Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense. Research in common parlance refers to research for knowledge. One can also define research as a specific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. In the rest of the article, we are going to discuss Types of research, Purposes of research, Objectives of research, and Characteristics of research.

Definitions of Research:

“Research is a careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge.”(Advanced learners Dictionary of Current English)

“Research is a systematized effort to gain new knowledge.” (Redman & Mary )

From the above definitions, we can say that “Research is a search for knowledge through an objective and systematic method of finding a solution to a problem.”

Objectives/Purpose of Research:

The purpose of the research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures, some objectives of the research are as follows:

  1. To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it. (studies with this object in view are termed as exploratory or formulative studies)
  2. To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation, or a group. (studies with an object in view are known as descriptive research studies)
  3. To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else. (studies with this subject in view are known as diagnostic research studies)
  4. To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables. (such studies are known as hypothesis testing research studies)
  5. Research aids planning and thus contributes to national development. Research-social science research in particular (studies of on-going programs like family planning schemes, lead bank schemes, Integrated Rural Development Programme, etc.)

The Types of Research:

There are several types of research. Mentionable some basic types of  research are as follows:

    1. Descriptive Research
    2. Analytical Research
    3. Applied Research
    4. Fundamental Research
    5. Quantitative Research
    6. Qualitative Research
    7. Empirical Research

Their descriptions are furnished below:

  1. Descriptive Research: Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding inquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is a description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. The main characteristics of this method is that the research has no control over the variables, he can only report what has happened or what is happening.
  2. Analytical Research: In analytical research, the research has used to facts or information already available and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material.
  3. Applied Research: Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organization. The research aimed at certain conclusions facing a concreate social or business problem is an example of applied research. Research to identify social, economic, or political trends that may affect a particular institution or copy research or marketing research or evaluation research are examples of applied research.
  4. Fundamental Research: Fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalizations and with the formulation of a theory. Research concerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of fundamental research. Similarity research studies concerning human behavior carried on with a view to making generalizations about human behavior are also examples of fundamental research.
  5. Quantitative Research: Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity.
  6. Qualitative Research: Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomenon i.e. phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind. This type of research aimed at discovering the underlying motives and desires, using a depth interview for the purpose. Qualitative research is especially important in behavioral science where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behavior.
  7. Conceptual Research: Conceptual research is related to some abstract ideas or theories. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones.
  8. Empirical Research: Empirical research realizes on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research, coming up with conclusions that are capable of being verified by observation or experiment. In such research, the researcher must first provide himself with a working hypothesis or guess as to the probable results.

Characteristics of Research:

Some characteristics of the research are as follows:

  1. Research is a systematic and critical investigation into a phenomenon.
  2. It is not a mere complication, but a purposive investigation; it aims at describing, interpreting, and explaining a phenomenon.
  3. It adopts a scientific method.
  4. It is objective and logical, applying possible tests to validate the measuring tools and the conclusions reached.
  5. It is based upon observative experience or empirical evidence.
  6. Research is directed towards finding answers to pertinent questions and solutions to problems.
  7. It is the emphasis on the development of generalization, principles, or theories.
  8. The purpose of the research is not to arrive at an answer which is personally pleasing to the research but rather one which will stand up the test of criticism.

It is apparent that the researcher while reporting his research should keep in mind who the audience is. The research report is expected to add to the existing knowledge and to stimulate further research.


  1. Research Methodology, 2nd Edition, Written by C.R. Kothari

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