Research design refers to the overall strategy utilized to carry out research that defines a succinct and logical plan to tackle established research question(s) through the collection, interpretation, analysis, and discussion of data.
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The methodologies and methods incorporated in the design of a research study will depend on the standpoint of the researcher over their beliefs in the nature of knowledge (see epistemology) and reality (see ontology), often shaped by the disciplinary areas the researcher belongs to.
The design of a study defines the study type (descriptive, correlational, semi-experimental, experimental, review, meta-analytic) and sub-type (e.g., descriptive-longitudinal case study), research problem, hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, experimental design, and, if applicable, data collection methods and a statistical analysis plan. A research design is a framework that has been created to find answers to research questions.