Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Qualitative and Quantitative Study for Dissertation

A dissertation is a document, which allows a learner or a professional to take a step forward in the way of their career. Thus, they must prepare a high-quality paper, which contributes to the field. To reach this goal, the learners conduct researchers of various types (Lund Research, 2016). They can be qualitative, quantitative or include some elements of each and represent mixed study.

Quantitative research is good for those dissertations that require particular accurate data and are focused on a rather specific topic. They provide an opportunity to calculate some data and prove or disprove some hypothesis. Qualitative methods, on the other hand, are more general. They allow the learners to discuss a broad topic, focusing on some assumptions.

The data is qualitative but can be sometimes presented in percentages. It is more biased than qualitative research but appropriate for the discussion of theoretical insights. Mixed methods are used when the research united both types of information. It tends to fill the gaps in these opposite studies. Still, the necessity to conduct two different research studies entails additional complications and often requires the participation of a large number of researchers. In this way, such an approach turns out to be more costly and time-consuming (Lon, 2016).

Taking into consideration the fact that mixed methods provide an opportunity to avoid the disadvantages of purely qualitative or quantitative research, they seem to be beneficial. However, it is better to refer to either a qualitative or quantitative study when writing a dissertation, as it should have a particular focus. When gathering various approaches, the learner makes work look dubitative, as if one was not sure what to discuss and how to achieve desired outcomes. Moreover, the usage of one particular method allows concentrating on the issue and discussing it thoroughly instead of obtaining just basic information on different issues (Strengths and weaknesses of mixed research, 2014).

Purpose Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

When a learner needs to select one particular method for a study, he/she should pay attention to the purpose of the study. This information will serve as a guideline that can help to determine the most appropriate approach and further steps.

It is critical to bear in mind the fact that qualitative research focuses on the interpretation of broad concepts. As a rule, these are some social interactions that require a thorough understanding and presuppose narrative explanation. It aims to discuss complex social phenomena without proving something or trying to convince the readers to support a particular point of view. Qualitative research is conducted to improve the knowledge of the audience regarding a phenomenon so that they will be able to make decent conclusions regarding it (Lichtman, 2006).

Quantitative research, in its turn, has opposite goals. It is conducted to test some hypothesis, reveal a cause-and-effect relationship, and predict future changes. It uses a concept that is already discussed in general to attract attention to its peculiarities. This approach allows us to quantify a problem and measure the incidents. In this way, while qualitative methods just uncover some opinions and tendencies, quantitative ones test them concerning other variables (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). Quantitative research provides specific results that can be than generalized and used to talk about more global concepts while qualitative one provides broad ideas from the very beginning, which does not allow to apply them to a narrower framework (Morgan, 2014).


Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Lichtman, M. (2006). Qualitative research in education: A user’s guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Lon. (2016). Disadvantages of mixed method design.

Lund Research. (2016). Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations.

Morgan, D. (2014). Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods: A pragmatic approach. Washington, DC: Sage Publications.

Strengths and weaknesses of mixed research. (2014).

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