How To Present Qualitative Data

By floria on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 No Comments

The qualitative method of data collection is crucial in the researches which require in-depth exploration of the case. This form comprises audio/ video recordings of structured or semi-structured interviews, open-ended questionnaires, observer’s notes, case studies, documents, and personal diaries of the sample.

This form of information gathered can be deeply analysed and studied to create successful research. Qualitative data, however, has some limitations, as it provides a large amount of data. Presenting this data in a written research format can be difficult as the use of graphs and charts is restricted.

Qualitative data can be presented in different forms in a written research paper. The ensuing methods can be considered when tackling the results subdivision of qualitative research;

Display The Interview

In qualitative data, the individual cannot use bar graphs or chats to share the gathered information with the reader. However, in cases that sharing this information is extremely crucial, the writer needs to copy the samples’ verbatim onto the research paper directly; this can provide the readers with authentic and genuine information which can be further interpreted in their way.

In addition to writing own the interview, the writer must also include their interpretation of the conducted interview.

While a research paper requires a summarised representation of data, the writer needs to add the verbatim of the interview without making any alterations. This initiative is taken to maintain authenticity in writing.

Assign Values To The Qualitative Data

In some fields, researches are considered invalid in the case that they do not have any form of graphical representation of data. To eliminate variables, the researchers can take an alternative approach and assign numerical values to the gathered qualitative data.

For instance, if the research discusses the genders, i.e. male, female, trans, and non-binary, you can assign the values 1, 2, 3, and respectively.  Converting nominal values into ordinal values is only recommended in the case that you need to create graphs of the data or process it by using a statistical software program.

However, on the occasion that the field does not require any quantitative data, this step can be eliminated from the research paper writing process.

Display the results in a tabular format

Creating tables in one of the most popular ways in which the data can be represented. Researchers can build tables comprising of related information and display underneath the elucidation of the research findings. However, when adding tables into the research paper, it is vital to make sure that the information displayed in the tables is not repeated in writing.

All tables created in the research paper must be assigned a number and title which can be written underneath the table. This way, the reader can gather an understanding of what the table represents.

In addition to drawing the tables, the writer is required to add a brief explanation of the data represented in the tabular format; this should include the interpretation of the results.

The format applied to create a table varies in different academic fields. Hence, the researcher needs to study the referencing style manual for the respective fields.

Add comparison of the results

In a research paper, it is vital to contrast the results in the pre-influence and post-influence condition. Hence, the data shared in the research paper must include the details of the case before any stimulus was provided.
Taking the example of Zimbardo’s prison experiment, the research paper must include the qualitative data gathered through interviews before the inauguration of the experiment, along with the post-experiment interviews, which showed the differences in perspective. It is essential to include both conditions as it can provide the reader with a clear idea regarding the large influence exerted by the stimulus added in the study.

Only include relevant details

While the purpose of the qualitative form of data collection is to gather heaps of data, the researcher is not required to add all the information in their writing. In contrast, the research write-up must only comprise of the relevant, crucial details which can educate the reader on the outcome of the research.

The presented data should be written by the standard structure imposed by the field.  The writer should use formal, sophisticated language and field appropriate jargon o enhance the credibility of their work. The data represented should also be simplified and summarised to reduce the word count and to retain the reader’s interest. All in all, the overall writing should be precise, concise and sophisticated.

Although the qualitative method of research is extremely useful in yielding a large amount of comprehensive data, it is still recommended for individuals to carry out their research using both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection.

The amalgamation of these two techniques can create powerful research which can be generalised, is reliable and valid.

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