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There is a reflexive process underpinning every stage of a qualitative study to ensure that researcher biases, presuppositions, and interpretations are clearly evident, thus ensuring that the reader is better able to interpret the overall validity of the research.According to Maxwell (2009), there are five, not necessarily ordered or sequential, components in qualitative research designs.
How they are presented depends upon the research philosophy and theoretical framework of the study, the methods chosen, and the general assumptions underpinning the study.
Goals Describe the central research problem being addressed but avoid describing any anticipated outcomes.
What approaches and techniques will you use to collect and analyze your data, and how do these constitute an integrated strategy?
Validity In contrast to quantitative studies where the goal is to design, in advance, “controls” such as formal comparisons, sampling strategies, or statistical manipulations to address anticipated and unanticipated threats to validity, qualitative researchers must attempt to rule out most threats to validity after the research has begun by relying on evidence collected during the research process itself in order to effectively argue that any alternative explanations for a phenomenon are implausible.
In contrast, quantitative studies emphasize the measurement and analysis of causal relationships between variables, not processes.
Qualitative forms of inquiry are considered by many social and behavioral scientists to be as much a perspective on how to approach investigating a research problem as it is a method.
What theories, beliefs, and prior research findings will guide or inform your research, and what literature, preliminary studies, and personal experiences will you draw upon for understanding the people or issues you are studying?
Note to not only report the results of other studies in your review of the literature, but note the methods used as well.
Such researchers emphasize the value-laden nature of inquiry.
They seek answers to questions that stress how social experience is created and given meaning.