Today we will dive into and find out what research is and what are it’s different types. To reach for the branches of a tree, you have to at first get a grasp of the bark itself. Similarly one needs to know what research is before leaping onto its types. Research is systematic, rigorous investigation of a situation or problem in order to generate new knowledge or validate existing knowledge. You could look at it as a problem solving technique usually carried out to find more about a particular question that bothers us. In general terms, there are around 15 different types of researches. They are :
• Applied Research
• Basic Research
• Cor-relational Research
• Ethnographic Research Descriptive Research
• Experimental Research
• Exploratory Research
• Grounded Theory Research
• Historical Research
• Phenomenological Research
• Qualitative Research
• Quantitative Research
• And many more….
Let us take a look at 5 of these.
Just as the name suggests, applied research is the type of research undertaken not just for knowledge’s sake but as mentioned earlier, to solve a particular problem. It’s main aim is to apply whatever is researched and make living easier. For eg: Research in the field of medicines for cure of AIDS, research in the field of agriculture for better productivity etc.
In true meaning, what is called an experiment is what an experimental research is. In this type of research of the many variables that are present, the researcher controls one variable while the other variables are left untouched. For eg: Studying the effect of television on the eating habits of children, the controlled variable is the number of hours of TV while the other variables are untouched.
Man evolves and through history incidents happen which make man more aware. Historical research is research involving analysis of events that occurred in the remote or recent past. For eg: There have been thousands of research which studied the effect of wars on humans and their demographics (sex, age, preference). In fact on the basis of these research there have been books written down.
Exploratory research is a type of research conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined. It helps us to determine the best research design, data collection methods and selection of subjects. This type of research does not help us arrive at one conclusive answer, it just helps us to know more about the subject. For eg: Research on mammals, research on ancient history of Macedonia etc. There is no problem to be tackled here but only knowledge to be gained.
Suppose you need to learn about a specific ethnic group in India, say the Khasi tribes. You will get more information from them about their culture and rituals. Ethnographic research refers to the exploration of a culture through the participants.
We can thus conclude that all types of research can be broadly categorized into 2 – Quantitative (referring to the empirical analysis using statistical, mathematical and computational techniques) and Qualitative (referring to investigation in the field of abstract matter such as belief and attributes, which are difficult to explain mathematically).