elationship Between Study Design and Study Question: How You Ask


elationship Between Study Design and Study Question: How You Ask Matters
Research questions are the heart of research study—they come from the problem and purpose statement and guide data collection and analysis. The wording of research questions influences the depth and breadth of inferences that can be made in the results and discussion sections of the research report.

In general, there are three types of quantitative research questions that can be asked: descriptive, comparative, and relational.

Time Classification of Research Designs
Non-experimental designs are often further classified according to timing of data collection as either cross-sectional or longitudinal, or according to the timing of the experience or event being studied as either retrospective or prospective. In a cross-sectional study, variables are identified one point in time and the relationships between them are determined. In a longitudinal study, data are collected at different points over time. In a retrospective study, an event or phenomenon identified in the present is linked to factors or variables in the past. In a prospective study, or cohort study, potential factors and variables identified in the present are linked to potential outcomes in the future.


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