Different Research Designs

Research Design in Descriptive and Diagnostic Research Studies

Descriptive research studies describe the characteristics of a person or a group whereas diagnostic research studies determine the frequency of occurrence of something or its association with something else. From the research design point of view, the design of such studies should be rigid and should focus on the following:

(a) Objective of the study (what the study is about and why is it being made?)

(b) Methods of data collection (what techniques of data collection will be adopted?)

(c) Sample selection (how much material will be needed?)

(d) Data collection (where the required data can be found and with what time frequency should the data be related?)

(e) Data processing and analysis

(f) Reporting the findings

Given below is the difference between research designs of exploratory and descriptive research studies:

Type of study

Research Design



Overall design Flexible design Rigid design
  1. Sampling design
Non-probability sampling design Probability sampling design
  1. Statistical design
No pre-planned design for analysis Pre-planned design for analysis
iii. Observational design Unstructured instruments for data collection Structured or well thought out instruments for data collection
iv. Operational design No fixed decisions about the operational procedures Advanced decisions about operational procedures

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