What is the difference between qualitative research and quantitative research?

What is the difference between qualitative research and quantitative research?


Quantitative research: used to confirm hypotheses

This type of research is generally used to validate assumptions, hypothesis and theories. It can be utilized to enforce facts about a particular topic of interest. Common research tools or instruments used are surveys or questionnaires with closed ended questions, observations taken in numerical form, and similar experiments. This requires subjectivity, analyzing by  interpreting, and exploring ideas to establish research hypotheses.


Qualitative research: used to understand ideas and concepts

This type of research is utilized to better understand experiences, thoughts and concepts. This helps to acquire detailed insight on under-researched topics of interest. Typical research instruments used for this type of research are open ended question interviews and observations recorded in word format. This requires objectivity, analyzing based on mathematical and statistical assessment, and validating hypotheses and theories.


Which type of research do you need to use, qualitative or quantitative?

During the data collection and analysis phase in your research project, you need to distinguish between two main types of research. The consideration to use one over the other depends on the type of research you are working on. The short answer is: qualitative research is expressed in words, while quantitative research is expressed as numerical data typically in graphs and charts. Generally speaking, if you need to test or assess a set of research hypotheses, use quantitative research methods. Conversely, if you need to explore certain ideas or concepts of interest, then use qualitative research methods.


Editing and proofreading

Once you have complete your research methodology, it is important to hire an editor and proofreading to ensure that the writing is clear and easy to understand by your readers. A well-written manuscript that is easy to follow will win over your readers who would want to continue reading your work and recommending it to other academics in the same field. So be sure to edit and proofread your manuscript before submission!


1 Comment


  1. […] any academic work, whether a simple research paper or a large-scale dissertation or thesis. This is different than quantitative research which relies on ‘quantity’, which involves analysis of numerical data and is used to […]

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