The different types of research have been classified for the ease of understanding. The broad purpose of research is always same; to find answers to problems and develop something new. In each type of research the methodology used is different as well as the research design, tools and instruments. Knowing the types of research is important because it will help in understanding the right procedures and techniques to conduct the research.
Types of Research
There are basically only two types of research; pure or basic research and applied research. There are different research methodologies and that classifies research into many more types. There are several research disciplines and research conducted in each discipline is different in the use of methodology.
Pure research is also called as basic research. Pure research is done with an aim to discover something new and it is said that pure research is the essence of all discoveries, innovations and developments. Pure research is, therefore essential for developing new theories, rejecting inappropriate theories or supporting them. Pure research is free of constraints like time, budget and other resources, because pure research can take long process. The results of pure research may not appear in a short period of time.Most of the discoveries though are based on pure research. The application of the pure research may also be not for the present time and it may be applicable in some future time.Its results though can be applied for greater purpose and for bigger cause. Many organizations, universities and other institutes conduct pure research to discover something new about the world.
Applied research is done with an aim to find answers to current problems. It helps the users in current scenario rather than having future application. A synopsis is developed for the applied research and if no limitations are found it is done to find answers to the research questions. Applied research has a limitation of resources and the researcher is forced to do the research in a given time period with other available resources. The results obtained for a single applied research may not be able to develop a theory but many more researches will be needed to make it firm. Applied research though has wider application and it is very helpful to find answers to current problems and is highly practical in nature.
Based on the type of research question
Descriptive research as the name suggests describes, facts, figures, situations and phenomenas. Descriptive research often uses secondary sources of information for data collection. When primary source of information is used surveys, observations and case study are preferred. The purpose of descriptive research is to describe available facts rather than researching through experiments. Descriptive research is most commonly used in historical research and in the field of humanities. For example a researcher wants to know that what is the prevalence of hypertension in rural areas of pakistan.The question for descriptive research often starts with what and where rather than why and how.
Explanatory research as it suggests explains facts, figures, situations, phenomenon or incidents. This type of research often starts with a question why it happens like that? Explanatory research can use different methodologies like experimental methods can be used to find out the answer.
Correlational research studies how two phenomenon, situations, people or incidence are correlated. The question for correlational research often starts with how.
Exploratory research is same like pure research, exploratory research is conducted before the actual research begins. It is a kind of feasibility study to know the consequences of the research that still has to be done.