Do you have to conduct research as a part of your college course? Well, hold on! Before you choose the topic of your research, you need to know the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. This is because knowing this difference will help you learn about how doable is your research and what method you will have to use. Top Essay Writing not only connect students with research experts but also helps you to learn important research terms.
So let’s learn the difference between quality and quantitative research to help you decide on your research method and topic.
What Is Quantitative Research?
This isn’t that much of a hard guess – quantitative research deals with information only in numbers and graphs. Doing this can help scientists confirm theories and assumptions in a concrete and objective way. This helps to conduct studies that can be used to establish facts about any topic. This method is considered weak when it comes to generalizing results in practical situations; however, it always gives accurate results. If you want to conduct this type of research, you can try experimenting, recording observations or conducting closed-ended questions.
How To Collect Data:
The results of your research depend on how your college the data and hence, data collection is important. Data collection is much like buying ingredients to make a dish, if you get it wrong, your dish will turn out to be different or even inedible.
You can either college data through surveys that have multiple choice questions or closed-ended questions with yes or no options that you can distribute to your participants in person or over the internet or through calls. Moreover, you can conduct experiments by controlling the environment and manipulating some of the factors to determine the cause and effect relationships. Finally, you can observe your subjects in uncontrolled and natural environments for more practical results.
Analyzing the Data:
Since quantitative data are basically numbers, you will need to put your math and especially statistics knowledge to use. There are tons of methods in statistics to evaluate and calculate data for research. As a student in college, you will definitely be studying these methods in your statistics course as you need this information for conducting experiments.
Since calculating data for research is not as simple as doing basic math, you will need to use multiple tools for help. This will include Microsoft Excel to organize your data and SPSS or R for calculation. Using these tools, you can find out the average scores, correlation or causation, reliability and validity and the number of times particular answers were chosen.
What is Qualitative Research?
Qualitative research is more about describing data through words than numbers. This can help researchers understand new phenomena, concepts, thoughts and feelings. Qualitative research is one of the best ways to dive deep into topics that are new and have not been explored yet. People might argue that since it does not present the results in numbers, it’s not valid or reliable. However, that’s not true because it acts as a stepping stone for understanding new concepts which can then be measured accurately using quantitative research. This kind of research can be carried out through detailed interviews, literature reviews and case studies.
How To Collect Data:
Collecting data can help to answer your research question hence you should choose your data collection method carefully. Some of the common ways of collecting data for these kinds of research include interviews, focus groups, ethnography, literature reviews, etc.
Confused about choosing from the list of all these data collection methods? Let us explain. In interviews, you ask open-ended questions and note down your participants’ responses. Focus groups are a bit different because they require you to mediate a discussion between your chosen group of people to gather their thought and opinions to use for your study. Ethnography is more fun as you get to participate directly in a culture or organization to observe the factors yourself. Finally, the literature review is all about studying already published pieces of research on your topic.
Analyzing the Data:
If you thought analyzing quantitative data is difficult, you are in for a treat in this case (sarcastically). Since qualitative research does not deal with numbers but rather words, it is much more complex to deal with since it has text and even images or videos. Since there are no methods in math or statistics to calculate this kind of data, it will get difficult for you.
You can either track the occurrence or position or the meaning of words as a part of qualitative content analysis or simply work on figuring out patterns in the data by using thematic analysis. Finally, you can study the social context of communication through disclosure analysis.
The Main Differences:
Quantitative research tests theories and predictions by gathering data in numbers to calculate through math and statistics. Meanwhile, qualitative research explores new or emerging ideas and forms theories or predictions gathered in words and calculates them by summarizing, categorizing and interpreting. In quantitative methods, you will need more participants and deal with closed-ended questions objectively. Contrarily, in qualitative research, you’ll need fewer participants and ask open-ended and subjective questions to get clarity of complex research questions.
See? It wasn’t so hard to understand the main differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods. In fact, many schools even teach an entire course of research methods to studies to help them understand the best and most accurate ways to conduct research. If your school hasn’t offered the courses or if you haven’t been able to understand the research methods still, you can always go through our blog.
If you still need more guidance on this, you can always reach out to Top Essay Writing Services with your queries. We have scientific experts who are well-known in their field to guide you thoroughly. Plus, we can also connect you with experts from your subject to help you with research writing through their tutoring, samples and other academic services. With Top Essay Writing, you can make even the toughest research writing tasks a piece of cake!