Research design provides the researcher opportunity to undertake various research. operations smoothly. It makes research as efficient as possible generating maximum information with minimum effort, time, and money. Research design is like a blueprint which we need in advance to plan the methods to be adopted for collecting the relevant data and techniques to be used for a research project. The researcher or scientist has to take all necessary precautions in research design, as any error may upset the entire project. The reliability of the result, which a researcher is looking, is directly related to research design which constitutes a firm foundation of the entire body of research work. The use of research design prevents blind search and indiscriminate data gathering and acts as a guide for proceeding in the right direction. The preparation of a research plan for a specific project, aids in establishing direction to the project and in knowing exactly what has to be done and how and when it has to be done at every stage of the research project. The research plan decides the boundaries of research activities and enables the researcher to channel all energies in the right path. The design also enables the researcher to anticipate potential problems of data gathering, sampling, operationalization of concepts, measurements, etc.
A research design appropriate for a particular research problem usually involves the consideration of different factors such as means of obtaining information, skills of the researcher, objective of the problem to be studied, nature of the problem, and availability of time and money for the research work. The following are the main features of a good research design.
- It should be simple, accurate, and understandable.
- It should be capable of giving maximum information and knowledge.
- The design should minimize bias and maximize the reliability of the data collected and analyzed.
- It should give the smallest experimental error.
- The method or technique selected must be cost-effective and less time-consuming.
- It must be flexible enough to permit the consideration of many different aspects of a phenomenon.
- It describes the boundaries of research activities.
- It should be practicable.
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