus group and case studies research methods help researchers gather deep insights about an issue. This method entails choosing a homogenous group with similar attributes and asking questions from them. The researcher plays the role of a facilitator and moderator by providing background knowledge of the issue. After that, the researcher initiates the discussion by asking relevant questions. Case studies encompass selecting a research population or a particular organisation for analysing an issue or phenomenon. The researcher observes and listens to the discussion of group members and records the information.
Experimental research methods entail using experiments to analyse a natural or social science phenomenon. Researchers in natural sciences test a theory or hypothesis in laboratory settings. This method entails the specification of research variables. These variables are either controlled or manipulated to assess causation or correlation. The experimentation method also includes simulation of reality. It requires replicating real-life settings and assessing possible scenarios.
Secondary research methods involve examining and analysing literature, archival documents, books, official reports, letters, and memoirs. Secondary methods are popular in qualitative research studies. It can be quantitative if the researcher wants to study financial documents. It is the most economical research method since the data is already present. The researcher’s task is to collect and evaluate the data.
Mixed methods integrate all research methods and can use more than one method to study a phenomenon. A researcher can synthesise questionnaires or surveys with interviews. Similarly, the researcher can use combine experimental research with secondary methods. The integration of different methods depends upon the research aims and goals. The mixed-methods approach is time-consuming, but it is quite effective and leads to valuable findings.
Research methods encompass the techniques, tools, and practical steps researchers take to address a research problem. This is the choice of researchers to choose the best methods according to research’s aims and goals. Researchers can even combine various methods for an in-depth analysis. The methods mentioned above will guide you in selecting the right approach for your research paper. Best of Luck!