Q: Can you help me with the various aspects of my research topic?
My research is on (the topic of) special children. How do I identify the problem of my choice and select a suitable qualitative design? How do I provide justification? How do I minimize researcher bias? Also, why is research considered the key instrument in qualitative research?
It seems that you are relatively new to research, and therefore, need help with a variety of aspects related to research in general and to your topic in particular. If so, we shall provide some basic responses for each query and a list of relevant resources at the end that you can look up. For further information, you may also look up the site using the relevant keywords. Please note that we are unable to respond to one query (the last one, about why research is considered key for qualitative research) as this doesn’t seem very clear.
- Topic: Presently, your ‘topic’ isn’t really a topic, but a broad area. You need to bring this down to a research question.
- Problem identification: This is perhaps the same as the above point. Once you identify a research question, you will need to develop the problem statement, which is a concise expression of the present state regarding the problem, the desired state, and how your proposed remedy will help bridge the gap between the two states.
- Justification: The justification (also known as rationale) of the study is the reason why you are conducting the study. This will come from a comprehensive literature search in the area and then identifying gaps that you can pursue in your study. The gaps should typically help you arrive at the research question.
- Qualitative design method: Selecting a suitable qualitative (or even quantitative) design method depends on several factors, including the purpose, nature, and objective(s) of the study. Once you have narrowed the focus of your topic, identified a relevant question, and developed the problem statement, you should be able to decide a suitable method for your study.
- Researcher bias: Researcher bias is more inherent in qualitative research, as this type of research involves human behavior, in the process of which various types of biases may creep in. However, minimizing or avoiding bias is crucial to accurately evaluate the findings of the study. For this, you need to first be aware of the various biases that can come in.
As mentioned, here are resources related to the points discussed above. It would help to grasp these as comprehensively as possible as they will also help you for future research.
- How to choose a research question
- The basics of writing a statement of the problem for your research proposal
- How is research justification or justification of a study written?
- Tips for effective literature searching and keeping up with new publications
- 6 Tips on identifying research gaps
- Types of qualitative research methods
- 7 Biases to avoid in qualitative research
All the best for your study!