A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. If you want to test a relationship between two or more variables, you need to write hypotheses before you start your experiment or data collection.
A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organisation, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.
When you start planning a research project, developing research questions and creating a research design, you will have to make various decisions about the type of research you want to do.
There are many ways to categorise different types of research. The words you use to describe your research depend on your discipline and field. In general, though, the form your research design takes will be shaped by:
Descriptive research aims to accurately and systematically describe a population, situation or phenomenon. It can answer what, where, when, and howquestions, but not why questions.
A descriptive research design can use a wide variety of research methods to investigate one or more variables. Unlike in experimental research, the researcher does not control or manipulate any of the variables, but only observes and measures them.
A research design is a strategy for answering your research question using empirical data. Creating a research design means making decisions about:
Your overall aims and approach
The type of research design you’ll use
Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects
Your data collection methods
The procedures you’ll follow to collect data
Your data analysis methods
A well-planned research design helps ensure that your methods match your research aims and that you use the right kind of analysis for your data.
You might have to write up a research design as a standalone assignment, or it might be part of a larger research proposal or other project. In either case, you should carefully consider which methods are most appropriate and feasible for answering your question.
When you conduct research about a group of people, it’s rarely possible to collect data from every person in that group. Instead, you select a sample. The sample is the group of individuals who will actually participate in the research.
To draw valid conclusions from your results, you have to carefully decide how you will select a sample that is representative of the group as a whole. There are two types of sampling methods:
Probability sampling involves random selection, allowing you to make strong statistical inferences about the whole group.
Non-probability sampling involves non-random selection based on convenience or other criteria, allowing you to easily collect data.
You should clearly explain how you selected your sample in the methodology section of your paper or thesis.
What is a literature review? A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research.
There are five key steps to writing a literature review: