Thesis Qualitative Research

We need to be able to sieve through articles and decide for ourselves whether the paper’s topic is relevant and the findings are trustworthy.

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Since quantitative and qualitative studies involve two different types of research processes with dissimilar research philosophies and methodologies, the two are often evaluated against different criteria.

For example, while a single participant can sometimes suffice for a good qualitative research project, the sample needs to be a lot larger for a quantitative study to be deemed valid and publishable.

Doing qualitative research requires you to adopt a different way of seeing and interpreting the world around you.

Veronika asks her students to reflect on positivist and interpretivist approaches: If you come from a scientific or medical background, positivism is often the unacknowledged status quo.

Veronika suggests that collecting and analysing a smaller dataset well is preferable to producing a superficial, rushed analysis of a larger dataset.

5) Blur the boundaries between data collection, analysis and writing up Veronika strongly recommends keeping a research diary or using memos to jot down your ideas as your research progresses.This will not only add to the transparency of your work but will also help you interpret your findings.3) Don’t forget the theory Qualitative researchers use theories as a lens through which they understand the world around them.Veronika warns against falling into the pitfall of thinking writing up is, “Two interviews said this whilst three interviewees said that”.7) It’s not just about the average experience When analysing your data, consider the outliers or negative cases, for example, those that found the intervention unacceptable.Veronika suggests that students consider the theoretical underpinning to their own research at the earliest stages.You can read an article about why theories are useful in qualitative research here.Although in the minority, these respondents will often provide more meaningful insight into the phenomenon or concept you are trying to study.8) Bounce ideas Veronika recommends sharing your emerging ideas and findings with someone else, maybe with a different background or perspective.Simply stating that ‘there is a knowledge gap’ is not sufficient.The article needs to include a comprehensive review of the field of study so that the reader knows where this research fits, and what it helps to address. Qualitative methodology shouldn’t be used just because the researcher is familiar with it; there should be a clear connection between the problem and the research methodology.

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