Home Blog Guide to Research Paper Writing Types Of Qualitative Research - Overview & Examples

Types Of Qualitative Research - Overview & Examples

Types Of Qualitative Research - Overview & Examples

Don't know how to conduct qualitative research methods?

If you are working on your research project and finding it difficult to understand the certain ways in which people think and behave.

This is where the different types of qualitative research methodologies come to help you understand the behavior, beliefs, and opinions of individuals.

If you are new to the concept, we recommend you to go through this blog until the end. Continue reading to get more in-depth knowledge of qualitative research and its most commonly used approaches.

You will also find qualitative research methods examples to understand the concept better.

1. What Is Qualitative Research?

An important market-based research study that primarily focuses on obtaining qualitative data through open-ended conversations. Qualitative research is basically exploratory research that is used to understand the main reasons, and opinions of individuals.

The main purpose of qualitative research is to understand the main problem and develop ideas and methods for future quantitative research.

The methods of qualitative research have a long history in the field of social science to obtain and make use of qualitative data to understand social life of the targeted population.

People often use qualitative research in opposition to quantitative research. Quantitative research utilizes numerical data to identify trends and take on essential statistical operations to discuss relationships between different variables.

Many times people who undertake a research project are sometimes not completely aware of the differences between qualitative vs quantitative research methodologies. Many think that both serve the same purpose but this is not true.

In the field of sociology, the focal point of qualitative research is the micro-level interaction. Whereas, quantitative research methods more emphasize on the macro-level trends.

2. Types of Qualitative Research

Qualitative researchers collect perceptions and descriptions of the targeted population, place or event by using their own eyes and ears.

The findings are obtained through a number of different qualitative techniques. And often the researchers use more than two methods while conducting a qualitative study.

The following are the most commonly used qualitative methods of research.

2.1 Ethnography

Ethnography is one of the most popular and widely used techniques of qualitative research. In ethnography method, you aim to immerse yourself in the environment of your target audience. To understand the main goal, motivations, challenges, cultures, and themes that come out. The goal here is to illustrate the cultural characteristics in the same way anthropologists observe and examine the cultural challenges that drive a group.

Ethnographic research is similar to cultural ethnography where researchers get completely involved with culture and even for years. Rather than conducting surveys and in-depth interviews, you experience the environment of the targeted population. And sometimes act as an observer.

For Example:

To uncover the needs of your customers, a good approach is to observe their daily activities. And see how they interact with the product. To achieve this, you don't have to come up with any hypotheses in order to test. But you have to immerse yourself with the living lives just like the subject that interfaces with them.

2.2 Narrative

The narrative research method takes a sequence of events to form a cohesive story. Similar to a story narrative, it takes a subject from a starting point and reviews different situations or opportunities.

In a narrative approach, the researcher conducts in-depth interviews, and reads various documents. In simpler words, it takes into account how an individual story illustrates the largest impact that created it. Rather than presenting as a story, one can highlight the conflicts, tensions. As well as challenges that can become a great opportunity for innovation.

For Example:

This method of qualitative research can be used in business to take into account. And understand different challenges faced by their target audience. This, in turn, can be utilized for further innovation and development of products.

2.3 Phenomenological

If you want to describe a particular event or a then the best approach to use is the phenomenological study. It studies a particular phenomenon from different angles, adding to the existing knowledge.

In this approach, the researcher uses different methods altogether to gather data. And understand the place on whatever is being taken into account for examination. The combination of methods includes reading documents, interviews, or visiting places, etc.

For Example:

You can use this method to understand why students prefer to take online courses and the reason for the rise in the number of students from the last couple of years.

2.4 Grounded Theory

A systematic approach to data analysis, grounded theory method of qualitative research design aims to explain the essence of an event or activity and provides the reasons or explanation behind it. You make use of existing documents and interviews to build a theory.

Instead of building theory at the start of the research, this method drives the data collected after completing the research process. Grounded theory technique can help in informing design decisions by grasping the knowledge behind the use of the product by a community of users.

For Example:

This method for qualitative research can be used in businesses to conduct satisfaction surveys. And to demonstrate why the consumer uses the company's product or services. The data collected through these surveys help companies improve and maintain their customer's satisfaction and loyalty.

2.5 Case Study

Last but not least, the case study approach of the qualitative method that occurs over extended periods of time to compile information. This research approach studies unit of any subject to come up with in-depth and detailed information. The subject could be any entity such as an organization, event, place, or even a country.

The case study revolves around in-depth understanding through various sources to bring together all the aspects of the selected unit. Case studies are appropriate to use when the researcher wants to focus on how. And why research questions, the behaviors under observation, or to further understand the phenomenon.

For Example:

Businesses can use case studies to effectively show their business solutions. And how they can solve a particular problem for the subject. Let suppose a company AB introduces new UX designs into an agile environment and that would be enlightening to many companies.

3. Types Of Qualitative Research Summary

Have a look at the table below. It compares the five types of qualitative research in terms of focus, sample size, and the method of data collection.



Sample Size

Data Collection Method

Ethnographic Approach



Observations and Interviews

Narrative Approach

Individual experience


Individual's stories and existing documents

Phenomenological Model

People involved


In-depth Interviews

Grounded Theory

To build a theory


Identifying relationships after interviews

Case Studies

Entity, event, or organization


Interviews, observation, focus group, documents, and reports

Nevertheless, different research techniques can help you understand the behavior and motivations of people. This can help to generate original ideas and formulate a better research problem.

If you have been given a qualitative research paper to submit soon, the above guide will definitely help you write an exceptional piece of writing.

However, not everyone can make a good research paper. So, if you get stuck at any stage of writing your qualitative research paper, you can contact us. We, at MyPerfectWords can help you to use different qualitative methods to complete your research paper.

You will not regret trusting our writing team.
So, contact us and place your order now to receive a winning research paper without stress.

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?

Exclusive access to the MyPerfectWords.com Learning Center. You'll get weekly tips and tricks for improving your own writing and for achieving academic success through your writing.

about us

MyPerfectWords.com is the #1 Ranked Online home for great academic writing, essays, research papers, and graduate theses.

Why us?
  • 100+ subject matter experts.
  • 100% original writing (zero plagiarism, ever).
  • Short deadline service.
  • Love our work or don't pay (satisfaction guaranteed).


Paper Due? Why Suffer?
That's our Job

Just for you to know...

Your first essay with us is FREE!