In the field of science, different researchers assign different meanings to the term ‘research approach’. However, research approach is simply a general plan and procedure to conduct the study. According to that, research approaches can be divided into five categories:
- The Descriptive Method
- The Explanatory Method
- The Remedial Method
- The Methodical Study
- The Historic Study
Even though they have been subdivided into five different types, it does not exactly mean that they are mutually exclusive. Two or more research approaches can be used in a particular study to reach a meaningful conclusion. At times, all 5 methods will be required to make a detailed investigation.
The Descriptive Method
The descriptive method approach identifies the characteristics of a problem via, as the name suggests, the description of that problem. Since the subject cannot be described in complete detail, the selection of facts must be calculated and careful. Facts need to be gathered as per pre-determined criteria and for demonstrating relationships of interest.
The Explanatory Method
The explanatory method attempts to find the answer to an unanswered question. This method is used to investigate origin-cause-effect relationships.
The Remedial Method
The remedial method is used to formulate plans to correct or improve or prevent social, political, economic, and environmental conditions. These conditions, their causes, and processes are analyzed, and plans and strategies are formulated to tackle these undesirable conditions.
The Methodological Study
The methodological study is used to test or improve new research methods. It deals with the development of a specific technique for the discipline or adapting a technique from another discipline to solve a specific problem.
The Historical Study
A research approach can be considered a historic study if it has been designed to facilitate a much deeper understanding of historical processes and not just fill in the gaps of your factual knowledge.