The research questions in a qualitative study are followed by both a null and an alternate hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable prediction for an observed phenomenon, namely, the gap in the knowledge.
Each research question will have both a null and an alternative hypothesis in a quantitative study. Qualitative studies do not have hypotheses. The two hypotheses should follow the research question upon which they are based. Hypotheses are testable predictions to the gap in the knowledge. In a qualitative study the hypotheses are replaced with the primary research questions. In Chapter 1 this is a summary of the methodology and contains a brief outline of three things: All of these elements will be reported in detail in Chapter 3.
In a quantitative study, the instrumentation will be validated in Chapter 3 in detail. In a qualitative study, if it is a researcher-created questionnaire, validating the correctness of the interview protocol is usually accomplished with a pilot study. For either a quantitative or a qualitative study, using an already validated survey instrument is easier to defend and does not require a pilot study; however, Chapter 3 must contain a careful review of the instrument and how it was validated by the creator.
In a qualitative study, which usually involves interviews, the instrumentation is an interview protocol — a pre-determined set of questions that every participant is asked that are based on the primary research questions. In the humanities, a demographic survey should be circulated with most quantitative and qualitative studies to establish the parameters of the participant pool. Demographic surveys are nearly identical in most dissertations.
In the sciences, a demographic survey is rarely needed. The theoretical framework is the foundational theory that is used to provide a perspective upon which the study is based.
There are hundreds of theories in the literature. In the sciences, research about new species that may have evolved from older, extinct species would be based on the theory of evolution pioneered by Darwin.
Some departments put the theoretical framework explanation in Chapter 1; some put it in Chapter 2. Assumptions are self-evident truths. In a qualitative study, it may be assumed that participants be highly qualified in the study is about administrators. It can be assumed that participants will answer truthfully and accurately to the interview questions based on their personal experience, and that participants will respond honestly and to the best of their individual abilities.
Limitations of a study are those things over which the research has no control. Evident limitations are potential weaknesses of a study. Researcher biases and perceptual misrepresentations are potential limitations in a qualitative study; in a quantitative study, a limitation may be the capability of an instrument to accurately record data.
Scope is the extent of the study and contains measurements. In a qualitative study this would include the number of participants, the geographical location, and other pertinent numerical data. In a quantitative study the size of the elements of the experiment are cited. The generalizability of the study may be cited. The word generalizability, which is not in the Word dictionary, means the extent to which the data are applicable in places other than where the study took place, or under what conditions the study took place.
Delimitations are limitations on the research design imposed deliberately by the researcher. Delimitations in a social sciences study would be such things as the specific school district where a study took place, or in a scientific study, the number of repetitions.
The definition of terms is written for knowledgeable peers, not people from other disciplines As such, it is not the place to fill pages with definitions that knowledgeable peers would know at a glance. Instead, define terms that may have more than one meaning among knowledgeable peers. Thank you so much for this article Barbara. I have read it at the right time when I am writing the Introduction chapter of my PhD thesis and it has helped me very much.
Your email address will not be published. December 5, May 30, Network Coordinator 3 Comments. Introductory Paragraph State the general field of interest in one or two paragraphs, and end with a sentence that states what study will accomplish.
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