The Qualitative Research Method

To answer the questions of scientific enquiry, one is required to carry out elaborative research that meets the standardised criteria of the field. In a scientific investigation, the individual has the opportunity to select the applied method of research. In a quantitative research study, the researcher’s focus is to study the phenomena along with its specific, statistical results. Whereas, the qualitative research method directs its focus towards exploring the subject matter at hand.  The key objective of a qualitative method of investigation is to describe and explain the variables along with the relationship between them.

Features of the Qualitative Research Method

 

The qualitative research method involves the ensuing features:

Open-ended questions: The qualitative research method employs the use of open-ended questionnaires as an assessment tool. Open-ended questions are constructed in a manner that allows the subject to compose an elaborative reply. Essentially, the data gathered by an open-ended question offers subjectivity and an emulative detail that can be analysed and subsequently, added in one’s dissertation writing project. In addition to this, open-ended questions provide the researchers with an advantage that they often receive unpredicted answers. However, open-ended questions also result in excessively detailed replies that are unnecessary and divergent in regards to the question.

Interviews: Another form of data collection in a qualitative research method is the conduction of interviews. In accordance with the interviewer’s degree of comfort, the interviews can be structured, unstructured or a mixture of both. A structured interview comprises of questions that were constructed before the session, whereas the unstructured queries are formulated spontaneously. For a more effective outcome, the mixed approach should be practised as it saves time and further allows the interviewer to ask a follow-up question in case the detail is required.

Flexible study design: This subjective form of research allows the investigator to form a flexible research design.  Consequently, if at any stage of the study, the researcher desires to add a component, they can easily do that without affecting the overall results of the study. In the qualitative method of research, one has the opportunity to amend the next phase of research on the basis of client response to the previous phase. On that account, this form of research allows for a malleable design.

Subject observations: The observation of the participants is another form of data collection in a qualitative research method. This source permits the researcher to perceive the subjects and write detailed notes to record their findings. However, to avoid biases and variables that could potentially confound the results, it is essential to have multiple observers. This way, the results can be compared and contrasted, and the inter-coder reliability can be maintained.

Textual obtainment of data: Lastly, in contrast to the numerical values obtained by the quantitative research method, the qualitative form of study can provide the researcher with the fortune of gathering data in the form of textual entities. This can be done by viewing videotapes, conducting interviews and observing the subjects.

As a result, the qualitative method of research permits individuals to gather detailed information regarding a certain subject matter. Moreover, with qualitative data present, researchers can specify the opening and gap for new research to be conducted.