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Qualitative Vs. Quantitative Research Essay

2597 words - 10 pages

Qualitative and quantitative research methods take different approaches to gathering and analysing information. Whether it is a qualitative or quantitative study, the research study begins with a question or series of questions. Both use rigorously designed studies to get the most accurate, detailed and complete results. Qualitative studies common methods are interviews, surveys and observation. A qualitative study aims to provide a detailed description of the study results, often using pictures and written descriptions to describe what the research revealed. A qualitative study looks at the big picture, helping researchers to narrow in on points of interest that then can be followed up on in a quantitative study. While a quantitative study has a narrower focus, it attempts to provide a detailed explanation of the study focus, along with this using numbers and statistics. And the results from a quantitative study can reveal bigger questions that call for qualitative study. Or vice versa a qualitative study may reveal at analysis that a more focus and direct approach may be needed. With both methods analysis is a key part of any study whether qualitative or quantitative.


Research means different things to different people and may be motivated by what you want to gain from the research. Academic research differs from journalism where the latter may produce only one stance of the argument to gain the certain interest and strength. Academic and Social research is more systematic and seeks different angels, evidence and view points. Samantha Punch spoke about her motivation being to find a child’s perspective and finding out about their lives. To do this she had to challenge her own assumptions and it took time and a flexible and open-ended approach, living amongst participants to fill the gaps and move beyond common sense, challenges were to minimise the power balance which may affect the process. Research may lead to improving services and conditions for children but not necessarily benefiting the participants. Research may be child-led through focus groups; dilemmas such as adults acting in a tokenistic manner may lead to a study not actually being directed by children. Ultimately the control may retain in the adults hands but it may be argued such a complex task from planning to dissemination may require this. Distinctions may be needed between children and young children to allow correct participation, access, techniques, consent, legal rights, protection and addressing ethnical issues. (EK310, Audio, Band 1) All three professionals featured in the discussion had different interests and backgrounds but whichever methodology is used, to ensure they are effective and appropriate.

Coates qualitative pilot study about children’s drawings stemmed from her professional background and her observations of children. She found links between language and drawing and wanted to analysis this further. Her methodological approach...

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