How to Plan a Research Design

If you need to write a research proposal, you’ll also need to deal with one of its constituents – research design also known as a research strategy. In short, it describes your plan of conducting an investigation necessary for writing a dissertation. But before you describe your dissertation plan, you first need to create a plan for the research design itself. The best way to do it is to answer a number of questions that will already give you a clear overview of the research strategy. These questions you can find below in this article.

To give you a better picture of what a research design should look like, we’ll also provide examples of answers you could give to the following questions. Hypothetically, you were to write a research about why customers of the popular Dutch website CoolBlue decide to purchase personally in a shop instead of doing it online.

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Where will your research take place? In our case, we’ll be dealing with most of the work analyzing the online store of CoolBlue. In order to find out while some people would still opt for going to an actual store, it would have been reasonable to include a traditional store of the research strategy, but visiting the place might be problematic unless you live in the Netherlands or Belgium. Hence, the investigation will take place online.


In order to get legit results, you need to study the behavior of customers over a certain course of time. Finding out what guides the people to buy in a store instead of going online is difficult to do before they actually buy something. So focus mostly on the moment of purchase and the period afterward. Then you’ll be able to analyze the situation better.

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Who or What?

Here you need to clearly differentiate between the subject and the object of your study. As far as the example that we’re dealing with goes, the subject of the research in the number of customers that decide to buy in a shop instead of online. The object is their reasoning to do so. However, to be able to find that out, you’ll also need to analyze the people who decide to go the easier way and buy online. By pointing out the differences between two types of customers, you’ll be able to find the features that distance them from each other.


This is the most difficult question of your research design plan because every research needs to have a specific approach. The way you decide to conduct it is fully up to you, but you should consider your time limits, access to data and even budget if it’s needed. In our example, we’d use qualitative as well as quantitative methods that would include interviews, polls, observations, and examinations.

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Writing a research design is a good way to understand if your investigation is going to work out. Once you have a full picture, you need to show it to your supervisor so that they can check all steps you’re going to go through. It’s vital to avoid possible mistakes before making them. Testimonials

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