Research: What Is It and What Are the Types?

Victoria MenesesJune 14, 2024

Research is extremely important because it helps us learn and discover new things not only in fields like science but also in education, design, business, and more. When conducting research for your assignments, you need to choose the right type to achieve the best results. Here, you will find three types of research: quantitative, qualitative, and documentary. Additionally, we will show you digital tools to assist you in this task. But first, let's briefly explain what this task of researching is about.

What is Research?

Research is a process that helps us collect, analyze, and interpret data on a specific topic. It has different perspectives or branches: it can be exploratory (to discover something new), descriptive (to describe something existing), or explanatory (to explain why something happens). Research is used to develop theories, discover facts, and solve problems.

Types of Research

Qualitative Research

This type of research seeks to understand phenomena through non-numeric data, such as interviews and observations. It is ideal for exploring complex concepts that allow for an in-depth look at people's experiences and perceptions.

Characteristics of Qualitative Research

  • Collects data through interviews, observations, and focal data.

  • Analyzes visual data to find patterns and themes.

  • Its purpose is the interpretation and understanding of social phenomena.

  • Results are presented with high detail and extensive descriptions.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research focuses on the collection and analysis of numeric data. It aims to verify patterns and theories using statistical and numerical methods. It is widely used in the exact sciences as it allows measuring and analyzing large quantities. A very helpful tool if you are conducting this type of research is; it features an automatic questionnaire creator that, with just a topic or an information extract, will generate questions you can use to achieve the best results.

Characteristics of Quantitative Research

  • Uses statistics to analyze data.

  • Seeks results that can be applied and generalized to a wide group of subjects.

  • Utilizes questionnaires, surveys, and experiments to collect data.

  • Results are shown with graphs, tables, and percentages.

Documentary Research

Documentary research is based on reviewing and analyzing existing documents, such as books, articles, and journals. It is ideal for historical, political, and literature studies. On the website, you will find an endless array of these resources to complement your research. You can not only read them on the site but also download them in formats like PDF.

Characteristics of Documentary Research

  • Its basis is secondary sources such as databases, archives, and documents.

  • It is useful for historical studies and bibliographic reviews.

  • Results are presented in the form of summaries and comparative analyses.

Choosing the type of research depends on what you aim to achieve with your study and the question you seek to answer. Qualitative, quantitative, and documentary research each have their advantages and disadvantages. By understanding them better, you can make a more informed decision about the direction and methods you want to use. Remember, there are tools, platforms, and websites like Parafrasist and Internet Archive that lighten the workload without sacrificing learning. We wish you success in your research!