In a thesis, dissertation, academic journal article, or other formal pieces of research, the methods and approaches employed by the researcher are frequently described. If you are designing a research project, it is helpful to grasp research methodology and the range of approaches and resources accessible to you.
What is research methodology?
Research methodology describes how a researcher intends to conduct his or her study. It is a methodical, logical strategy for solving a research problem. A methodology describes a researcher’s approach to the research in order to assure trustworthy, valid results that fulfill their objectives and aims. It includes the data that will be collected and where it will come from, as well as its collection and analysis.
Why is research methodology so significant?
A research methodology lends credibility to a study and yields scientifically valid results. It also gives a precise plan that helps researchers stay on track, making the procedure seamless, efficient, and manageable. A researcher’s technique enables the reader to comprehend the strategy and procedures utilized to obtain results.
Having an effective research approach delivers the following benefits:
- Additional information is provided for researchers who wish to duplicate the study
- Researchers who are criticized can look back to their methodology and explain their approach
- It can assist in providing researchers with a detailed plan to follow throughout their investigation
- It enables researchers to document from the outset what they plan to accomplish with their research
- It assists researchers in selecting the appropriate methodologies for their objectives
Different types of research methodologies
A researcher must make numerous choices when establishing a study approach. Quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of the two is one of the most crucial considerations. Regardless of the sort of research, the data collected will be in the form of numbers or descriptions, and researchers can choose to collect either words, numbers, or both. Here are the applications of the various methodologies:
Collecting and analyzing spoken or written words and textual data is the process of qualitative research. It may also concentrate on body language or visual aspects and contribute to the creation of a detailed report of a researcher’s observations. Typically, qualitative data are collected through interviews, observation, and focus groups with a small number of carefully selected people.
This study methodology is subjective and time-consuming compared to quantitative data collection. When the objectives and aims of a research project are exploratory, qualitative methods are frequently employed. For example, when they conduct research to analyze human perceptions surrounding an event, person, or product.
When the purpose of research is to confirm something, quantitative methods are typically employed. It focuses on gathering, analyzing, and evaluating numerical data, typically from a large sample of individuals. Using statistical analysis and comparisons, they then analyze the data. Surveys, questionnaires, tests, databases, and organizational records are common quantitative data collection techniques.
Using computerized systems to analyze the data, this research style is objective and frequently expedient. To evaluate the association between two variables or to test a set of hypotheses is an example of how researchers could employ a quantitative methodology.
This modern research methodology combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies to provide additional viewpoints, provide a more complete picture, and present multiple results. The quantitative methodology delivers definitive facts and data, whereas the qualitative methodology emphasizes the human element. The precise and exploratory data presented by this methodology can produce interesting outcomes.
Types of sampling design in research methodology
A researcher decides from whom or what data will be collected when designing a sample. They also decide the approaches and procedures they will employ to select the things or individuals for the sample. There are a variety of example designs that fit primarily into two categories:
It is random or chance sampling. Every member of the population has an equal probability of getting chosen. This is the most effective strategy to obtain a sample that is actually representative, allowing researchers to generalize their findings to the full population.
Nonprobability sampling is not random, as the researcher purposefully selects the individuals or objects to be included. Researchers frequently refer to this approach as deliberate sampling, judgment sampling, and purposeful sampling. Every member of the population does not have an equal probability of being selected, and the results are often not applicable to the entire population.
Considerations to make while selecting a research technique
When deciding on a research approach, consider the following factors:
- The research objective: consider the study project’s objective When researchers are aware of the information they need at the conclusion of a project in order to achieve their objectives, they are better able to choose the appropriate methodology and research approach.
- Significance of statistics: An additional issue to consider is whether you need clear, data-driven study results and statistical replies. Or when the study questions demand knowledge about causes, views, opinions, and motivations.
- Research methodology: If the research’s aims and objectives are exploratory, qualitative methods of data collection will likely be necessary. If the research’s aims and objectives are to quantify or test something, however, quantitative data collection techniques will be necessary.
- Sample size: What size sample is required to answer the study questions and achieve the goals? The sample size might decide your data collection techniques, such as whether to conduct in-person interviews for smaller samples or online surveys for bigger groups.
- Time available: If time is limited, consider strategies such as random or convenience sampling and instruments that permit data collecting in a few days. If additional time is available for data collection, in-person interviews and observations are viable options.