Difference Between Research Methods and Research Design

Research Methods vs Research Design

For those pursuing research in any field of study, both research methods and research design hold great significance. There are many research methods that provide a loose framework or guidelines to conduct a research project. One has to choose a method that suits the requirements of the project and the researcher is comfortable with. On the other hand, research design is the specific framework within which a project is pursued and completed. Many remain confused about the differences between research methods and research design. This article will differentiate between the two and make it easier for research students.

It is a fact that despite there being scores of research methods, not every method can perfectly match a particular research project. There are qualitative as well as quantitative research methods. These are generalized outlines that provide a framework and the choice is narrowed down depending upon the area of research that you have chosen. Now that you have selected a particular research method, you need to apply it in the best possible manner to your project. Research design refers to the blue print that you prepare using the research method chosen and it delineates the steps that you need to take. Research design thus tells what is to be done at what time. Research design tells how the goals of a research project can be accomplished. Key features of any research design are methodology, collection and assignment of samples, collection and analysis of data along with procedures and instruments to be used.

If one is not careful enough while choosing a research design and a research method, the results obtained from a research project may not be satisfactory or may be anomalous. In such a situation, because of a flaw in the research design you may have to look for alternative research methods which would necessitate changes in your research design as well.

Research Methods vs Research Design

• Both research methods as well as research design are crucial for successful completion of any research project.

• Research methods are loose framework or guidelines from which one has to select one and then apply a research design on that method to achieve desired results.