There is no definitive way to classify the thesis or research, as there are several dimensions that must be considered to achieve a typification. Write Essay Today, however, makes a typology of the types of research systematizing the different dimensions of research and their possible combinations.
The dimensions considered are the following:
- According to the source of data collection: it can be documentary or “live”.
- Depending on the extension: it can be a census (the entire population), case (an individual, group, community) or representative sample.
- According to the control of variables: it can be experimental, quasi-experimental or non-experimental.
- Depending on the number of variables: it can be simple (only one aspect of reality) or complex (consider several dimensions or aspects).
- Depending on the level of measurement: it can be qualitative (nominal information) or quantitative (numerical data).
- Depending on the level of analysis: it can be descriptive, explanatory or inferential.
- According to the structuring: by the technique of obtaining data, which can be highly structured (multiple-choice survey, closed interview) or unstructured (open interview, unsystematized observation, open-ended questionnaire). There are intermediate structuring points.
- Depending on the participation of the researcher: participant or non-participant.
- Depending on the projective nature or not of the techniques: it can be non-projective (when the data is taken at its immediate value) or projective (when the data is interpreted by certain criteria).
- Depending on the degree of interference: due to the characteristics of the data collection technique used, it can be high or low interference.
- According to the temporal dimension to study: they can be historical or current.
- Depending on the data recovery period: it can be transverse (when data is recovered from a single determined moment) or longitudinal (when data is recovered over a more or less prolonged period).
- Depending on the temporal dimension of the data analysis: dynamic (when the evolution is analyzed, or a process) or static (when a single “frozen” moment is analyzed).
- Depending on the objective: it is the most difficult to separate, but it can be basic (knowledge in itself) or applied (obtaining applicable information). Within the applied one, they can be divided into those of diagnosis, research, and development, action research.
With these fourteen dimensions, a very large number of combinations can be made. However, the author emphasizes that not all are relevant, and distinguishes ten as the most important or common, which are described below:
- Historical research
From here certain options are derived in terms of other dimensions: in dimension 1, for example, typically work with documentary information, although it also fits to use live sources in case of oral history. As for dimension number 2, in principle, all possibilities fit. As for number 3, the possibility of experimental research is excluded, and typically it will work in a non-experimental way, although there are some possibilities of quasi-experimental. In dimensions 4, 5 and 6 all possibilities fit, from simple, quantitative and descriptive studies, to complex, qualitative and explanatory works. As regards the dimensions related to the variety of data collection techniques, we have the following: participation (dimension number 8) can only below, and the degree of interference also (dimension number 10). The structuring can be high or low, and will generally work in a non-projective way, although projective studies of historical figures have been done. We have already said that dimension 11 is what defines this type of research, and in terms of the following dimensions, in number 12 and 13 all possibilities fit, and in number 14 it will generally be basic research. The structuring can be high or low, and will generally work in a non-projective way, although projective studies of historical figures have been done. We have already said that dimension 11 is what defines this type of research, and in terms of the following dimensions, in number 12 and 13 all possibilities fit, and in number 14 it will generally be basic research. The structuring can be high or low, and will generally work in a non-projective way, although projective studies of historical figures have been done. We have already said that dimension 11 is what defines this type of research, and in terms of the following dimensions, in number 12 and 13 all possibilities fit, and in number 14 it will generally be basic research.
- Situational (ethnographic)
This type of research or essay is typically characterized by being alive, in case, not experimental, complex, qualitative and explanatory. As for the techniques of obtaining data that it uses, they are typical of low structuring, of high participation, not projective and of important interference that it is about control. As for time, these are current investigations, which generally involve a relatively long time in obtaining data, and static or dynamic analyses can be done. As for the objective, they can be both basic and applied, and in the second case, they would generally be oriented to the type of diagnostic research and/or action research.
- Case study (not situational)
These are studies that coincide with the previous type number 2 in studying in-depth one or few cases, as opposed to studies that work with large samples or with the entire population, and the difference to Situational research is situated in the type of techniques used, which in this third type are more conventional, quantitative type.
- Comparative study
In a sense, we could say that these are several case studies carried out with the same approach to compare them with each other. Therefore, the characteristics of this type can be easily derived from the previous type or even from type number 2, which, as we have already seen, is a “qualitative” case study.
This is, as we said, one of the best-known types. It is typically characterized by being alive, covering a considerable sample, or even the entire population, being non-experimental, simple, quantitative, descriptive and sometimes inferential, using highly structured techniques, with low participation, non-projective and considerable inference. The technique is used for current studies, it may include longitudinal data collection, but more frequently it is limited to cross-sectional obtaining, and in the analysis, it may be dynamic, but more frequently it is static. As for the objective, it can be used for basic research and also for applied research of a diagnostic or investigative type and development.
- Explanatory research (non-experimental)
This type is characterized by using live sources of information, it usually works with samples, as its name indicates it is non-experimental, so in these first three dimensions it resembles the survey. The differences to the previous type of research refer to the following dimensions: in this case, it is also quantitative research, but now more complex and explanatory. In the rest of the dimensions, this type also coincides quite with the find. Therefore, the differences are in dimensions 4, 5 and 6. It should be noted that this type is widely used in the most complex contemporary research.
- Experimental research
This is another of the best characterized classic types. The dimension that defines it is, as you can easily see, the number 3, As for the other dimensions, this type is characterized by working with sources of live information and carefully crafted samples. It generally handles a very small number of carefully measured variables and always intends to reach an explanatory level of analysis, which is considered the type of research that par excellence allows conclusions as to the causal relations between the variables. Therefore, it uses highly structured and low participation data collection techniques, is completely reluctant to use projective techniques and the degree of interference is necessarily considerable, One of the main concerns of this type of research is to reduce it. By their very nature, historical studies of this type cannot be made, data collection is generally transversal and the analysis is static. As for the objective, it may be basic or applied research of the research and development type.
- Diagnostic research (evaluation)
As its name implies, it is an investigation defined by dimension number 14, that is, by its objective of an applied nature. Regarding the other dimensions, the situation is presented as follows: sources of documentary or living information can be used, generally, it will work with small samples or cases, and non-experimental approaches will be used. In terms of dimensions 4 to 10, these will be current works, with cross-sectional data collection and rather static data analysis.
- Research and development
Again it is a type characterized by dimension 14, that is, by the objective, which is also applied. We have already said when explaining this dimension in what this type of research consists, which by its very nature usually has similar characteristics to those of the experimental works seen above.
- Action research
is also characterized by dimension number 14, and was also presented as the latter developed. Its characteristics closely resemble those of type number 2, that is, situational research, with logical variants.
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