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Descriptive Designs




Acase study is a qualitative research method used to analyze largegroups, individuals or small participant groups. Researchers obtaininformation on target subjects using direct and participantobservations, records examination, interviews, tests, collection ofwriting samples and protocols. Case studies rose from clinicalmedicine, and it involves in-depth analysis with the intention ofdiscovering underlying principles. One of the weaknesses of thisstudy design is the fact that its data is subjective therefore, itdoes not offer reliable information to represent a large community.In addition, it is planning and executing case research is costly aswell as, time consuming (Bolind et al., 2005). However, researchersuse qualitative information gathering methods, which givecomprehensive information on a given topic (Whitney, 2000). Otherbenefits include offering insight for future research as well as,allowing researchers to conduct investigations based on unethical(impractical) subjects.

Anexample of a research question suitable for a case study includes,“What are the strengths and risks of prescribing anti-malaria drugsto expectant mothers.”

Archivalresearch technique is a unique strategy that involves extraction ofevidence from existing archives storage, then analyzingsystematically it to acquire evidence concerning the topic ofinterest. One of the main advantages of this research method is thefact that data is readily available hence, it takes fewer resources,people, and time to gather information that many primary studies thatstart investigations from the scratch (Bolind et al., 2005).Moreover, this research approach can cover data over a long period,thereby allowing coverage broad outcomes and trends. However, thisresearch can be disadvantageous because some data could be missing,researchers cannot control variables, and the data is oftencorrelational thereby making it challenging for researchers todetermine the actual cause (Whitney, 2000).

Archivalresearch question sample: What people are the most vulnerable tomeningitis disease in the US since year 2000?

Observationalstudy technique is a non-experimental investigation that aninvestigator evaluates continuous behaviors. Some of the weaknessesof this research process include the fact that it is time consuming,it is deemed very subjective, and an investigator may compromiseresearch ethics. However, it has advantages such as an excellentexplanation of context and meaning, offers strong validation andin-depth understanding, and reaches out to individuals in real life(Whitney, 2000).

Researchquestion: What are the physical symptoms of a heroin addict?

Thearchival research method is the most suitable descriptive researchtechnique because it features evidence and research informationconducted on a given topic at different times, circumstances and bydistinct investigators. The research offers in-depth and less biasedevidence than methods such as observation researches that depend onthe opinion of the investigator (Bolind et al., 2005).


Whitney,J. D. (2000). . Journalof Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing27, (2).

Bolind,P. K., Johansson, C.B, Becker, W., Langer, L., Sevetz,E.B., &ampAlbrektsson, T.O. (2005). A descriptive study on retrievednon-threaded and threaded implant designs. ClinicalOral Implants ResearchVol. 16, No. 4.