Descriptive research is a type of research methods aimed at providing the basic info concerning the central issue of the research. While other types of research are oriented on estimation, evaluation, critical assessment, this type’s goal is a description.
The task of the author preparing descriptive research is to dwell upon the facts related to the object of research. It is necessary to discover the main features and characteristics that in future will help to provide the target reader with the detailed description.
A writer acts as a passive observer. His task is to observe the situation and determine the most visible and significant details. A writer has to realize that the main goals are gathering the material, its description, and validation. An author has to demonstrate the relationships between the main issues connected to the object of research as well.
Exist three types of detailed investigation. Here belong survey, observation and case study. Survey presupposes conduct of interview, where participant provides answer that re later analyzed by the surveyor. Observational methods allow watching after the objects of research when they are in their usual environment. With the help of case study, one can discover reasons for the particular phenomenon and the consequences.
Descriptive Research Definition
Descriptive research is a complicated type of scientific investigation. The goal of this kind of research is rather serious. It is called descriptive as it provides the reader with the surface info and does not discuss the reasons. Descriptive research allows singling out the main features of the issue.
This research method allows providing the target audience with a holistic picture of the issue. Moreover, it allows seeing the structure of certain phenomenon and traces the dynamics of the issue. It enables checking in practice the validity of hypotheses and providing qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the issues studied.
The task of the person conducting descriptive research is to concentrate on the essence of the issue and gather all the necessary data and material. To do this, one needs to be able to apply plenty of techniques including interview, observations, etc.
Descriptive Research Examples
Among the descriptive research examples exist the study of L. Warner class structure of American society (the 1940's.) is considered a classic example of the descriptive research. Famous Hoary experiments included the mass questionnaire, which allowed the change the overall understanding of the issue. It enabled to reach impressive results about the human factor in production, and then, based on the information received, to conduct a final experiment.
A descriptive study gives a coherent picture of the phenomenon. Moreover, it describes the structure and dynamics of the phenomenon. It is based on information, reliable data and meets all the requirements of the scientific method.
Types of Descriptive Research
Three major types of descriptive research comprise the following: survey, observational method, and the one entitled case study
Observational method – the name speaks for itself – is a type of research, the main goal of which is to watch after the certain situation. A method is aimed at collecting of scientific information, the essence of which is the direct registration of facts, phenomena, processes that occur in social reality. For observation, systematic, systematic and purposeful are characteristic features.
A survey is a method of collecting information about the object, which is under study during a direct (interviewing) or indirect (questioning) communication between a researcher and a respondent. The survey methods are divided into questionnaires and interviews.
A case study method allows the researcher to see the full picture. This method presupposes deep analysis of one person or a group of people. It is aimed at making accurate predictions.
Advantages of descriptive research are noticeable in comparison to other methods of study. Primarily, it allows analyzing a voluminous abstract of info. Apart from them, a researcher has a chance to make use of a variety of techniques. Moreover, one has an opportunity to collect and process various data for research.
An observational method allows getting materials from research in a usual atmosphere for the subject of study. It allows approaching the issue under analysis from a different perspective and adequately estimating its features and characteristics.
With the help of research, you can get both qualitative and quantitative data enabling to conduct a full analysis of the issue taking into consideration all the details.
Among the disadvantages of descriptive research, it is possible to single out its time-consuming nature. To hold an experiment one needs to spend a lot of time to gather all the necessary materials. Sometimes, it can take several months to receive data while using observational methods.
To the cons of detailed research, also belong the fact that you cannot verify the results of the experiment. The reason for it is that the nature of data can be biased, especially in a case with the materials gathered during the whole process.
There is no opportunity to verify the validity of results due to the lack of statistical data. It creates a significant disadvantage for those needing to have a full picture. Moreover, you cannot discover the cause of a particular issue, as the nature of descriptive research is not analytical.