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What is qualitative research?

There are a lot of theories and ideas from scholars which described and explained what the qualitative research is. The following are the descriptions and characteristics of qualitative research. According to Gay, Mills, and Airasian (2009) stated that “qualitative research is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of comprehension narrative and visual data to gain insights into a particular phenomenon of interest” (p.7). Similarly, Creswell (2005) and Fraenkell and Wallen (2006) claimed that the qualitative research often evade stating hypotheses before data are collected, and they may scrutinize a particular phenomenon without a guiding statement about what may or may not be true about that phenomenon . Additionally, in qualitative research, the researcher is not controlled and handled the context. “The effort to understand the participant’s outlook requires researcher using qualitative methods to interact intimately with participants during the study, using time-intensive data collection methods such as interview and observation”(Gay et al., 2009). As a result, the number of participants tends to be small, and qualitative researcher analyzed the data inductively by classifying and arranging it into patterns that produce a descriptive, narrative, synthesis.  Likewise, based on University of Utah, college of health (cited in ________) and Hancock (2002)  illustrated that qualitative research is a procedure of naturalistic inquiry that search in-depth understand of social events within their natural setting. It aims to help us to understand the world in which we live and why things are the way they are. It is also concerned with the social aspects of our world and seeks to answer questions what, why, in what way, how, how often, how much, how many, and to what extent.  To sum up, the things which mentioned above are the description and characteristics of qualitative research.


Creswell, J. W. (2005). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating: Quantitative and Qualitative Research. New Jersey: Person Education, Inc.

Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N.E. (2006). How to design and Evaluate Research in Education. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Gay, L.R., Mills, G. E. & Airasian, P. (2009). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis

               and Applications (9th ed.). Ohio: Pearson.

Hancock, B. (2002). Trent Focus for Research and Development in Primary Health Care. An      Introduction to Qualitative Research. Trent Focus Group.

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