Qualitative Research Paper

Qualitative Research Paper

There are many reasons that a student may be required to write a qualitative reference project.  A qualitative research paper is a project that is not based on facts alone, but is also based on the interpretation of facts so that a student can go beneath information that is on the surface.  For example, a simple research paper might be about the symptoms and effects of Bipolar Disorder.  Qualitative research papers would go beneath the surface of the simple facts about the disorder to try to uncover information about its causes and what a person suffering from the disorder might actually be feeling.

It may be easy to think about a qualitative research paper as a project that tries to add bits and pieces of information together in order to create a larger understanding of a situation.  For that reason, qualitative research papers usually require that students use a variety of different types of research methods in order to get a larger understanding of what is going on.  A qualitative research paper might use first and second person resources as well as experimentation and interviews with experts.  

Many students that have to write qualitative research papers often have to come up with their own ideas.  They are not simply regurgitating information that they read in their research documents.  Instead, they have to act like detectives to piece the information together in order to come up with their own discoveries.  A qualitative research paper is, therefore, time consuming and requires a good deal of critical thinking from a pupil.  

The process of actually writing the article is the same as with any similar type of article.  The student should begin with the research into the topic about which he or she will create the document.  From there, the student needs to draft an outline of the document.  The outline will be the skeleton.  

The first part of the document should have an introduction in which the student introduces the subject that he or she is going to be writing about.  Next, comes the body, which introduces new information and ideas in each paragraph.  Finally, the student needs to express a conclusion in which the student communicates his or her own ideas.

A qualitative research paper is very similar to other types of academic writings.  The major difference between qualitative research papers and other report is the method of research that a learner will take and the purpose.  Because students need to use a variety of sources in order to come up with their own conclusions by piecing the sources together, students are often required to use original thinking.  With regular research papers, students generally just need to express information that they learned during research, but may not have to be critical about the information and its implications.

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