A research project is the preliminary stage of the research during which it is necessary to establish the limits of the object to be studied and to specify the manner in which each step of the process is carried out. Although the idea of the plan is similar to the research project, one must understand that the latter does not consist in a work plan at all, or even in a table of subjects, in an index. It is much more explicit than a work plan because it systematically justifies and comments on the methodological choices made at each stage of the process. The research project is therefore a written document, which may also involve many pages depending on the case.
One of the problems in reading research reports is the terminology. Researchers use terms and occasionally jargon that might be incomprehensible to other people. It is the same in any field, where a specialized language is developed to facilitate communication between professionals. Therefore, before considering the various stages of planning and conducting surveys, it may be useful to consider the main characteristics of some well-established and well-documented research styles.
Classifying an approach such as quantitative or qualitative, ethnographic, survey, action research or anything else does not mean that once an approach is selected, the researcher can not move away from the methods normally associated with that style. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses, and each is particularly suitable for a particular context. The approach taken and the methods of collecting the selected data will depend on the nature of the survey and the type of information requested.
Judith Bell, Stephen Waters (2014) ”Doing Your Research Project_ A Guide For First-Time Researchers”(6th edn). Open University Press