Developing a theoretical framework for your dissertation is one of the key elements of a qualitative research project. The theoretical framework is your toolbox. In the toolbox are your handy tools: a set of theories, concepts, ideas and hypotheses that you will use to build a solution to the research problem or gap you have identified. The methodology is the instruction manual: the procedure and steps you have taken, using your chosen tools, to tackle the research problem. First, select your tools.
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Methodology
Reporting Research Results in Your Dissertation
Most research in the humanities is qualitative, though quantitative studies are possible; scientific research is generally quantitative, though, conversely, qualitative studies may be possible; researchers in the social sciences may choose between the two approaches or combine them, depending upon the goals of their studies. The following table lays out some distinctions between the two types of inquiry: Qualitative methods can be used to develop quantitative research questions or to interpret the results of quantitative studies. Moving back and forth between quantitative and qualitative ways of understanding your dissertation topic may allow you to explain it in richer ways, using both words and numbers; it may allow you to see an old problem from a fresh perspective; or it may allow contradictions or disconnections to emerge, leading to new lines of inquiry. Whether you need help determining which methodology will work best with your study or looking for in-depth review and analysis of your methods section, our dissertation experts are happy to assist you.
A Common Student Question: Which Is Easier, Quantitative or Qualitative Research?
And, chances are, you want to choose the one that fills you with the least amount of dread. On the other side, the anthropologists are probably more keen on qualitative methods because they literally have the opposite fears. Your methodology needs to be informed by your research aims and objectives , not your comfort zone. Research methods can be learnt usually a lot faster than you think and software reduces a lot of the complexity of both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Conversely, choosing the wrong approach and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole is going to create a lot more pain.
In the sections that follow, we briefly describe the main characteristics of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations. Rather than being exhaustive, the main goal is to highlight what these types of research are and what they involve. Whilst you read through each section, try and think about your own dissertation, and whether you think that one of these types of dissertation might be right for you. After reading about these three types of dissertation, we highlight some of the academic, personal and practical reasons why you may choose to take on one type over another.