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Qualitative and Quantitative Research Difference


Qualitative research entails exploration of an issue of concern with the aim of understanding on the issue and why it is the way it is. It entails studying things in their natural settings to make sense of them and also interpret the meanings that people have attached to them. It employs an interpretative and naturalistic approach while studying a subject of concern. According to Burns & Grove (2009), it entirely relies of the data that is collected regarding the subject matter. Quantitative research on the other hand tries to develop mathematical models and theories to describe a phenomenon. The method tries to connect the empirical observation and mathematical expression using measurement process.

Importance of research design in qualitative research project

Research design defines the strategy, the plan and the structure that will be used in carrying out a research project. In qualitative research, design helps the researcher to identify the techniques that should be used in answering the research questions. The design therefore helps in expressing the research question in to testing project.

Since the research design is the actual plan of research or the blueprint of research, it will entail the strategies that will be used in carrying out the research. The first problem that is dealt with by research design is the kind of questions to study in research (Hopkins, 2000). The kind of questions depends on the purpose of research and the subject matter of the research. The design helps in identifying the relevant question to the subject matter.

The research design also helps in identifying what data are relevant to the study questions. The relevance of data depends on the extent that they help answer the questions. It also depends on the subject matter. The other problem dealt with by research design is what data to collect. This includes selecting the actual data to be collected out of the ones identified as relevant.

Design also helps in analyzing how the collected data will be analyzed. This involves identifying the correct method to use in interpreting the data collected.

Importance of research problem in Quantitative research project

A research problem is a set of conditions that need to be solved. According to Hopkins (2000), it communicates the importance and focus of the problem. The researcher will be able to identify the objectives of research and adhere to them. In quantitative research projects, research problem helps the researchers to know whether the situation(s) can be solved using empirical investigation. It also helps in identifying the best mathematical model to use in investigating the phenomenon. The reader is also introduced to the importance of the problem by the research problem (Burns & Grove, 2009). It also helps in putting the problem in a context for easier analysis. It also captures the framework for reporting the research results. The problem also indicates why it is necessary to conduct the research and how the findings will present the information needed. For example, it helps in determining whether the results will be compared with those of earlier research or the results will be generalized.

The research problem also defines the context and the scope of research. This helps the researcher to identify the information they need to use based on the research context. This will help the researchers to avoid the use of redundant variables in describing a phenomenon.


Research design is a very important part of qualitative research project as it acts as the blueprint of the research describing how investigation will be carried out. The research problem on the other hand gives the quantitative a logical approach.

Reference List

Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2009). The practise of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Hopkins, W. G. (2000). Quantitative Research Design. Liverpool: John Moores University.