Difference between research methods & research design


Research methods and research design are two important elements in a research project. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial for research students. This article aims to differentiate between research methods and research design to make it easier for students to navigate their research projects.

What is a Research Method?

A research method refers to the techniques used by a researcher to gather information. Common methods in social sciences include interviews, surveys, and observations. The choice of method depends on the research project’s requirements and the researcher’s comfort level. Qualitative methods provide in-depth data, while quantitative methods offer statistically significant information. It is important to select the most suitable research method for the project.

What is a Research Design?

Research design refers to the specific framework within which a research project is pursued and completed. It outlines the steps and methodology to be used. Research design guides the researcher on how to accomplish the goals of the project. It includes the collection and assignment of samples, data collection and analysis, and the use of procedures and instruments. A carefully chosen research design is crucial for obtaining satisfactory results.

Difference Between Research Methods and Research Design

Research methods are the techniques used to gather information, while research design is the blueprint that outlines the steps and methodology of a research project. Both are important for successful completion of a research project. Research methods focus on data collection, while research design provides an overall picture of the entire research project.

Image Courtesy:
1. “Microscopy lab” by Idaho National Laboratory – Flickr: Microscopy lab. [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons
2. Research process By Jtneill (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Key Takeaways

1. Research methods refer to the techniques used to gather information, such as interviews or surveys, while research design refers to the blueprint that outlines the steps to be taken in a research project.
2. Research methods provide a loose framework or guidelines for conducting research, while research design provides an overall picture of the entire research project.
3. The choice of research method is narrowed down depending on the area of research, and once a method is chosen, it must be applied effectively using a research design.

Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles