Nova A.
Nova A.

Types of Qualitative Research Methods - An Overview

5 min read

Published on: Jul 6, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023

Types of Qualitative Research

On This Page On This Page

Qualitative research is used to collect non-numerical data, and it is the most flexible research technique. Researchers can use different research methods for data collection.

To write an effective research paper, you will have to know the qualitative research methods. Qualitative research methods are used in sociology, business, educational, political science, and social work research.

Your first order with us is FREE!

Order Now
Order Essay

What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is a type of research that involves collecting and analyzing non-numerical data. It can be used to collect data through open-ended questions. Qualitative research gathers information related to a problem and develops new ideas for further research.

Qualitative research is different from quantitative research, and many researchers use this research method. Moreover, this type of research is flexible and can be changed at any stage of the research process.

In humanities and social sciences subjects, qualitative research is commonly used. It is basically a market-based research study that focuses on concepts and reasons.

Social scientists usually use this type of research to investigate people’s behavior, actions, and interaction with society and other individuals.

The main purpose of this type of research is to understand the problem in-depth. Qualitative research is used to study human and social phenomena by using various methods.

Qualitative research is focused on understanding the why and how of human behavior and gathering non-numerical data. The qualitative research questions are vague, and they can be exploratory, predictive, or interpretive.

It is useful to identify the relationship between variables. The results of this research are in descriptive data by content analysis, and the conclusion can easily be drawn.

Your first order with us is FREE!

Order Now
Order Essay

Types of Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research is based on collecting data by studying the subject in-depth. The main goal is to understand the why and how of the particular subject.

Qualitative research methods help the researchers to understand the behavior of a target audience about a specific topic. They gather data by using different qualitative research methods.

The most common qualitative research methods that the researchers use for their research work are:

  • Ethnography Method

Ethnography is a commonly used qualitative research method. In this method, the researcher analyzes a focus group. He focuses on people and their behaviors in the natural environment. The researcher involves, observes, engages, and embeds themself into the subject’s daily life and routine.

The researchers experience the customs, traditions, and situations, etc., as a participant or observer. Moreover, the researcher takes notes and describes their experience in the descriptive form, so the reader also experiences the same culture.

Ethnographic research is the most in-depth observational qualitative research design. However, it is a time-consuming method and depends on the expertise of the researcher.

It is a way of studying the culture of a group of people and describe in the form of writing. This method aims to describe the cultural challenges in the same way as the researcher observes.

  • Grounded Theory Method

The grounded theory method usually starts with a question or a collection of data. It is used to develop a theory by conducting interviews and reading documents. It provides an explanation or theory behind the events.

The corporate sector uses this method to conduct user satisfaction surveys. This method helps to explain why a customer uses a company’s product or service. The grounded theory method helps companies to improve and maintain customer loyalty.

The grounded theory method can also help to develop new theories of the collected data about a particular subject. Different coding techniques are used in this method to identify themes and develop a better theory.

The sample sizes in this method are larger than in other methods. It is used to generate rich data of complex processes and develop theories. Moreover, it is a method for discovering a new theory.

  • Narrative Method

The narrative method of qualitative research is similar to narrating a story. The researcher collects data or facts through interviews, observation, and documents, etc.

This research method follows the chronological order and describes the events in order. The researcher reads documents and conducts in-depth interviews.

The narrative method of qualitative research is used in businesses to understand the target population’s different challenges. It can be useful for further research and development of products. The researcher presents a story with conflicts, themes, and challenges.

  • Case Study Method

The case study is the most common method of conducting research. It is used to gather in-depth and detailed information about the subject. This method is used to explain an organization or an entity.

In this method, the data is collected from different sources and makes a bigger conclusion. This research method can be explanatory or exploratory. It is a unique research method to build theories.

The case study method is used by someone who has a professional qualification, i.e., a therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

  • Phenomenology Method

This method is used to study an event or activity from various angles. The researcher uses different methods, such as conducting interviews, surveys, reading documents, watching videos, and visiting places for data collection. The researcher conducts many interviews to check the validity of the gathered data.

The phenomenology method involves how the participants feel about things during an activity or event. Phenomenology is an experience or perception-based research method.

In the phenomenology research method, the researcher explores the experience of participants. A researcher conducts a lot of interviews to build a sufficient dataset to validate the findings.

This research focuses on answering the ‘what is’ question rather than questions of magnitude ‘how much’ or ‘how many.’

  • Historical Method

The historical method of qualitative research describes past events to present patterns. This method answers hypothetical based questions and then uses resources to test them.

Some companies use this method and take data from previous campaigns and then analyze it with new campaigns. And then determine which campaign is most effective.

In the historical method, the researcher selects the topic after reading the related literature and develops research questions. Then verifies the validity and collects data.

This method is used to develop the research outline, and it shows the findings in the form of a biography.

Writing a good research paper needs good writing skills. It also requires a better understanding of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

You can easily get online help from professional writers who have years of experience in writing research papers. is the best online paper writing service that guides you in all types of research papers. We have a team of skilled writers who can take care of your college essay.

You can easily place your order now and get a high-quality paper.

Nova A.


Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

Keep reading