It reflects the direction and epistemological underpinnings of your research path.
Formulating A Qualitative Research Question 1. What Is Qualitative Research? When planning a research project, a good starting point is to think about your own position regarding how you see the world.
What do you think can be studied? Is there a real objective world out there that we can examine as researchers? Or can we only examine constructions of something that might be real, true and objective?
Or is everything a construction? If you have never thought about this and you want to conduct scientific research, a recommendation is to read the seminal works by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend: Kuhn shows that many of the great scientific discoveries were made by chance rather than by applying a rigid methodology.
Thus, we can never be sure whether our knowledge is in fact objective or whether it is limited to what we are able to see at the moment.
The limitations may be of technical or cognitive nature. Kuhn provides examples where scientists have not recognized obvious facts just because they did not believe that they could exist. When you are interested to find out more about the way science works, I recommend reading the book yourself.
For all readers with German language proficiency, I suggest the book by Wallach on the philosophical basic of science. Feyerabend is another must-read if you are interested in the philosophy of science.
He became known as revolutionary scientists and most readers are likely to have heard about his famous methodological conclusion: A famous quote is: What is qualitative research and how can we define it?
This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.
Additionally, special consideration is given to the researcher as person. He or she is not the independent observer in a white coat — a picture that is often drawn when natural scientists are depicted.
As Denzin and Lincoln write: We can only see what our class, culture, race, gender or other factors allows us to recognize. There are plenty of examples for this in our everyday life. One day I needed a longer cable and asked the secretary whether the institute had such a cable.
I had already looked through the cupboard where the cables are stored but did not find anything. The secretary then went together with me to the same cupboard and gave me a long transparent cable. I had looked for something black and therefore did not see it.
The same happens when you conduct research and simply do not consider that the thing you look for might be red or blue or even patterned instead of black and white. There are numerous famous examples where major discoveries were delayed or where observations were ignored because they did not fit prevalent theory and thus inhibiting progress and knowledge generation.
When you are interested, take a look at the already mentioned books by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. I am not sure whether you, the reader, already have a clear position about how you see the world that you want to examine in your research project.
But you should grasp by now that qualitative research is not desk research, we go out into whatever we consider the real world, observe and talk to people, interact with them aiming to understand what is important to them and how they perceive the world.In general, thesis statements are provided in course-level papers, whereas research questions are used in major research papers or theses.
Thesis statements The statement or question is a key piece of information within your writing because it describes the parameters of your study.
Examples of research questions for different qualitative methodologies. Different types of studies go under the umbrella of qualitative research; each with its own philosophy and ways of looking at the world as well as various methods of interpreting data.
Your research question guides your study and determines whether you are going to use a quantitative or qualitative research methodology. It reflects the direction and epistemological underpinnings of .
Got a great handout a while back that I stumbled over today, hopefully it’s as helpful to you as it was to me. Here are the steps for writing good (mass communication of course) qualitative research questions. A thesis statement (also called a research question) is considered the "main point" in academic writing.
It brings organization and theme to your writing. Generally you should do preliminary research before creating your thesis and this statement may be revised during your research and writing process. research questions reflects the selection of the research method and design. Many qualitative research questions ask how or why events occur, or what are the perceptions and experiences of participants.