At some point, students need to conduct their own research. Yet, they may get confused because of plenty of research types and methodologies. We will help you to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative research to know which one you need to apply to your project.
Qualitative and quantitative research types have been successfully applied by researchers around the world as they allow collecting reliable empirical data. When quantitative research is useful in getting numerical information, qualitative research provides an opportunity to draw conclusions from words and content. The former focuses on statistical analysis. In contrast, the latter is concerned more with description than measurement. Let us have a look at the features and data analysis peculiarities of each to know how to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research.
Qualitative research is a type of empirical research that aims at collecting and interpreting data that cannot be expressed in numbers. It is widely used in the sphere of psychology, anthropology, and social studies. Researchers focus rather on describing a subject matter than measuring it. They reject artificial settings to study a certain concept without distractions of a controlled environment.
When you are wondering what is qualitative research, examples are numerous. Within this frame, concepts, opinions, and experiences of certain groups of people are of interest. For example, you can use qualitative research findings as evidence for your scholarship essay. Qualitative research does not simply help to collect data. It gives a chance to understand the trends and phenomena of the outside world.
Qualitative data is harder to analyze because it consists of information that cannot be measured. It requires more sophisticated approaches to its interpretation to ensure the confirmability and credibility of the research. The four most common ways to analyze qualitative data are:
This type of analysis is concerned with the interpretation of the frequency, location, and definition of words. Researchers usually apply this approach to textual and visual data from interviews.
Thematic analysis involves determining specific patterns or themes in the large portions of the collected data. It is a flexible approach that allows exploring the opinions of different participants.
This approach is useful when it comes to analyzing stories told by participants of the study. Narrative analysis is used in observations, interviews, and surveys.
Discourse analysis examines social circumstances in which communication happens. It is similar to narrative analysis but involves a particular interest in a social context. Moreover, discourse analysis takes into account the usual surroundings in which participants live.
Quantitative research is a type of scientific research based on the collection and interpretation of numeric data. It focuses on measuring and generalizing results. Researchers widely apply statistical operations to discover patterns in the phenomena under examination. Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research offers more objective findings as they are based on more reliable numeric data. What are some examples of quantitative data? It is a broad category that can include such examples as:
The main features of quantitative research are:
Quantitative data is numerical. Thus, researchers use different mathematical calculations as well as statistical analysis to interpret collected data. It helps to determine common trends and present the results in the form of diagrams, graphs, and tables. Generally, we distinguish descriptive and inferential statistics. The choice of statistical analysis type depends on the research objective and design.
Although statistical analysis is the most common way to interpret quantitative data, there are many other ways to make sense of numerical information. Other quantitative data analysis approaches are:
Researchers use different software to work on quantitative data analysis. Excel spreadsheets are probably the most common application. Yet, SPSS and R can also be used to facilitate research.
What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative data collection methods? In general, qualitative research methods are more flexible and apply open-ended questions. Quantitative data collection methods focus on highly controlled approaches and numerical information. Let's discuss the most popular methods in detail.
Researchers often combine qualitative and quantitative methodologies of research in one study. The best practices of each help to look at a phenomenon under analysis from a broader perspective. Such an approach is widely used in social studies and healthcare. It allows researchers to add flexibility and creativity to their work. Mixed methods collect rich and reliable data, which can be further tested and replicated. The examples of the mixed methods are:
A convergent design allows researchers to collect and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data. Then, they can compare them to rule out any contradictions in findings.
This research design is primarily focused on qualitative data. Yet, it applies numerical information to test and complement initial qualitative outcomes.
Unlike an exploratory sequential design, this type of research organization focuses on numerical data first. Then, it uses qualitative data to help interpret quantitative findings. It allows making numerical data more detailed and comprehensive. Besides, using an explanatory sequential design, researchers can be sure that findings correspond to the experiences of study participants.
Due to the inherent difference between qualitative and quantitative research, their application differs. You need to determine what your project requires most: descriptions or measurements. Then, you can make the right choice.
Let's look at some examples. Qualitative research will be of use when you need:
In contrast, quantitative research can help:
Qualitative research and quantitative research help to look at a researched issue from a broad perspective. Researchers can use these two types separately or apply mixed methods and enjoy the benefits of each. While qualitative research ensures flexibility and creativity, quantitative research methods can help with measurements and statistical analysis.
Both methods require a researcher to be well-prepared and competent. You can collect and interpret data correctly only if you are completely confident in your knowledge of research methods and approaches. Our article will help you cope with both qualitative research and quantitative research. However, as studies can be too time-consuming, you can ask professionals to help "do my paper" and research information. This way, you will get reliable and comprehensive findings, already analyzed, structured, and presented in a required format.
Have you read every article out there but still feeling stuck? If you’re lost, fear not! DoMyEssay, the best custom essay writing service online, is home to the top English essay writers on the web.
Monday, May 18, 2020