As a student researcher, the first useful question to ask is: what is the purpose of using qualitative research methods?
“It is a way to collect quality data and proofs to support your claims and arguments”
Qualitative research aims to make sense of people’s behaviours and relations, in particular their perceptions, beliefs and understanding on a specific topic or issue. It usually studies smaller groups of people. It values the subjective and inter-subjective views of the researcher and the individuals being studied.
Before choose a research method, always consider your research topic and research questions. Think about the following questions first:
- What do you want to study? And why?
- Are there any similar research studies done by others? If so, why do it again? How can your research contribute to people’s understanding of the topic?
- What kind of information or data do you need?
- How to collect the data you need?