Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Spalding University Library and Academic Commons Logo

MSBC-611: Research Methods

This course will introduce students to qualitative and quantitative methods of research. In this course, students will examine foundational principles of research and will acquire some practical research skills. By becoming familiar with the research proc

What are Qualitative 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

Methods of Data Collection

Numerous specific research methods/instruments are used when conducting qualitative research. 

  • Case Studies
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Field Studies
  • Focus Groups
  • Interviews
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Participant Observation
  • Ethnography
  • Phenomenology
  • AutoethnographyThis bibliography is compiled from a section of Heather Forest's ILA on Autoethnography & Storytelling. It includes citations for several peer review journal articles that describe recent autoethnographic studies.
  • Grounded Theory Methods FolderThis bibliography contains references historical and recent books on grounded theory methodology and symbolic interactionalism.
  • Critical Discourse AnalysisBooks, chapters, journal articles, whole journals, & dissertations.

Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Methods: What is Qualitative Research (Module 1)

Searching: Finding Qualitative Research

To limit searches to Qualitative Research, you must use Advanced Search in whatever database you are searching. Select the following fields:

  • Abstract or Subject. Some databases have a field called "methodology". You may use terms that describe QUAL (or qualitative research).

Qualitative Research Terms

  • Case studies
  • Confidentiality
  • Consent
  • Content analysis
  • Context sensitivity
  • Credibility
  • Data analysis
  • Document analysis 
  • Ethnography
  • Field Observation
  • Observation
  • Framework analysis
  • Grounded theory
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Holistic
  • Inductive analysis
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Phenomenology
  • Reflexivity
  • Respondent validation
  • Rigour
  • Sampling
  • Purposive sampling
  • Thematic analysis
  • Transferability
  • Triangulation
  • Validity