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Research: Advanced: Types of Research

Subject Headings

Case method

Clinical trials

Clinical trials - Statistical methods

Correlation (Statistics)

Education Research - Case studies
Education Research - Methodology


Qualitative research

Qualitative research

Regression analysis.

Research - Methodology

Science - Research & Methodology

Social sciences - Research

Social sciences - Statistical methods




Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are commonly done as part of an argumentative or analytical paper. Think of them as an exploration or survey of what has been published on your topic. 

Literature reviews accomplish two things.

  • They provide you, your professor, and your readers an overview of what you have explored.
  • They show how your exploration fits into the larger field of study.

The more advanced your research, the more exhaustive your survey needs to be, because the literature review demonstrates what you see, read and understand.

The difference between freshman level research and senior level research is the difference between standing on a hill and standing on a mountain. Obviously you can see far more from a mountain, but even more important is the time and effort you put in, the knowledge you acquired, and skills you developed in order to reach that vantage spot. Otherwise you would never have reached your unique point of view.

In literature reviews, knowledge is built upon past knowledge, new arguments upon old.

When you find a good book on your topic, use the bibliographies at the end of the chapters or the end of the books to lead you to more information. This also works in journals. In databases, find the subject links and click on the relevant links to find more articles on your topic.



Qualitative Research Designs
Qualitative research is inductive and context-specific research that focuses on observing and describing a specific phenomenon, behavior, opinions, and events that exist to generate new research hypotheses and theories.  The goals of qualitative research are to provide a detailed narrative description and holistic interpretation that captures the richness and complexity of behaviors, experiences, and events in natural settings. Thus, qualitative research is an inductive research process, logically emerging from the specific phenomena to general conclusions and theories about the phenomena based on data collected by observations, documents, physical artifacts, interviews, and focus groups (729). from Denzin, Norman K. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Quantitative Research Designs
Quantitative research is a deductive theory-based research process that focuses primarily on testing theories and specific research hypotheses that consider finding differences and relationships using numeric data and statistical methods to make specific conclusions about the phenomena. Quantitative research designs can be classified into one of four broad research design categories based on the strength of the research design’s experimental control: (1) true experimental research designs, (2) quasi-experimental research designs, (3) pre-experimental research designs, and (4) nonexperimental research designs (725). from Denzin, Norman K. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Case Studies - See also Experimental

Case Study Research (CSR) is an inquiry that focuses on describing, understanding, predicting, and/or controlling the individual (i.e., process, animal, person, household, organization, group, industry, culture, or nationality) (1). from Woodside, A. G. (2010). Case Study Research : Theory, Methods, Practice. Bingley: Emerald Group Pub.

Case studies are commonly conducted in education, psychology, kinesiology, and nursing.

Correlation/Regression Analysis

Correlation is a statistical measure of the relationship, or association, between two or more variables. There are many different types of correlations, each of which measures particular statistical relationships among and between quantitative variables. Examples of different types of correlations include Pearson’s correlation (sometimes called ‘‘product-moment correlation’’), Spearman’s correlation, Kendall’s correlation, intraclass correlation, point-biserial correlation and others. The nature of the data (e.g., continuous versus dichotomous), the kind of information desired, and other factors can help determine the type of correlation measure that is most appropriate for a particular analysis (154).  from Denzin, Norman K. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Regression Analysis
Regression analysis is the blanket name for a family of data analysis techniques that examine relationships between variables. The techniques allow survey researchers to answer questions about associations between different variables of interest. For example, how much do political party identification and Internet usage affect the likelihood of voting for a particular candidate? Or how much do education-related variables (e.g., grade point average, intrinsic motivation, classes taken, and school quality) and demographic variables (e.g., age, gender, race, and family income) affect standardized test performance? Regression allows surveyors to simultaneously look at the influence of several independent variables on a dependent variable (710).  Denzin, Norman K. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Experimental - See also Case Studies

Experimental Design
Experimental design is one of several forms of scientific inquiry employed to identify the cause-and-effect relation between two or more variables and to assess the magnitude of the effect(s) produced. The independent variable is the experiment or treatment applied (e.g., a social policy measure, an educational reform, different incentive amounts and types) and the dependent variable is the condition (e.g., attitude, behavior) presumed to be influenced by the treatment (252).  from Denzin, Norman K. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Argumentative / Persuasive

An Introduction to Qualitative Research

An Introduction to Quantitative Research

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