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Nursing Resource Guide: Types of Research within Qualitative and Quantitative


♦ Statement of purpose—what was studied and why.

 ♦ Description of the methodology (experimental group, control group, variables, test conditions, test subjects, etc.).

 ♦ Results (usually numeric in form presented in tables or graphs, often with statistical analysis).

♦ Conclusions drawn from the results.

 ♦ Footnotes, a bibliography, author credentials.

Hint: the abstract (summary) of an article is the first place to check for most of the above features.  The abstract appears both in the database you search and at the top of the actual article.

There are four (4) main types of quantitative designs: descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental, and experimental.


Evaluating Qualitative Articles

Main Types of Qualitative Research

Understanding Qualitative Research: A School Nurse Perspective


Case study

Attempts to shed light on a phenomena by studying indepth a single case example of the phenomena.  The case can be an individual person, an event, a group, or an institution.

Grounded theory

To understand the social and psychological processes that characterize an event or situation.


Describes the structures of experience as they present themselves to consciousness, without recourse to theory, deduction, or assumptions from other disciplines


Focuses on the sociology of meaning through close field observation of sociocultural phenomena. Typically, the ethnographer focuses on a community.


Systematic collection and objective evaluation of data related to past occurrences in order to test hypotheses concerning causes, effects, or trends of these events that may help to explain present events and anticipate future events. (Gay, 1996)

Evaluating Quantitative Articles