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Postgraduate Research Process: Qualitative

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A larger guide exists focused on qualitative research.


Qualitative research is an inquiry approach useful for exploring and understanding a central phenomenon. To learn about the phenomenon, the inquirer asks participants broad general questions, collects the detailed views of participants in the form of words or images, and analyzes the information for description and themes. From this data, the researcher interprets the meaning of the information, drawing on personal reflections and past research. The final structure of the final report is flexible, and it displays the researcher's biases and thoughts. (Creswell, 2008).

What to learn more? Search within the online version of The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods (requires login).

Video providing definition of Qualitative Research

Search Terms


Action research Descriptive qualitative research Generic qualitative description Oral history
Activities of daily living Descriptive qualitative stud* Grounded theory Participatory action research
Appreciative inquiry Descriptive stud* Health-related quality of life Participant observation
Assessment* Discourse analysis Hermeneutic* Phenomengraph*
Autoethnograph* Ethnograph* Interview Phenomenolog*
Biographical research Ethnomethodolog* Lived experience Qualitative
Case stud* Exploratory stud* Narrativ* Qualitative meta-synthesis
Constant comparative Field notes Naturalistic study Qualitative method*
Content analysis Field stud* Observational method* Qualitative research
Conservation analysis Focus group* Opinion* Qualitative stud*