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EDU 5100 and EDU 6245: Intro to Grad. Education and Research: Understanding Research

Quantitative vs Qualitative

Research studies are usually either "quantitative" or "qualitative."

Quantitative research: An experiment is conducted from which data are collected and quantified in some fashion, i.e. counted, analyzed numerically (e.g. effectiveness of a treatment).

Quantitative Buzzwords: Compare, Assess, Evaluate, Measure, Test

Qualitative research: The data collected is more descriptive of people's beliefs, attitudes, etc. and is gathered through methods such as interviews and focus groups.

Qualitative Buzzwords: Identify, Explore, Describe, Explain

Sample Articles:


Pisarik, C., & Whelchel, T. (2018). Academic Relevance: College Students' Perspective. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(1), 26-35.  Retrieved from,url,uid&db=ehh&AN=128230325&site=ehost-live&scope=site


D'Amico, A., & Guastaferro, T. (2017). Emotional and meta-emotional intelligence as predictors of adjustment problems in students with specific learning disorders. International Journal of Emotional Education, 9(2), 17-30. Retrieved from 

Mixed methods

Selekman, J. (2017). Students With Chronic Conditions: Experiences and Challenges of Regular Education Teachers. Journal of School Nursing, 33(4), 307–315.

Literature Review

McConnell, D. A., Chapman, L., Czajka, C. D., Jones, J. P., Ryker, K. D., & Wiggen, J. (2017). Instructional utility and learning efficacy of common active learning strategies. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65(4), 604-625. Retrieved from:

Original Research

"An empirical research article is an article which reports research based on actual observations or experiments. The research may use quantitative research methods, which generate numerical data and seek to establish causal relationships between two or more variables. Empirical research articles may use qualitative research methods, which objectively and critically analyze behaviors, beliefs, feelings, or values with few or no numerical data available for analysis."

Articles that discuss original research have the following format:

  • Title
  • Abstract
    • The abstract provides a summary of the article and should mention a study, an observation, an analysis or a number of participants or subjects.
  • Introduction / Literature Review
    • This section discusses the previous, relevant research in this particular area of study.  It places the current study in context.
  • Methods / Methodology
    • The methodology section explains the methods used in the current experiment so it can be replicated. 
  • Results
    • The results section lists the results of the authors' study.  This section often contains tables and charts.
  • Discussion / Conclusion
    • The discussion section is where the authors get to put their results in context and discuss why their research is significant. 
  • References
    • All peer reviewed journal articles have a list of references at the end.These are the studies to which the authors referred in the literature review.