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Course: Research (BS)

Topic 2: Types of Research

Research Types by Purpose

Following are the different types of research on the basis of purpose:

1. Pure Research

Pure research is theoretical type not a practical one. Pure research is the knowledge of facts and
theories to give us satisfaction of knowledge and understanding. It discovers general principles for
a problem solution. Following are some of the features:

 It keeps the foundation of initial study.

 It discovers new facts.
 It gives theoretical reports for solution.

2. Applied Research
Applied research is the implementation of theoretical study upon a problematic situation. It applied
its theories and facts to know about the nature of the problem and give a concrete shape for the
solution. This is practical work in the field. Following are the features of such type of research.

 It tests and verifies theories

 It discovers new facts
 It gives immediate answer to a question.

3. Action Research
Action research is based on the taking of immediate action on a happening, event or situation. The
researcher is actively involved in the solution of the problems. Second World War created many
types of problems for which action research was necessary. These problems including (flood,
epidemic, earthquake, fire) etc. This is also a popular method in Education and ELT for solving
problems related to learning and teaching. Features are as under.

 It is quick service oriented

 It is taking immediate action
 It is sensitive to time and place

Its main characteristic is that it is essentially an ‘on the spot’ procedure, principally designed to
deal with a specific problem evident in a particular situation. No attempt is made to separate a
particular feature of the problem from its context in order to study it in isolation. Constant
monitoring and evaluation are carried out, and the conclusions from the findings are applied

immediately, and further monitored. Action research depends mainly on observation and
behavioural data. As a practical form of research, aimed at a specific problem and situation and
with little or no control over independent variables, it cannot fulfil the scientific requirement for
generalizability. In this sense, despite its exploratory nature, it is the antithesis of experimental

Types of Research by Method

There are currently three major research paradigms in education (and in the social and behavioural
sciences). They are quantitative research, qualitative research, and mixed research. Here are the
definitions of each:

• Quantitative research – research that relies primarily on the collection of quantitative data.
(Note that pure quantitative research will follow all of the paradigm characteristics of quantitative
research shown in the left column of Table below)

• Qualitative research – research that relies on the collection of qualitative data. (Note that pure
qualitative research will follow all of the paradigm characteristics of qualitative research shown in
the right column of the Table below)

• Mixed research – research that involves the mixing of quantitative and qualitative methods or
paradigm characteristics.

Key terms:

Induction: One of the methods of logical reasoning process. The inductive method consists of
studying several individual cases drawing a generalization. It involves two processes-observation
and generalization. Conclusion from induction method is subjected to further conformation based
on more evidence

Deduction: deduction is reasoning from the general to the particular. This reasoning establishes a
logical relationship between a major premise. A minor premise and a conclusion. A major premise
is a previously established generalization or assumption. A minor premise is a particular case
related to the major premise. The logical relationship of these premise lead to conclusion.

E.g. major premise: - All men are mortal

Minor premise: - A is a man

Conclusion: - A is mortal.

The logical process of both induction and deduction are useful in research studies. Both are
inseparable parts of a system of reasoning. Both processes are often used simultaneously.

Points to note
It is common to combine qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative approaches can be
used to gather qualitative data (e.g. a questionnaire or survey that includes open-ended questions).
Similarly, one type of research can facilitate another. For example, a small number of interviews
(qualitative) may be used to inform the design of a MCQ questionnaire (quantitative). Most
qualitative research includes some element of quantification (e.g. statements such as “more
than/less than”), and much quantitative research includes some discussion of qualitative issues.
When you write your methodology section, bear in mind that the data themselves and the analysis
of the data are two different things – do not conflate them. For example, if you ask people about
their motivations for leaving a company, you are collecting qualitative data, but if you analyse this
counting the number of ‘push’ and the number of ‘pull’ factors, you are analysing the data

Source: University of Lancaster