What is methods of research

The word ‘method’ comes from Greek words ‘meta’ and ‘hodos’ meaning a way (Geddie, 1955). Broadly, a method or methodology is the underlying principles and rules of the organization of a philosophical system or inquiry procedure.

A Dictionary of Social Science observes,” Methodology is the systematic and logical study of the principles guiding scientific investigation”. In simple, a method is the way of doing something.

A method is a planned and systematic approach of investigation.


All methods of research include three logical processes of investigations. These  are:

1) inductive process
2) deductive process
3) a combination of both the process

Classification of methods of research

A scientific investigation requires one or more research methods which enable a researcher to conduct a study systematically. As there many types of research so the researchers use various kinds of research methods. Some of these methods are mentioned and defined below.

1) Scientific/Experimental/Laboratory Research Method
2) Social Science/Empirical/Survey Research Method
3) Action Research/Social Experimental Research Method
4) Research Method of Document Analysis for Content Analysis
5) Descriptive Research Method
6) Case Study Method
7) Participatory Research Method
8) Anthropological Research Method
9) Historical Research Method
10) Scaling Techniques

The above is a general classification of research methods from the viewpoint of the practices of the researcher. There are subject wise, purpose wise, place wise and other classifications of research methods. But the rigid classification of methods is impossible.

1) Scientific Research Method

In a scientific research specialized tools, machines and materials with human intellectual for the purposes of solving a problem. Scientific research is a systematic and refined use of specialized tool and processes used to obtain a cent per cent solution to a problem. It is costly and time-consuming. But here, a researcher can tell the result more confidently than in any other method of research.

2) Survey Method

Survey method is a technique of gathering information or data for making induction about the characteristics of a population by observing only a representative portion of them. The word survey comes from the Latin words ” Sur” and “Vor”. Sur is the derivative of the Latin word ‘Super’ meaning above or ‘beyond’ while ‘Vor’ comes from the Latin word ‘Vidre’ meaning ‘ to look’/’ to see’. So, survey means ( to see or to look over or beyond) to see something from above or from a high place.

3) Action Research for Experimental Research

This is undertaken to test a hypothesis. Here, the impact of the changes in the independent variables on the dependent variable is carefully observed, recorded and then the conclusions are drawn. But this type of research is very costly and time-consuming.

4) Documentary analysis of Content Analysis

It is an attempt to find out what has happened in the vents, within the limits of variable materials on the one hand and the researcher’s intelligence and understanding on the other, into a meaningful sequence. This method critically and objectively bi reviews the published or printed facts, figures, data, opinions, observation, generalizations even symbols in the light of contents values. It is capable of accepting relatively unstructured communications as data, and of analyzing unobserved phenomena. This documentary content is analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. It has 4 steps:

1) Identification and categorization of data.
2) Examination of validity of data
3) Classification of data and examination in the light of the theory and knowledge about the context.
4) Analysis of data for drawing inferences and conclusions. After analysis, inferences and conclusions are drawn based on broad questions like what, why, and with what effects.