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Research Methods

Research is a fundamental component in all fields and departments whether in public or private departments. Research deals with studying an in-depth topic or niche to get the first-hand information to enhance knowledge or solve some of the world problems. Research methods simply refer to the established and generalized methods are used to approach the research questions. They help researchers in collecting data in an organized way and analyze it to enable drawing different conclusions concerning the topic of study.

Categories of Research Methods

            There are two main categories of research methods that are used in the collection and analysis of research data. First, it is the qualitative research methods that are mainly used in obtaining data through open-ended questions as well as conversational communication. The methods in this category allow for an in-depth questioning of the respondents from their responses where the researcher tries to understand the motivation and feelings behind the responses given. Their design is meant to reveal the perception and behavior of the audience in target about the topic under investigation. The various types of qualitative research methods include interviews, case studies, focus groups, ethnographic research, record keeping, and observation among other related methods.  These methods originated from the behavioral sciences and are mainly used in collecting data where the participants are facing issues or problems. The collection of data is usually real-time and the participants remain in their geographical locations.

            Quantitative methods are the second category of research methods. These methods emphasize the statistical, numerical and numerical measurements and analysis of data. The data collected using these methods is generalized across the entire population to explain a particular behavior or phenomenon. There are four main types of quantitative research methods; descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental and experimental designs. The differences among the methodologies are the degree of control of the variables by the researcher. The techniques use structured research instruments to gather data mainly taking a sample that will represent the entire population. The methods also arrange the data in tables figures, charts and other non-textual methods.

Overview of the two Research Methods

Both the qualitative and quantitative research methods are useful in the correction of the research data. The two categories differ in the objectives stated in the research, type of research questions and degree of flexibility as well as the data collection instruments used and the data format produced. The further subdivision of each category of the research methods is mainly based on the specific fields a researcher is targeting and the main reasons for the research objectives.