What is Qualitative Research? Definition, Types, Methods, and Examples

“Writing the perfect paper is a lot like a military operation. It takes discipline, foresight, research, strategy, and if done right, ends in total victory.” Ryan Holiday

There seem to be a lot of conditions to reach an academic victory, right? However; the most important of them all is the research. The data that you collect and the way you interpret is what matters the most. There are different Types of Data Analysis and a student needs to excel in all those types. These types might vary from descriptively analyzing the collected data to making predictions out of them. But first, you need to collect the data to be able to interpret it.

The collection of the data is the most complicated thing probably which is why it is the most crucial as well. The whole academic paper of a student relies on the collected data; be it quantitative data or Qualitative Data. This post will help the students in comprehending one of the most commonly used types of research methods for academic reasons.

Academic research works:

Tired of trying to understand the research methods? Well! You are not alone in this because every student goes through the same struggle unless they come across a post like this that could brief them all about research works.  Academic research work is all about collecting data from authentic sources and finding the answer to the given topic. The collected data needs to be interpreted by using different Types of Data Analysis that will help the reader reach a conclusion. The following are a few of the most commonly assigned academic research works to students:

  • Research paper writing.
  • Assignment.
  • Dissertation.
  • Thesis.

These academic research works are basically the creation of new knowledge that will help the new generations in deducing something creative out of them. This new knowledge will answer your queries and will result in the formation of something innovative and helpful for the human race. Curiosity results in inventions and this curiosity is satisfied by conducting different research works.  As Zora Neale Hurston said;

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”

Types of research methods:

There are two main types of research methods which are divided on the basis of their method of data collection. These two types are as follows;

  • Qualitative Research Method.
  • Quantitative Research Method.

Briefly, the quantitative research method is about the collection of data through quantitative ways in which statistical numbers are used to interpret or analyze the meaning of the collected data. On the other hand, the qualitative research method uses a different approach to collect Qualitative Data as it involves a naturalistic and interpretative approach to its subject.

Qualitative research method:

Qualitative research is basically all about the accumulation of non-numerical data in an effort to understand the concepts and opinions of social reality. It involves the study of things in their natural settings to interpret the phenomenon of meanings that people bring to them. This involves gathering data from text, audio, or video.

Types of qualitative research method:

Qualitative research is approached through different methods as there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach which is why six different types of qualitative research approaches are there. These types of qualitative method approaches are as follows;

Grounded theory:

If in a certain Qualitative Research Example; a grounded theory approach is taken then it will involve the collection of data in order to develop new theories. The aim of this research theory must be to see what questions and theories emerge from the collected data.

Ethnography:

This approach involves the immersion of oneself in a group in order to understand their culture. The purpose of this theory is to watch what is happening rather than trying to start a debate.

Case study research:

To execute qualitative research through a case study research approach, one thing is kept in observation and an in-depth view is done on it. This one thing can be an individual, a family, any business, etc. The aim of this research is to focus on the detail of one user or one group.

Phenomenological research:

This approach involves investigating phenomena through peoples’ lived experiences. This method focuses on making observations and interviewing people trying to make out why people took a certain decision without an apparent logical reason.

Narrative research:

This approach involves understanding the people’s perspective towards different stories narrated to them. This form of research is formed over time and notes are taken at every stage similar to the narrative of a story.

Historical research theory:

As the name implies; this theory utilizes the approach of using past events as information for deducing a new result. These past events provide insight into planned events.

Even though; all types of theories are used as an approach to conducting a qualitative research method still; it is important to know about each of these types individually. Students often take dissertation help UK-based services because they get overwhelmed due to so many approaches that have to be used to conduct qualitative research.

Methods and examples used for conducting qualitative research:

Each of the above-mentioned approaches uses different methods of collecting data. Some of these methods are as follows;

Interviews:

This is the method of collecting qualitative data by personally asking questions to people and taking interviews.

Focus groups:

This method involves asking questions and initiating discussions among a group of people.

Observations:

The data collected based on the recordings that you have seen, heard, or encountered comes under the category of this method.

Surveys:

Conducting surveys and distributing questionnaires with open ending questions is another method used for qualitative research.

Secondary research:

This is the method in which existing data is collected from authentic sources in an effort to support your argument. These authentic sources can be scholarly articles, published books, and so on. Students often take Phd dissertation help to get their secondary research done for them.

Besides these; some other rarely used methods that are used to conduct qualitative research are as follows;

  • Participant diaries/journals.
  • Portfolios of evidence.
  • Concept maps.
  • Case studies.
  • Qualitative audits.

Pros and cons of conducting qualitative research:

Everything comes with its possible pro and cons; similar is the case with the qualitative research method. The following few lines will explain the benefits of using this method and the limitations that this method comes with.

Benefits:

  1. It has a flexible approach. If a researcher is unable to collect data based on one type of approach or method; he can use another method as an alternative form of conducting research.
  2. It provides more data about the areas which the researcher or student wants to explore.
  3. It briefs the point more elaborately as compared to the quantitative research method.
  4. It helps in a better understanding of the concept.

Limitations:

  1. Its accuracy level is lesser as compared to the quantitative research method.
  2. It influences the research in choosing the anticipated answer.
  3. There may arise chances of self-selection bias while conducting qualitative research.

Tips to write a qualitative research paper:

Are you still worried about how to collect data for dissertation or how to write qualitative data that has been collected following the above-mentioned methods? Well! It is quite natural because it is also an important step that cannot be looked over/ so; here goes the proper way of writing down a qualitative research paper;

Abstract:

Even though; this section must be written at the end but it comes at the top because it gives insight into what your whole qualitative research is about and what methods have you used to reach the conclusion. It sums up the whole research in fewer lines

Introduction:

This is the part where a student is meant to give a hint of the background and reason for this research along with the aim of the paper.

Objective:

The objective of the paper or the purpose of the ongoing research must be stated clearly and precisely in this section.

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