A qualitative study is defined as an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem. The researcher builds a complex, holistic picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducts the study in a natural setting.
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Therefore, qualitative research emphasizes understanding by closely examining people’s words, actions, and records, as opposed to a quantitative research approach that investigates such words, actions, and records at a mathematically significant level, thus quantifying the results of observations. Qualitative research examines the patterns of meaning that emerge from data gathered; such patterns are often presented in the participants’ own words. Many students believe that qualitative research is easier than quantitative research; however, it takes not only a logical mind, but one that can take and make sense of ambiguity by searching for patterns and connections.