Kinds of Research

There are various kinds of research and they are classified in classes on the basis of their application, objectives, and usage. Here, we will classify research on the basis of its application. If you classify research on the basis of its objectives then you will have a different classification. 

Pure research

Basic or pure research starts from scientist’s drive to know the truth. And, major motives behind this research is not commercial gains but to expand knowledge. This kind of research is very challenging for the researcher. The researcher tests hypothesis and theories, this may take several years to get the results. 

The results of the basic research are sometimes not applicable to the audience immediately.  But, it helps in conducting further applied research in that particular field.  It can take several years to yield results of this kind of research. But, the results are aimed to improve human knowledge about that particular field. Mostly, it is done in laboratories or in large research centers.

Scientists believe that a growth in pure research can help in undertaking more of the applied research. As, pure research helps in developing new techniques, methodologies, instruments and underlying knowledge for the applied research. Pure research sometimes results in great discoveries. 

Applied research

Most of the research in pure sciences, social science, and applied sciences is applied research. The purpose of an applied research is to solve an immediate problem. In other words, applied research is more related and concerned with the current situation in a particular field. The researcher aims to solve everyday problems with the findings of applied research. 

Applied research is mostly commercial in nature. Educational institutes, health institutes, government and non-government organizations fund applied research. Applied research solves current problem, and therefore, most scientists prefer to do it. They look at an issue and propose a hypothesis to solve it. This hypothesis needs a research methodology to test it. The results show whether the hypothesis is true or false. The results and the conclusions are mostly applicable immediately to solve the problem.

Many scientists believe that applied research is the solution to solve many of the current problems. Like, global warming, over population, pollution, poverty, unemployment, economical crisis, etc. There are many types of applied research, like, qualitative, quantitative, experimental, exploratory, explanatory, etc. Each of these research have their own methodology, application, and significance. 

Technical Research

This is an applied research that is done in the field for the improvement of the businesses. Different design and procedure improvements are possible with the help of technical research. The aim behind technical research is to develop or improve tools, techniques and procedures. Sometimes, technical research helps solve technical problems in the field of engineering and other sciences. Technical research is basically a form of applied research. 

This is common in the field of engineering, medical science, computer science etc. In any of these areas, technical research has a lot of significance since it solves current problems. Scientists, engineers, technologists, and other experts undertake it on day-to-day basis. 

Market research

It is carried on by the business, marketing, merchandising, and sales people. Big organizations carry on marketing research on regular basis to know about their products.

  • This type of research can help the organizations understand about their products, ideas or services.
  • It helps them identify the problem areas that are a hindrance in the sales of their products.
  • Also helps them understand the needs and requirements of the target audience.
  • And why they choose their product or on the other hand, prefer competitors.
  • Sometimes, market research is a proactive approach from the organization to find audience and cater to their needs.
  • Or to understand the buying trends among the target audience. One can use it to understand the marketing trends of the competitor organizations.
  • Today, there is such a heavy competition among businesses that change is necessary. In short, an all time market research is crucial for the success and sustainability of the business.

Scholarly research

Scholarly research has several qualities that set it apart from other type of popular researches. Educational institutions conduct scholarly research. Most of the scholarly researchers are teachers, students, professionals, and experts in the field. The aim behind such research is to find answers to current problems and to expand the knowledge. Scholarly research provides full citation of the work that is cited and reviewed in the research. Scholarly research is published in a scholarly journal.

The scholarly researcher can conduct a research to test and prove an old theory to develop a new theory. Scholarly research is most sophisticated research. Therefore, it should fulfill the requirements of validity, reliability, authenticity , and originality. The audience for scholarly research is purely academic but the benefits reach to the general people as well.

Educational institutions, government and non-government organizations fund scholarly research. 

Action research

This type of research solves problems very immediately. The actors or the researchers are the people facing the problem. For example, in a classroom setting the teacher encounters a problem. The teacher takes action about the problem and solves it immediately. For example, a teacher solves  a problem in her class. She knows the situation and the reason behind the problem. And thus, she uses this knowledge to solve the problem. This is very helpful in solving current issues and it does not take long time to solve a problem. 

Mostly it is done in educational institutions, health institutions, communities, or in professional organizations. Actions research is very helpful in gaining immediate insight about the problem. The actors or people involved gain more knowledge and experience to solve any such problems in future. 


  • Roth, J. A., The Research Paper: Process, Form and Content, Eighth Edition, Wadsworth Publishing Company, USA, 1999, Pp-1-2



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