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Research Methods

Categories of Research Methods and Ways to Find Them

Categories of Research Methods

Qualitative Methods - Involve a researcher describing kinds of characteristics of people and events. Qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Examples of qualitative research include:

  • Interviews
  • Focus group
  • Case Studies
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Narrative Inquiry

Quantitative Methods - Focus attention on measurements and amounts (more and less, larger and smaller, often and seldom, similar and different) of the characteristics displayed by the people and events that the researcher studies. Examples of qualitative research include:

  • Questionnaire
  • Surveys
  • Discourse analysis
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Mathematical modeling

Mixed Methods - Involve collecting, analyzing and mixing both qualitative and quantitative data in a single study or a series of studies.

More information

Research Tools and Techniques

Stay informed on the basics, and familiarize yourself with recent trends in research techniques with Emerald Research Zone's

How to ... guides for researchers



mixed methods

case study

discourse analysis

grounded theory

empirical research






focus groups



and more







Internet Resources

Web Center for Social Research Methods - A gathering of resources on methods for social sciences research.

Research Methods Knowledge Base - Comprehensive web-based textbook that address topics in social research methods.

Online Tutorial

Empirical Research Articles - how to identify research methods in primary research articles.

(from Arizona State University)