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Research Methodology: Research Methodology

Research Methodology

Research Methodology 

Once you have decided on your research question and scope, you will need to decide on which methodology you will use. 

Research Methodologies 

There are different types of research methodology to consider. 

Qualitative research 

Qualitative research is the process of collecting data that needs to be analysed in order to understand and interpret, lived experiences, emotions, and behaviors. This research aims to interpret events, explain why or how things occur, describe actions, and understand how individuals perceive and define meaning. This is associated with interpretive philosophy. 

Data collection methods

This is how you will conduct your Qualitative research. 

  • Interviews: These are planned interviews between the researcher and the participant /participants. 
  • Focus Groups: Involves multiple participants discussing a specific topic. Researchers can facilitate these groups or observe. 
  • Observation: The researcher may observe a phenomenon/ group. This aims to identify what and how people attach meaning to the action they take. Observation research requires the researcher to view, record, describe, analyse and interpret people's behavior or phenomena. 
  • Oral history/ living memory: This involves the researcher gathering information from individuals. 
  • Document analysis: This involves analysing letters, emails, correspondence, reports, etc. to draw conclusions. 

Quantitative research 

Quantitative research is the process of gathering numerical data, that can be measured through analysis. It aims to identify relationships, discover facts about social phenomena or identify statistical inferences. 

Data collection methods:

  • Experiments: This involves testing theories, cause and effect relationships in a controlled environment. 
  • Surveys/ questionnaires: The researcher provides surveys/ questionnaires to a large sample of individuals. May involve using Likert scales to measure the data.
  • Structured Observation: The researcher will count the number of occurrences of phenomena in context. 

Mixed method

The mixed-method is where the researcher will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. This method may assist the researcher in better answering the research question. 

Data Collection Tools

Collecting Data

As a researcher, you will need to keep track of the data you collect. You will use this data as evidence to answer your research question. This data will help prove your phenomenon. This allows for trends to be identified and future predictions to be inferred. You will need to ensure that you have a pre-planned system to collect and store your data. 

Secondary data collection 

This is the process of gathering data that is not compiled by the original user. You will gather information from sources such as published textbooks, journal articles, published statistics, online surveys.

Types of find secondary data

Published books

  • eBooks
  • Journal articles
  • Film 
  • News reports
  • Newspapers

Data Collection Tools

  • Print form 
  • Online 
  • Survey information 
  • Voice recorders
  • Cameras



Autoethnography is a form of qualitative research, where the researcher relies on personal experiences and reflection in order to understand and connect to a broader understanding of political, social, and cultural meaning. This requires reflection, critique, and analysis. 

"When writing an autobiography, an author retroactively and selectively writes about past experiences. Usually, the author does not live through these experiences solely to make them part of a published document; rather, these experiences are assembled using hindsight" (BRUNER, 1993; DENZIN, 1989, Freeman, 2004). 


Journaling, assessing archival records, interviewing, and reflecting on one's self.

Narrative Research

Narrative Research

This approach to research relies on the storytelling of individuals and their personal experiences. This may be written, spoken, or visual. Narrative theory captures the experience between an individual and cultural context. The researcher gathers people's stories and represents them in a way that challenges reality and the traditional worldview, as well as personhood. 

Practice based research

Practice-Based research 

Practice-based research takes a creative approach, where creative practice and methods of the researcher are incorporated into the research design. The researcher will produce creative work in order to answer the research question. The creative work will be accompanied by a text, an exegesis. 

Note that "creative practice -- the training and specialised knowledge that creative practitioners have and the processes they engage in when they are making art -- can lead to specialised research insights which can then be generalised and written up as research" (Smith & Dean, 2009, p5). 

Follow the link below for a detailed guide