Jared P.
Jared P.

Types of Qualitative Research Methods and Examples

6 min read

Published on: Jan 6, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 19, 2023

Types of Qualitative Research

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Have you ever wanted to conduct your own research?

Qualitative methods are the first step. This blog will teach you everything about qualitative methodologies, including examples!

Qualitative research is the type of research design that is used for data analysis. Most researchers use qualitative research methods for their research projects.

To write an effective qualitative research paper, you will have to know these research methodologies. So wait no further, and let’s start reading the blog!

What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research collects non-numerical data by studying subjects to understand concepts, opinions, or experiences. Its main focus is to understand the why and how of human behavior in situations. Moreover, the primary aim is to comprehend the main problem and develop ideas for further quantitative research.

Typically, it deals with human behavior. This method collects information about “what” people think in a specific way and “why” they think in that specific way.

Here, a writer needs to focus on collecting data from the users through direct communication. Furthermore, this method collects data from multiple methods rather than relying on a single source.

In this research method, the researcher breaks the complex problem into smaller chunks and then draws conclusions. Therefore, it is easy to understand by all.

Qualitative research is different from quantitative research, which involves collecting numerical data for statistical analysis.

Instead, qualitative research is a communication method, where the researcher’s information in their research paper is original.

Researchers use qualitative research when they wish:

  • To develop a new product.
  • To understand the lives of participants.
  • To build a theory and discover a problem.

Qualitative research has some widely used types in business, government organization models, humanities, and social science subjects. Moreover, the research methods are designed to reveal the behavior of the target audience.

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Types of Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research is considered market-based research. It focuses on collecting data from informal communication. With the help of a research method, you understand the audience’s perspective about the topic.

Some researchers use the qualitative content analysis tool to quantify and analyze the presence, meanings, themes, or concepts.

There are different types of qualitative methods that researchers use for their research papers. Most commonly used are the following:

Focus Groups

Focus group is the commonly used qualitative research method for data collection. This research method is used to gather opinions by a group of people about a specific problem, product, or situation. It includes a limited number of participants from your target market.

Some researchers mix focus groups with the interview research method. However, it is different from the one-on-one interview. Here, only one member is active, while the other plays the role of listener.

However, the focus group method is more expensive than other online qualitative methods. This research method is useful when you do market research on new products.

The main advantage of the focus group is that you don’t need to interact with the participant. You can simply send them an online survey and collect data from them.


Ethnography is the most applicable type of qualitative research method. The main purpose is to describe the culture’s characteristics in their natural settings. You can gather data through direct observation and interaction with subjects.

In ethnographic research, the researcher embeds themselves into the subject’s daily life routine and gets in-depth knowledge. They experience their situations, customs, and traditions, etc.

However, this research is time taking and challenging for some researchers. So, choose according to the needs of your research topic.


The phenomenological qualitative method studies the human lived experience. This research method uses a combination of methods like observation, reading documents, interviews, and surveys for data collection.

Moreover, it is concerned with how the participant observes things during an event or activity. You rely on the participant’s perspective and focus on subjective experiences.

Therefore, this research type is not time-taking, and you can easily gather data for your research paper.


An interview is another most common type of qualitative research. The main advantage of using this method is to collect accurate data about what people believe and what their motivations are.

The interview can be conducted on the telephone or face to face, and it lasts between an hour and two hours. It also gives an idea to read the participant’s body language. Through interviews, you can explore the beliefs and motivations of an individual participant.

When conducting an in-depth interview, you have to know that the number of respondents is not the key factor. However, each person’s potential contributions to your research are the main thing.

Choosing participants for an interview should not be random, but they can be selected for a specific reason.

Case Study

A case study is also known as a bounded system. In this method, the researcher gathers in-depth and detailed knowledge about the subject, such as an organization, event, or person. This method helps you figure out the reason for the problem and the circumstances that arise.

Case studies can be descriptive and explanatory. Data is collected from different sources and then compiled to create a more significant conclusion.

The main benefit of using a case study is that the researcher can easily focus on a specific issue. It is the simplest method for collecting data for the research project.

The case study has several types that you can use for the data collection.

  • Collective: It uses several cases and provides better information.
  • Instrumental: It helps to investigate some other issue and refine a theory.
  • Intrinsic: It helps to understand the case better.

Grounded Theory

The grounded theory research method is an iterative process. It discusses and focuses on an event or activity and starts with a question or collection of data.

The grounded theory describes the theory behind the events. The researchers use documents and interviews to build a theory based on the data. However, use a large sample size and develop a better theory.


In a narrative research method, the researcher collects data from one or two subjects. The data is collected through different methods such as interviews, letters, texts, documents, etc.

In-person interviews are conducted even after weeks, months, or years. Later, the information is used to derive answers for further research. A small sample size is used for the narrative method.


The historical qualitative data collection method illustrates past events to understand present scenarios and anticipate future choices. The researcher relates the past events with the present or future events.

This research method is used in various fields like education, psychology, and other social science fields.

Types of Qualitative Research questions

Qualitative research is based on discovering and understanding the research topic in detail. The open-ended research questions are used for data collection.

Here are three main types of qualitative research questions.

Exploratory Questions: It is used to understand the topic without influencing the results.
Predictive Questions: It understands the future outcome of a topic or action.
Interpretive Questions: It gathers feedback on the group's behavior without influencing the outcome.

Well-written questions will easily understand the participant and give answers quickly. The results of the research study are based on the information that you gathered. Therefore, create proper questions so that you can get accurate results for your paper.

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Types of Qualitative Research Examples

The following are some examples of qualitative research methods for you.

If you are still confused about choosing the right type of research method for your topic, consult FreeEssayWriter.net. Our experienced essay writer can assist you and provide research papers with zero plagiarism.

So, place your order now and get a well-written research paper at affordable rates.

Jared P.


Jared P. (Literature, Arts)

Jared P. is a renowned author and writing service provider with over fifteen years of experience in the publishing industry. He has a Ph.D. degree in English Literature and has spent his entire career helping students achieve their academic goals by providing expert writing assistance.

Jared P. is a renowned author and writing service provider with over fifteen years of experience in the publishing industry. He has a Ph.D. degree in English Literature and has spent his entire career helping students achieve their academic goals by providing expert writing assistance.

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