Qualitative research

Qualitative research involves collecting data that helps researchers understand the already existing perceptions or opinions. This means that qualitative research can gather detailed insights that lead to new ideas in a particular study. Qualitative research is often a critical aspect to consider in studies where researchers intend to gather information about new theories and concepts. This is because this research method gives detailed information that closed question surveys would not provide. Therefore, any researcher, especially in the field of social sciences, would consider this method an integral part of their survey.


Phenomenology is a type of research method that focuses on the past life experience of an individual. This method is an important tool that helps health professions education (HPE) researchers understand people’s behaviors based on their lived experiences. It is necessary to gain an appreciation for the theories that support phenomenology to comprehend it fully. These theories attempt to explain the importance of human experience. This means that phenomenological research necessitates familiarity with the underlying principles of our interpretations of human experience. Neubauer et al. (2019) describe this type of research as “intimidating” to HPE scholars, even though the method is considered a dominant inquiry approach. Additionally, this method is often considered challenging to researchers because of the difficulties associated with interpretation and analysis and the lack of defined techniques for conducting phenomenological studies. Consequently, I would not adopt this method in my research.

Narrative design

Narrative design is a technique of learning about the ways of human beings and their experiences in the world around them. Therefore, narrative research involves conceptualizing and exploring human experience represented in written format. Narrative research or inquiry can both be a technique and a phenomenon where individuals share their life stories (Elçi & Devran, 2014). To explain these experiences, researchers gather the stories and narrate them in written text. This technique would be an integral tool for a narrative researcher when writing a research paper. Using this technique, they gain access to the participant’s (storyteller) personal life where they can study and understand their subjects without changing their setting. Consequently, they understand their feelings and behaviors in a detailed context.

Case Study research design

The case study technique often comes in handy when researchers are prompted to obtain an in-depth appreciation of a phenomenon or problem of interest in its real-life setting. It is a technique that provides a multi-faceted, in-depth explanation of a problem within its natural setting. For this reason, the case study approach can also be referred to as the natural design method. This method can be extensively used in various disciplines but is most commonly used in social science-related studies (Crowe et al., 2011). This approach explores problems in the surroundings within which they tend to occur, making it a better research technique. This is unlike other methods, for example, experimental designs, where researchers are often prompted to employ a certain control over and manipulate their subjects of interest. This means scholars using the latter method miss important factors that are critical in explaining links to new ideas and developments within the field of interest.

Grounded theory

Grounded theory is a systematic research technique characterized by its precise way of data collection and the explicit strategies used to analyze the results. This method often constructs a theory that gives a non-figurative understanding of one or multiple primary issues in the specific area under study. In other studies, the analytic emphasis of the researcher often arises before the start of an experimental inquiry. However, in the case of the grounded theory, this focus occurs during the actual study (Charmaz & Thornberg, 2020). Therefore, it is correct to say that researchers must maintain high levels of transparency in showing that the study was conducted carefully and methodically. Although the ground theory is a research method on its own, it also plays an integral role in qualitative research as it provides not only sequential but explicit guidelines for conducting this research. Therefore, this can be an important technique when conducting a study.

Quantitative research design

Quantitative research analyzes and quantifies variables in a study to obtain results. This method utilizes numerical data with the help of various statistical approaches to address the research question(s) in a particular study. Quantitative research answers questions such as how many, when, where, who, how much, and what (Apuke, 2017). It is also important to note that this approach can be used to explain a particular phenomenon based on the collected numerical data. Quantitative research is an integral tool for scholars in cases where they want a clear understanding of the social world. Through this approach, they get to examine how various situations affect humans. The objective information collected from these types of studies can always be interpreted through numbers and statistical data.


In research, a population is defined as a cumulative group of people with specific characteristics in a given study area. Statistically, Banerjee and Chaudhury (2010) point out that a population may not be limited to people. Populations regarding heights, events, weights, and outcomes may exist as long as they are inclusively or exclusively defined based on certain criteria. The population selection depends on the study’s objective or research question.

Target population

A target population is a group of latent participants who are conceptually bounded and who can easily be accessed by researchers. Ideally, a target population characterizes the nature of the population in question. Researchers must always examine all possible boundaries interactively to ensure they successfully define a target population (Casteel & Bridier, 2021). This ensures that the selected population inclusively contains data that can be used in the study.


Sampling refers to choosing a subset from a general population of a study area. Therefore, a sample can be defined as a group of objects or individuals selected from a population of interest. According to Turner (2020), using the entire population in a study is almost impossible. This, thus, necessitates selecting a small group from the larger population for data collection.

Most researchers forget their data once their studies are published (Surkis & Read, 2015). However, it is important to preserve research data even after publication. Consequently, researchers should identify a method of data storage that can store data for long periods and make multiple copies of the same in case one storage media fails or gets corrupted. They must also choose a stable media for storing their data. Researchers can also make their work easily available in catalogs and libraries for other scholars to use as reference points. After the completion of research, various regulations define how long data from that research should be stored. In most cases, researchers are expected to reserve their records for the longest time. However, according to federal regulations, records can only be retained for up to three years after conducting a study. It is worth noting that this period varies depending on the type of research and the institutions involved. For instance, health-related studies can retain their data for up to six years. Generally, we can conclusively say that research records can be retained for approximately five years.



Apuke, O. D. (2017). Quantitative research methods: A synopsis approach. Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review6(11), 40-47. https://doi.org/10.12816/0040336

Aspers, P., & Corte, U. (2019). What is qualitative in qualitative research. Qualitative Sociology42(2), 139-160. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11133-019-9413-7

Banerjee, A., & Chaudhury, S. (2010). Statistics without tears: Populations and samples. Industrial Psychiatry Journal19(1), 60-65. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-6748.77642

Casteel, A., & Bridier, N. (2021). Describing populations and samples in doctoral student research. International Journal of Doctoral Studies16, 339-362. https://doi.org/10.28945/4766

Casteel, A., & Bridier, N. (2021). Describing populations and samples in doctoral student research. International Journal of Doctoral Studies16, 339-362. https://doi.org/10.28945/4766

Charmaz, K., & Thornberg, R. (2020). The pursuit of quality in grounded theory. Qualitative Research in Psychology18(3), 305-327. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2020.1780357

Crowe, S., Cresswell, K., Robertson, A., Huby, G., Avery, A., & Sheikh, A. (2011). The case study approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Elçi, A., & Devran, B. Ç. (2014). A narrative research approach: The experiences of social media support in higher education. Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Designing and Developing Novel Learning Experiences, 36-42. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07482-5_4

Neubauer, B. E., Witkop, C. T., & Varpio, L. (2019). How phenomenology can help us learn from the experiences of others. Perspectives on Medical Education8(2), 90-97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-019-0509-2

Surkis, A., & Read, K. (2015). Research data management. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA103(3), 154-156. https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.011

Turner, D. P. (2020). Sampling methods in research design. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain60(1), 8-12. https://doi.org/10.1111/head.13707


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