Descriptive Research Is: Definition, Criteria, and Characteristics

Descriptive research is – Have you ever heard of the term descriptive research? Descriptive research is one of the many types of research that experts often use to write down their findings. These experts can come from among lecturers, students, even anyone who does have a profession as a researcher.

Research activity is an important activity to be carried out to help develop science and technology. So, it’s no wonder that all governments from every country in the world, especially Indonesia, strongly encourage researchers and academics to conduct research. In fact, in Indonesia, lecturers have an obligation to conduct research.

In order for research activities to run smoothly, the research methods chosen and used must also be appropriate. This is done with the aim of making it easier for researchers to get the desired, appropriate, and accurate results in the process.

As for one research method that can and is widely used by a wide audience is descriptive research.

Descriptive research is a research method whose writing seeks to describe the subject or object being studied in more depth, detail, and breadth. This method is usually used to solve or answer a problem by collecting data, analyzing, classifying, making conclusions, and reporting.

The way of presenting the data obtained in the descriptive research method is by using graphs, tables, pictograms, diagrams, calculating the mean, mode, median, standard deviation, or calculating percentages.

Basically, this type of research method is more widely used in the health sector. This is because the descriptive research method is very different from other methods and has a tendency to focus more on discussing an ongoing phenomenon.

So, what exactly is the meaning of descriptive research? To find out more in-depth information, come on, see the explanation below! Definitions, criteria, and characteristics used in descriptive research.

Definition of Descriptive Research

Descriptive research is one of the research methods used to describe the characteristics of a population or an ongoing phenomenon. Therefore, this one research method has the main focus on explaining how the object of research is in depth. So, it can be the answer to what events and phenomena are happening in the research process.

This descriptive research method then becomes different compared to other research methods. This is caused by descriptive research methods which tend to focus more on discussing why a phenomenon or event can occur in society.

What is meant by phenomena or events from descriptive research is something that is the object of research. Then of course, the results of the research will describe the object of research in more detail and depth.

Can you understand it already? If you still feel a little confused about the meaning of descriptive research, maybe the meaning of descriptive research from the experts below will help you a little.

Definition of Descriptive Research According to Experts

Check out the opinions of experts regarding the meaning or definition of the following descriptive research method, come on!

1. According to Hidayat

The first definition of descriptive research was conveyed by Hidayat (2010). Hidayat explained that the descriptive research method is a study that is carried out more broadly in the use and collection of data. The meaning of the broad word here is that researchers are more inclined to carry out long analyzes that are used from the beginning to the end of the study.

Researchers who ultimately choose to use this descriptive research method will be required to have a strong commitment in conducting their research. This commitment can come from mastering theory to implementation when it goes directly to the field.

This commitment is really needed by prospective researchers because, as Hidayat has said before, this research method requires a very long, broad, and in-depth analysis.

2. According to Sukmadinata

Through his book written in 2006, Sukmadinata explained that the definition or definition of descriptive research method is a research characteristic that reveals and explains various natural and social phenomena that exist and occur in people’s lives, in a more specific, detailed, and deeper manner. .

This specific word in its definition is intended to explain the relationship aspects, the impacts that occur, and the possible solutions that can be carried out from these research activities.

So, in this case, the researcher can choose one object to be the focus of his research. After that, the object and results of the research will be explained in detail and specifically in the research report.

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3. According to Etna Widodo Muchtar

The next definition of descriptive research was conveyed by Etna Widodo Muchtar. According to Etna Widodo Muchtar in 2000, he said that research using descriptive methods is a research method used to clarify a condition of social phenomena through various research variables. These many research variables must also be connected and related to one another.

In addition, Etna Widodo Muchtar also added, in a research conducted in a descriptive way, the researcher does not need to develop hypotheses first.

This is because the research activities that will be carried out later aim for the testing process. Furthermore, writing research results can also only be done if the researcher has gone directly to the field or field work practice.

4. According to Punaji

Punaji became the next expert who presented his definition of descriptive research methods. Punaji explained that research using descriptive method is a scientific research method that has the aim of explaining more specifically related to the existence of natural and social events in the community.

This in-depth and detailed explanation will then make the explanation of the results of an expert’s research more complex than usual.

The data obtained from this descriptive research method also tends to be more numerous and varied. This is because the data can be in the form of numerical data and can also be in the form of words or explanations. So, this will cause more types of data used in the research process.

For numerical data, researchers can use the data as material for quantitative research based on numbers. As for the data in the form of words, the researcher can use the data as material for qualitative research or based on quality.

5. According to Sugiyono

The opinion of the expert who conveyed the meaning of the last descriptive research was Sugiyono. According to him, descriptive research is a study that uses methods to describe or explain a result that has been achieved from a study.

However, Sugiyono also explained that the description in this descriptive research was not only used in compiling general research conclusions, but also as a whole from the beginning of the research report to its conclusion.

Because, if you look at the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, the word descriptive research must be interpreted in two different words, namely the word research and the word descriptive. According to what is written in the KBBI, the word research can be interpreted as an activity for analysis, collection, and also presentation of data, which is carried out objectively and systematically in order to solve a problem or test a hypothesis so that it can be further developed into general principles.

Meanwhile, in KBBI the word descriptive itself has a meaning as a possession of a descriptive nature that can describe something as it is. So, when these two words are combined, it can be concluded that descriptive research is a research method that is carried out by describing the object and research results as they are.

Criteria for Descriptive Research

As a research that is scientific in nature and has the aim to describe and explain an event or phenomenon that occurs in society, both natural and social, carefully. So, the descriptive research method also has several criteria that must be met in each research activity.

Determination of criteria in this descriptive research is nothing but to make the final results of the descriptive research in accordance with what was desired and expected previously. The descriptive research criteria are as follows.

1. Feasibility of Formulated Issues or Issues

The first criterion that must be met for descriptive research is about the feasibility of the problem or issues to be raised and formulated. The reason is, not all research can use descriptive methods and every researcher who wants to use this method cannot just choose.

Previously, it was necessary to examine in advance, whether the formulation of the problem really deserved to be raised or not. In addition, the formulation of the problem must also contain scientific value, because not all topics can be raised into research using descriptive methods.

2. Appropriate and Not Too Broad Research Objectives

Each research will be guaranteed by the formulation of the objectives of the research. Especially for research that uses descriptive methods, the research objectives must be precise and not too broad. Objectives should be narrowed and specific so that the contents of the report can focus more on the issues raised.

The reason is, if the research objectives are less specific and too broad, then the explanation of the results will be even wider and not focus on one object. That is the reason why it is necessary to write down the exact research objectives.

3. There are some supporting data in the form of facts

As with other research methods, descriptive research also has the criterion that any data processed in the report must be fact data. So, even though this research will describe the results of the research object, the results cannot be based on references such as books, journals, and videos alone, but researchers must go directly to the field to view and collect research data themselves.

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This is intended so that the data obtained is truly in accordance with the facts and in the future it will make it easier for researchers to write research reports in more depth. This is because the researcher already understands exactly what he is studying.

4. The things used as comparison must have validation

Each study has its own standard. The use of this standard in descriptive research is to compare previous theories and future research results. This then makes the comparator must have validation, so that the research can be proven true and does not contain elements other than facts or opinions.

5. Explanation of Place and Time of Research

Selection and determination of place and time in carrying out descriptive research must be stated clearly in the research proposal. This is even made an obligation to be included in the research plan. Starting from a description of the time, location and place of research, to an explanation of the selection of methods to be used.

6. The results of the research must be explained in detail

In connection with researchers who from the beginning used descriptive research methods, the research report must also be written descriptively or explained in detail and detail.

In addition, the research object must also be described and described in full and specific so that the reader of the research report can have a complete picture of the actual research object.

Characteristics of Descriptive Research

Apart from the existence of special criteria, descriptive research also has its own special characteristics or characteristics. This is what then distinguishes descriptive research methods from others. Below are the characteristics of descriptive research as follows.

1. Describe the Variables

The first characteristic of descriptive research is its variables. The main variables that will be used in this descriptive research will be described or described and explained in detail and detail. So, researchers who use this research method must explain gender, age, education level, employment level, marital status, and other main variables in detail without skipping a single one.

2. There are two causes and effects

The next feature of this study is the existence of two causal relationships. It is this attachment relationship that the researcher will then present in depth and how to get a solution from the existence of these two relationships.

3. The research results must be presented according to the data

After the researcher presents the causal relationship from this descriptive research, then the researcher must present the results of the work, literature study, and observations in the field in accordance with the existing data and facts. This is done in order to maintain the purity of the data obtained directly in the field by researchers. After that, then the researcher can develop the case or research problem in a clearer, detailed, and detailed manner as possible.

4. Research data is collected at a certain period

In conducting descriptive research, it is necessary to determine a certain timeframe in order to make specific observations. The reason is, an event or phenomenon will usually be easier to observe if it is taken in a certain period of time.

The determination of the time period used in this study was carried out to ensure that the results obtained were accurate and as expected. Therefore, it is important to collect research data within a certain period of time.

5. Have a flexible research area

Descriptive research area is flexible. This means that the research area can be anywhere because there are no specific specific provisions. So, any area can be used by researchers as a descriptive research location.

However, in their reports, researchers still have to limit the area or location of research. Researchers may limit the research area to one village, one district, even one country. The important thing is that the researcher can take responsibility for the problem he raises.


Descriptive research is a research and research method used by an expert or researcher to describe an event or phenomenon in greater depth, detail and detail. Usually, this research method focuses on explaining the research object. So that the results of the research can be the answer to what events are happening during the research process.

There are various expert opinions regarding the meaning of descriptive research, including those from Sugiyono, Punaji, and Etna Widodo Muchtar. All three agreed that research with this descriptive method would explain the research object in detail.

The criteria for descriptive research are problem feasibility, research objectives, fact data, comparison validation, clarity of time and place of research, as well as research results that are explained in depth. While the characteristics for descriptive research are the description of the variables, causal relationships, data collected within a certain time period, research results presented according to the data, and flexible research areas.

So , that’s the discussion about the meaning of descriptive research for #FriendsWithoutLimits. Hope it helps, huh!

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Author Name: Raden Putri