Research Types for a Dissertation

Before starting to brainstorm or do any topic research for a dissertation, it is important to consider the theoretical side of the work you are about to undertake. For instance, it is essential to decide in advance how you should approach any research and what type of methodology you should use for the empirical element, and there are many other facets to consider. The aim of this guide is to show you the key elements of a research project. In essence, there are four primary ways to approach a research project for a dissertation or any type of coursework. It is entirely acceptable to use a number of research types when working on a dissertation project or on a research or thesis proposal. The following are some research types, but your project may not be limited to just one type.   

* Analytical

* Descriptive

* Exploratory

* Predictive 

Analytical Type

If your project requires the analytical type of research, this usually includes descriptive techniques to explain or indicate how or why a certain thing happens i.e. the underlying or root cause of a worker’s strike. A key feature of the analytical type of research involves identifying and finding any variables or factors related to the topic.  

Descriptive Type

Where a task requires the identification and classification of the different characteristics or components of a topic, it is usual to use the descriptive type of research e.g. to measure how much production time is lost because of a workplace strike. This type of research is commonly referred to as statistical research. It is usual to use quantitative methods for gathering, analyzing, and summarizing topic-related data. And it is a vital component of any proposal that involves descriptive type of research. Essentially, this type of research is generally used with any project elements that requires studying, measuring, observing or counting. 

Exploratory Type

It is usual to use the exploratory type of research where there are few or no existing studies on a topic i.e. any materials the researcher can refer to. This method is used when a problem or issue needs to be clearly explained or defined, and where this has not been done before. The objective is to find ideas, patterns, or hypotheses that the researcher can test and use as the basis for additional investigation or research in the near or distant future. The typical techniques for this type of research include observation, case study analysis, and reviews of any relevant data or suitable studies. It is also worth noting that a final conclusion or decision should not be drawn from the results or findings of the exploratory type of research.   

Predictive Type

As suggested by the title itself, the predictive type of research aims to provide intelligent speculation on possibilities, e.g., what might happen in the future. Work of this nature is undertaken by carefully analyzing any available or existing evidence of the cause/effect variety i.e. by predicting where and when something may occur in the future.    

There are a variety of other approaches that can be taken in a research project, and these are generally presented in a paper’s research methodology section. The essential thing, however, is for the researcher to identify an appropriate and practical method before they commence a project since 50% of the work is done if it is well planned. If you have any questions or concerns or need any additional advice, feel free to look at the expert guides on’s website or contact our superb writing service for assistance.