Descriptive Research: Defining Your Respondents and Drawing Conclusions - FluidSurveys

Thesis descriptive research design, resource links:

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Rather than aiming to describe generalizable facts, case studies often focus on unusual or interesting cases that challenge assumptions, add complexity, or reveal something new about a research problem. This process sometimes results in the discovery of stars and stellar events, new knowledge about value systems or practices of other cultures, or even the reality of classroom life as new technologies are implemented within schools.

Even when you are going to your favorite restaurant, you are limited by the menu choices. Between these 3, all major methods of data collection are covered which provides a lot of information.

After matching participants based on the predetermined criteria, researchers examine differences between matched pairs not between group means. Descriptive Research Methods There are 3 distinctive methods to conduct descriptive research.

The description often illuminates knowledge that we might not otherwise notice or even encounter. For instance, you are not asking how effective the new curriculum is in improving student test scores or graduation rates. What are the main genetic, behavioural and morphological differences between European wildcats and domestic cats?

This is important, because both assumptions and limitations affect the inferences you can draw from your study. This causes data that was not planned to be collected gets tracked and the data is varied, diverse and thorough.

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Before getting into any kind of survey though, the survey goals and survey design is very important. For example, an apparel brand creates a survey asking general questions that measure cbu creative writing brands image. Descriptive research does not fit neatly into the definition of either quantitative or qualitative research methodologies, but instead it can utilize elements of both, often within the same study.

Punch, K.

Choosing a Research Design | Thesis and Dissertation Survival

It is an popular market research tool that allows to collect and describe the nature of the demographic segment. In other types, the researcher does interact with the subjects and collects information directly from them.

Also, most of the commonly used quantitative statistical models can only determine correlation, but not causation. Stating the Obvious: Writing Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations During the process of writing your thesis or dissertation, you might suddenly realize that your research has inherent flaws. Unlike other thesis types, you should avoid any early analysis of your sense information.

Descriptive research

One of the key features of an experimental design is that participants are randomly assigned to groups. Descriptive research designs usually provide researchers with information about a group or phenomenon about which there has been little research e. Neuman, W. Survey Method — Researchers interact with individual test subjects by collecting information through the use of surveys or interviews.

Henry J. Because descriptive research spans both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, it brings the ability to describe events in greater or less depth as needed, to focus on various elements of different research techniques, and to engage quantitative statistics to organize information in meaningful ways.


Mertens, D. However, true experimental designs often require more resources than do other research designs and will not work with all research questions. What are the most significant risks in nuclear energy production? To determine cause and effect, experimental research is required. Table of contents Descriptive research methods When to use a descriptive research design Descriptive research is an appropriate choice when the research aim is to identify characteristics, frequencies, trends, correlationsand categories.

It is used to answer questions of who, what, when, where, and how associated with a particular research question or problem.

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Research Design Research Methods for Students Which of the many different types of research design beauty creative writing best for you? This could include gaining an understanding of traits or behaviours, like asking your respondents to identify their age group or provide how many hours they spend on the internet each week.

Descriptive Research: Defining Your Respondents and Drawing Conclusions

Do customers of company X prefer product X or product Y? Some distinctive characteristics of descriptive research are: Quantitative research: Descriptive research is a quantitative research method that attempts to collect quantifiable information to be used for statistical analysis of the population sample. What keeps these types of experiments from being true experiments is lack of randomization.

Descriptive research designs usually provide researchers with information about a group or phenomenon about which there has been little research e.

Table of contents

You can observe and record sensory facts without providing any internal analysis about their meaning. A school district may research whether or not students are more likely to access online textbooks than to use printed copies. A company that wants to evaluate the morale of its staff. These data could then be used to recommend specific strategies for implementing computers or improving teaching strategies.

Overview of Descriptive Research - Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching How should instructional designers improve software design to make the software more appealing to students? It may be tempting to find an archival data set that might be tailored to fit your research study.

If you were researching whether there are different parenting styles between unmarried Asian, Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic women, then a delimitation of your study would be the inclusion of only participants with those demographics and the exclusion of participants from other demographics such as men, married women, and all anthropology dissertation example ethnicities of single women inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Rumors abound that young researchers must conduct quantitative research in order to get published in Educational Technology Research and Development and other prestigious journals in the field.

The term descriptive research refers to the type of research question, design, and data analysis that will be applied to a given topic. Because most assumptions are not discussed in-text, assumptions that are discussed in-text are discussed in the context of the limitations of your study, which is typically in the discussion section.

Hence, the nature of the variables or their behavior is not in the hands of the researcher. All this information helps the organization conducting the research make informed business decisions.

Descriptive Research: Definition, Characteristics, Methods, Examples and Advantages | QuestionPro

The final category of explanation posits that research is able to explain a set of phenomena that leads to our ability to describe, predict, and control the phenomena with a high level of certainty and accuracy. Surveys Surveys allow you to gather large volumes of data that can be analyzed for frequencies, averages and patterns. Home Consumer Insights Market Research Descriptive Research: Definition Descriptive research is defined as a research method that describes the characteristics of the population or phenomenon that is being studied.

In conducting either a quantitative or a qualitative study, you will have to define your population of interest.


Description research is used to observe and describe a research subject or problem without influencing or manipulating the variables in any way. An example of this is Cochenour, Hakes, and Neal's study of trends in compressed video applications with education and the private sector. In any case, you should clearly list the other options available and the reasons why you did not choose these options immediately after you list your delimitations.

Coming Up Next -Causal Research We are reaching the end of our discussion on the different types of survey research. Large archival data sets often contain data collected over many years. Unlike in experimental research, the researcher does not control or manipulate any of the variables, but only observes and measures them.

Gall, M. This consumer research helps the organization understand what aspects of the brand appeal to the population and what aspects do not.

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Borg and Gall classify the outcomes of educational research into the four categories of description, prediction, improvement, and explanation. If your study was limited to a certain amount of time, your results are affected by the operations of society during that time period e.

  • Because for the apparel brand trying to break into this market, understanding the nature of their market is the objective of the study.
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  • Descriptive Research - Research-Methodology
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Descriptive research aims to accurately and systematically describe a population, situation or phenomenon. Case Study Method Case studies involve in-depth research opinion essay planning sheet study of individuals or groups.

True experimental research designs are understood to be the gold standard of research because experimental research designs are the best designs for researchers to predict causation.

When to use a descriptive research design

Noreen Webb's landmark study used descriptive research techniques to investigate collaborative groups as they worked within classrooms. Though causal research is similar to descriptive research in the sense that both gather quantifiable information, it also differs in several major ways.

In a previous articlewe covered what goes into the limitations, delimitations, and assumptions sections of your thesis or dissertation. Descriptive research methodologies. Hence, these studies are really correlational or observational, and not truly experimental.

A major drawback to using quasi-experimental designs is that quasi-experimental research designs typically have less internal validity than do true experimental designs. If I had an unlimited budget, unlimited amounts of time, access to all possible populations, and the ability to manipulate as many variables as I wanted, how would I design my study differently to be better able to answer the questions I want to answer?

Descriptive Research Design | Definition, Methods and Examples

However, they are based on intentional choices you make a priori i. Remember that delimitations are not good or bad. What questions did I choose not to address in my study? The quantitative data is typically presented in the form of descriptive statistics that provide basic information such as the mean, median, and mode of a data set. Comparing Groups and Issues: Organizations also use descriptive research to draw comparisons between groups of respondents.

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This includes describing the physical sensations you experience while observing your subject. Case Study Method — This is a much more in-depth student of an individual or small group of individuals.

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