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Different Descriptive Research Methods

Different Descriptive research methods

For descriptive research, you need to describe a phenomenon or situation that too in a systematic manner. Here you need to answer the questions of ‘what,’ ‘where’ and ‘when’ and not any ‘whys.’ This is mainly because you need to properly understand your research problem and what you are investigating. The descriptive research method is adopted to investigate the variable in question using several approaches. This is why we can say that it differs from the experimental research method in a lot of ways. For example, under experimental research, researchers can control or manipulate variables. And, in descriptive research, they can merely observe and measure them.

The primary objective of descriptive research is to identify specific trends or characteristics. But when the topic assigned to students is a bit obscure, then the research helps to unveil more facts and data regarding it.

Characteristics of descriptive research

Some of the common characteristics of descriptive research are-


The descriptive research method is often characterized as quantitative; however, it can also include qualitative research. Thus, it is necessary to develop a perfect research design that can help ensure the accuracy and reliability of the research.


Sometimes, descriptive research can also be carried out using the qualitative research method so that we are able to understand the research problem thoroughly. The other reason for this could be the research being more explanatory or exploratory.

Uncontrolled variables

Under descriptive research, researchers are not able to control the variables like they are able to do so in the experimental one.

The basis for further research

The results that we obtain from a descriptive research can be further analyzed and used in various other research methods. It informs the next line of research and also about the research method used. This can be because it provides basic information about the research problem that gives rise to other questions like why is a particular thing happening this way.

Methods of descriptive research

Some of the methods used to conduct descriptive research are as follows-


Surveys consist of a large collection of data that can be further analyzed based on patterns and other characteristics. These aspects must align with the research goal. Some of the common uses of surveys include-

  • Identifying the customer satisfaction levels for a product or service.
  • Explaining the demographics of a country or region.
  • Understanding the needs and opinions of the public on various political and social topics.


With the help of observation, you get to collect data and information without actually relying on the accuracy of the respondents. Information like behavior, attitudes and routines can be only understood by powerful observations. Which is why we can say that observation is a very powerful tool in social research and psychology. Because it helps the researchers analyze real-world issues and problems. We can also term observations as an important aspect of natural sciences because it helps the researchers observe and inspect various objects and phenomenon. Therefore, one must carefully and systematically observe and describe the subject before they develop any theories, hypotheses or models.

Case study

With the help of case studies, the researcher gets to describe and analyze a specific subject, which is either like a person or a group. Here, they do not deal with large sets of data. Instead, subjects here can be very easily narrowed to find their characteristics for descriptive research. While analyzing case studies, generalized facts get replaced with challenging assumptions or scenario-specific facts that reveal something about the research.

So, this was all about the descriptive research method and some of its characteristics. Apart from this, if you ever need help regarding your academic papers or assignments, feel free to contact our online assignment writing services for professional help and guidance.

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