What comes to your mind when you hear the word research? Oh, tedious task, I see. Students often fear the process of conducting research that aims to find answers to various questions. However, if they get to familiarize themselves with the format and methods used, they will eventually find themselves enjoying the process of making one.
One of the most known methods used in doing research is descriptive research. Successfully conducting descriptive research is as hard as any other research methods out there. You need to invest a lot of time, effort, and patience to make sure that you will get your data straight. If you are asking yourself, “what is descriptive research”, then you just came to the right place!
Unfolding the Basics of Descriptive Research
Descriptive research is a methodology. I also know that that’s an obvious fact but, it is true that others seem to forget that they’re doing research in a descriptive way sometimes. They just head out and fill the details without knowing the actual process of doing descriptive research. One failed process will give you a hard time or worse, will require you to start over again.
This type of research is basically known in psychology, education, and the healthcare community. This does not really serve the market researchers as it is known for featuring qualitative data than quantifiable ones. For short, it’s more on words and descriptions (which is why it is called descriptive), and its main objective is to describe or validate a specific hypothesis about a certain group of people.
Also, check these three main methods of descriptive research:
- Case Studies – This involves the analysis of behavior, culture, or issues of a specific person, group of people, and even society.
- Observation – This method is often divided by in-field and lab observation. In-field observation will require researchers to study their subjects in their natural habitat. Meanwhile, lab observation aims to observe the subject in a more controlled environment.
- Surveys – The most used method that involves interview or discussions with certain individuals or larger audiences.
Let’s Deal With the Steps!
Now that you know the basic things about descriptive research, let us look at the steps that we need to really consider in doing one:
Identify the problem
In order to build a good research paper, you need to find your research gap. Avoid choosing topics that are often considered basic. Remember, you are doing your research to answer a question that has never been answered before. This is why you need to research a certain topic because there are limited published works relating to it.
Also, put in mind that your chosen problem will dictate the flow of your research. Choose an issue that would allow you to describe, observe, and validate in a qualitative way.
Review of related literature
Collect all the published works that will somehow support your stand about the problem. It’s good to collect updated works depending on your chosen topic too. However, not all published works are considered reliable, so take your time to investigate!
Select your participants and instruments
Simply choose the appropriate participants and decide whether it’s best to interview or observe them. Be careful about choosing your participants because they will affect the totality of your research results.
Collect valid and reliable data
Who would like to collect invalid data and work with them? I’m sure you don’t want that to happen. Research is meant to be data-driven and factual, so make sure that you’re recording your data from the right and reliable sources.
Beware of overthinking or tweaking your set of data. In analyzing them, you only need to make inferences and explain how you got your research results.
Finally! Your last part will be all about writing conclusions of your research. You can try to summarize your overall discussion, give recommendations, or challenge the readers to make an action about the problem.
If it’s now clear what descriptive research is all about, then you’re good to go! Allow yourself to continually improve, and read more about the essential things that apply to doing descriptive research for future use. Instead of running around and asking “what is descriptive research”, you