Types Of Research Paper 1

types of research

Types of research

In order to understand “types of research” in an easy way, we have divided it into 4 boards heading in this post.

  • Application Perspective
  • Objectives Perspective
  • Enquiry Perspective
  • Research Approach Perspective

application perspective

what is the use of whatever you are going to research?

Where are you going to apply for it?

The research who addresses these questions, all those types of research are placed under the application perspective.

There are two broad categories:

  1. Pure Research
  2. Applied Research

pure Research

Pure Research involves developing and testing theories and hypotheses that are intellectually challenging to the researcher but may or may not have a practical application at the present time or in the future.

Thus such work often involves the testing of hypotheses containing very abstract and specialized concepts.

The knowledge produced through pure research is sought in order to add to the existing body of knowledge of research methods.

It is also known as Basic Research, which means Gathering Knowledge for knowledge’s sake.

For Example: Developing an instrument, say to measure the stress level in people or finding the best way of measuring people’s attitudes. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research conducts such studies

applied research

Applied Research aims at finding a solution to an immediate problem. Most of the research in the social sciences are applied.

Methods that form the body of research methodology are applied to a collection of information about various aspects of a situation, issues, problem, or phenomenon so that the information gathered can be used in other ways – such as for policy formulation, administration, and the enhancement of understanding of a phenomenon.

For example: why have sales decreased during the last quarter?

Objective Perspective

If you examine a research study from the perspective of its objective. “TYPES OF RESEARCH” who addresses “What is the purpose of research?” Questions-Answer, They are all classified in the Objective Perspective category.

Objective Perspective research endeavor can be classified as:

  • Descriptive Research
  • Correlational Research
  • Explanatory Research
  • Exploratory Research

Descriptive Research

Descriptive means just to describe something. In descriptive research, we consistently answer “what” and “when” types of questions or search extensively.

A research study classified as a descriptive study attempts to describe systematically a situation, problem, phenomenon, service, or program or provides information about, say, the living conditions of a community or describes attitudes towards an issue.

The main purpose of such studies is to describe what is prevalent with respect to the issues or problem under study. 

It is a fact-finding investigation. In descriptive research, definite conclusions can be arrived at, but it does not establish a cause and effect relationship.

Actually, the phenomenon has happened in the past, so we often use the term Ex post facto for descriptive research. The main characteristic of this research of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables.

He can only report what was happened or what is happening.

Correlational Research

The main emphasis in a correlational study is to discover or establish the existence of a relationship, association, the interdependence between two or aspects of a situation.

For example:

  • What is the impact of an advertising campaign on the sale of a product?
  • What is the relationship between stressful living and the incidence of a heart attack?

These studies examine whether there is a relationship between two or more aspects of the situation.

Explanatory research

Explanatory research attempts to clarify why and how there is a relationship between two aspects of a situation or phenomenon. This type of research attempts to explain, for example:  why stressful living results in heart attacks?

It is also called as Analytical because the researcher has to use facts and information already available and analyse these to make a critical evalution.

Exploratory research

This is when a study is undertaken with the objective either to explore an area where little is known or to investigate the possibilities of undertaking a particular research study.

When a study is carried out to determine its feasibility it is also called a feasibility study or a pilot study. 

Enquiry Perspective

The third perspective the process you adopt to find answers to your research questions. Broadly, there are two approaches to enquary.

  • Structured Research
  • Unstructured Research

Structured research

In the structured approach everything that forms the research process – objectives, design, sample, and the questions that you plan to ask of respondents – is predetermined.

The unstructured approach, by contrast, allows flexibility in all these aspects of the process.

The structured approach to enquiry is usually classified as quantitative research. Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity.

unstructured search

The unstructured approach, by contrast, allows flexibility in all these aspects of the process.

The unstructured approach to enquiry is usually classified as qualitative research. Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomenon, i.e, phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind.

Research Approach Perspective

  • Longitudinal Research
  • Cross Sectional Research

Longitudinal research

When the research is carried on over several time-periods. For example, when we want to know about the changes in personality of a person over the different stages of his life.

Historical research and case study comes under longitudinal approach of research.

Cross sectional research

when the research is carried on over several sections.

Experimental research, survey are the examples of cross sectional research.

Other types of Research

  • Conceptual Research
  • Empirical Research
  • Causal Reseach
  • Action Research

conceptual research

This is generally used by philosophers. In this type of research, the researcher should collect the data to prove or disapprove his hypothesis. The various ideologies are best example of conceptual research.

Empirical research

This research relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research, coming up with conclusions which are capable of being verified by observation or experiment.

we can also call it as experimental type of research. In such a research it is necessary to get at facts first hand, at their source, and actively to go about doing certain things to stimulate the production of desired information.

causal research

Causal research is conducted to determine the cause and effect relationship between the two variables. For example: Effect of advertisement on sales.

action research

 This type of research is undertaken by direct action. Action research is conducted to solve a problem.

For example: Test marketing a product is an example of action research.


  • Structured approach is more appropriate to determine the extent of problem, issues or phenomenon, whereas the unstructured approach is predominantly used to explore
  • Unstructured enquiries are better using for explored different perspectives of issues, community living experienced problems or the different views people hold towards an issue.
  • The structured approach to enquiry is usually classified as quantitative research and unstructured as qualitative rsearch
  • Qualitative research is especially important in behavioural sciences where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behaviour.

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