Know About Qualitative Research Method in Detail

Written by

Katy Grace

6 mins read
qualitative research

It can be hard to decide what type of research is best for your paper. But, some general principles will help you make an informed decision.

There are many ways to conduct research. However, the two main approaches are qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research is a great way to get insight into people’s lives and how they think. This type of research focuses on understanding your question through exploring all aspects, including beliefs, experiences, and attitudes.

Continue reading this blog and get complete information about qualitative research.

What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is used to analyze people and their behaviors. It is used for different studies, and it's something that you will often see researchers doing.

The main purpose of qualitative research is to:

  • Obtain a better understanding of people's lives.
  • Describe the social world.
  • Develop explanatory models and theories.

Moreover, qualitative research collects in-depth data about a problem or generates new ideas for research. It is frequently used in social sciences and humanities. This type of research has been found in many areas, such as public health and education. It allows you access to real-world problems that may otherwise go unnoticed or unaddressed by more traditional methods.

The researcher uses qualitative research to explore and explain the ‘how' and 'why' of certain behaviors in a particular context. It is used to investigate data, generating hypotheses that could become theories based on these findings.

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Characteristics of Qualitative Research

Here are some main characteristics of qualitative research.

  • Complex Reasoning
  • Qualitative research is the best for getting to know people, understanding their needs and desires. It's also necessary for some situations where direct answers just won't do. Like when you need more information from respondents. Also, they want them to tell you what they think without being influenced by outside factors.

  • Real-World Setting
  • Qualitative research is a research method where different methods are used. These include interviews, observation, focus groups, discussion, and a case study. Some researchers use more than one method to get the best results. The conclusion of this type of research is drawn based on the answers and behavior of people in natural settings.

  • Flexible
  • Qualitative research provides a more naturalistic and flexible approach to studying human behavior. Moreover, it can change as needed, making it ideal for your study plan where you need flexibility.

  • Holistic
  • This type of research is used to get an overview and see how various factors are connected.

  • Role of Participant
  • The role of the participant is important in determining different purposes for research.

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Limitations and Advantages of Qualitative Research

The below table shows the limitations and advantages of qualitative research.

Limitation Advantages
Low reliability It is easier to drive or conduct
Lack of generalizability Allow participant to express their ideas
It takes effort to assemble the groups A large amount of data collected in a short amount of time
Analysis of observation can be biased Develop a partnership with communities
Coding data is often very time consuming It is used to inform the answer to social issues
Not easy to sell The richness of the data
It does not have large-scale data. The study analyzes the real context of the literature.

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Qualitative Research Types

The research process is often confusing because it can be similar to other types. However, understanding the different qualitative types helps you do your job better and more efficiently. You should distinguish between them based on their purpose: some are limited while others have no boundaries.

Various types are used to interpret and make sense of the data, i.e., thematic analysis, discourse analysis, or content analysis. The common qualitative research types are:

  • Case Study
  • The case study is the most valuable method to collect data. It's useful in fields like education or social sciences, where real-life situations need explanation. And require a lot of detail about one particular subject and its different aspects. This type includes interviews, documents, reports, and observations.

  • Ethnographic Research
  • This research method is the most in-depth observational method. It focuses on people and their behaviors within natural environments.

    Here, a researcher needs to adapt and understand the culture of their target audience. In addition, it helps them better research by getting first-hand experience with cultural customs traditions.

  • Narrative Method
  • The narrative method is a way to gather information. This is done by interviewing people or collecting data from documents.

  • Grounded Theory
  • In this type, the researchers inductively collect data on a topic of interest and develop theories. This type deeply looks into an explanation. Also, the sample size is larger than other methods.

  • Historical Method
  • The historical method is a way to predict the future based on past events. However, choose the method according to your requirements.

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Qualitative Research Methods

The following are the most common qualitative research methods:

  • In-Depth Interview
  • An in-depth interview is the popular data collection method. This method is taken with one respondent at a time.

    The main advantage of this method is to collect data about what people believe and their motivations.

    Interviewers have a chance to read the body language of the person they are interviewing. They can do this either in person or on the phone.

  • Focus Groups
  • A focus group method is used to collect data on your target market. It's an effective way of generating insights with only 6 - 10 people from your target market.

    Its main goal is to find answers. One advantage is that you don't have to interact with them in person.

    Researchers can send an online survey on many different devices and receive a response with the click of a button.

    Focus groups are a popular and effective way to understand your customers’ needs. This method is used to understand new products or test concepts like an advertising campaign. Before it's launched, make sure everything will work out well on launch day.

  • Process of Observation
  • Qualitative observation is the process of research focused on gathering systematic information or data using subjective methodologies.

    Qualitative observation is the study of how things look, smell, and feel. It doesn't deal with numbers.

  • Opened Surveys
  • Open-ended surveys are great for gathering information, and the answers will help you know what people think. These surveys can be structured and unstructured.

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Difference Between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research

The following are the main differences between qualitative and quantitative research.

Qualitative Research Quantitative Research
Research methodology is exploratory Research methodology is conclusive
Text-based Number-based
Ask broad and general research questions Ask specific and narrow research questions
Data can be observed and not measured Data can be measured accurately
Semi-structured or unstructured techniques Fixed and more structured techniques
Process-oriented inquiry Result-oriented inquiry
Scope of findings is nomothetic Scope of findings is ideographic
Research design is concerned with establishing answers to the hows and whys Research design is concerned with how many people think or act
The information collected non verbally by participant observation The information collected verbally
The sample population is small The sample population is large

Remember that some researchers use mixed methods for their projects.

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Qualitative Research Examples

If you're looking for some examples of qualitative study, take a look at this list. We have the best example that our professional writers write.

Qualitative Research Paper Sample

Qualitative Research Paper Sample

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Qualitative Research Topics

There are many topics to choose from when it comes time for your research paper. However, for your help, we gathered some topics that make your topic-selection phase easy.

  • Educational challenges on children in rural areas and ways to proffer help
  • Evaluate the performance of mixed schools over single-gender schools
  • Immigration and resocialization of the immigrants
  • How has freelancing become a new field of interest among the youth in 2021?
  • How would the world benefit from the same education system?
  • The best therapy for patients recovering from brain surgery.
  • What are the impacts of developing introvert behavior?
  • Give the roles of a qualitative research study in education.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of global citizenship?
  • What are the effects of eating genetically modified foods?

You can now easily conduct good qualitative research with our detailed guide. If you need help, then simply consult We have the best writers that can guide you in your writing phase.

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