Week 5

I thought this article was very helpful for us to read as we begin working on our research. Lindlof and Taylor seek to explain the process of qualitative research from the initial development of a topic to the all important research proposal. They primarily discuss the process of planning or the “process of research problem development” (Lindlof and Taylor 113). This includes four components relative to our purposes: 1. The sources of research ideas 2. Questioning ourselves 3. Questioning the scene 4. The Research proposal. I thought it was very important that the authors stressed the difference between quantitative and qualitative research. These definitions have been included in the posts below me so I won’t do that here but I do want to discuss the significance. Often when we think of research we, or at least I, automatically think of the more systematic, theoretical and deductive work. Because of this I benefited from the lengthy discussion of how qualitative research is different from quantitative and how it is “unruly” and we “cannot predict-in fact, we usually refrain from even trying to predict-how the study will turn out” (Lindlof and Taylor 114). This is reassuring in that it helps us realize that we don’t need to have all the answers before we conduct the study. With qualitative research part of the learning process is determining how best to conduct the study. The authors also explain important characteristics that a qualitative researcher must possess including being a “cultural detective, an intelligent “homing device”, disciplined and inquisitive. I found the most useful part of the article to be the section on the research proposal. This provided a step by step for what is expected to be included in a qualitative research guide. In addition to listing the components the authors also explained the purpose of each point and why it was important to not only the person reading the proposal but also the research itself. In conclusion I felt this articles intention was to further our understanding of the early stages of the qualitative research process and learn what is expected in our own research. I believe the authors were successful in doing so.

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