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What is a theoretical framework?

Developing a theoretical framework for your dissertation is one of the key elements of a qualitative research project. Through writing your literature review, you are likely to have identified either a problem that need ‘fixing’ or a gap that your research may begin to fill.

The theoretical framework is your toolbox . In the toolbox are your handy tools: a set of theories, concepts, ideas and hypotheses that you will use to build a solution to the research problem or gap you have identified.

The methodology is the instruction manual: the procedure and steps you have taken, using your chosen tools, to tackle the research problem.

Why do I need a theoretical framework?

Developing a theoretical framework shows that you have thought critically about the different ways to approach your topic, and that you have made a well-reasoned and evidenced decision about which approach will work best. theoretical frameworks are also necessary for solving complex problems or issues from the literature, showing that you have the skills to think creatively and improvise to answer your research questions. they also allow researchers to establish new theories and approaches, that future research may go on to develop., how do i create a theoretical framework for my dissertation.

First, select your tools. You are likely to need a variety of tools in qualitative research – different theories, models or concepts – to help you tackle different parts of your research question.  

An overview of what to include in a theoretical framework: theories, models, ideologies, concepts, assumptions and perspectives.

When deciding what tools would be best for the job of answering your research questions or problem, explore what existing research in your area has used. You may find that there is a ‘standard toolbox’ for qualitative research in your field that you can borrow from or apply to your own research.

You will need to justify why your chosen tools are best for the job of answering your research questions, at what stage they are most relevant, and how they relate to each other. Some theories or models will neatly fit together and appear in the toolboxes of other researchers. However, you may wish to incorporate a model or idea that is not typical for your research area – the ‘odd one out’ in your toolbox. If this is the case, make sure you justify and account for why it is useful to you, and look for ways that it can be used in partnership with the other tools you are using.

You should also be honest about limitations, or where you need to improvise (for example, if the ‘right’ tool or approach doesn’t exist in your area).

This video from the Skills Centre includes an overview and example of how you might create a theoretical framework for your dissertation:

How do I choose the 'right' approach?

When designing your framework and choosing what to include, it can often be difficult to know if you’ve chosen the ‘right’ approach for your research questions. One way to check this is to look for consistency between your objectives, the literature in your framework, and your overall ethos for the research. This means ensuring that the literature you have used not only contributes to answering your research objectives, but that you also use theories and models that are true to your beliefs as a researcher.

Reflecting on your values and your overall ambition for the project can be a helpful step in making these decisions, as it can help you to fully connect your methodology and methods to your research aims.

Should I reflect on my position as a researcher?

If you feel your position as a researcher has influenced your choice of methods or procedure in any way, the methodology is a good place to reflect on this.  Positionality  acknowledges that no researcher is entirely objective: we are all, to some extent, influenced by prior learning, experiences, knowledge, and personal biases. This is particularly true in qualitative research or practice-based research, where the student is acting as a researcher in their own workplace, where they are otherwise considered a practitioner/professional. It's also important to reflect on your positionality if you belong to the same community as your participants where this is the grounds for their involvement in the research (ie. you are a mature student interviewing other mature learners about their experences in higher education). 

The following questions can help you to reflect on your positionality and gauge whether this is an important section to include in your dissertation (for some people, this section isn’t necessary or relevant):

  • How might my personal history influence how I approach the topic?
  • How am I positioned in relation to this knowledge? Am I being influenced by prior learning or knowledge from outside of this course?
  • How does my gender/social class/ ethnicity/ culture influence my positioning in relation to this topic?
  • Do I share any attributes with my participants? Are we part of a s hared community? How might this have influenced our relationship and my role in interviews/observations?
  • Am I invested in the outcomes on a personal level? Who is this research for and who will feel the benefits?
One option for qualitative projects is to write an extended literature review. This type of project does not require you to collect any new data. Instead, you should focus on synthesising a broad range of literature to offer a new perspective on a research problem or question.  

The main difference between an extended literature review and a dissertation where primary data is collected, is in the presentation of the methodology, results and discussion sections. This is because extended literature reviews do not actively involve participants or primary data collection, so there is no need to outline a procedure for data collection (the methodology) or to present and interpret ‘data’ (in the form of interview transcripts, numerical data, observations etc.) You will have much more freedom to decide which sections of the dissertation should be combined, and whether new chapters or sections should be added.

Here is an overview of a common structure for an extended literature review:

A structure for the extended literature review, showing the results divided into multiple themed chapters.


  • Provide background information and context to set the ‘backdrop’ for your project.
  • Explain the value and relevance of your research in this context. Outline what do you hope to contribute with your dissertation.
  • Clarify a specific area of focus.
  • Introduce your research aims (or problem) and objectives.

Literature review

You will need to write a short, overview literature review to introduce the main theories, concepts and key research areas that you will explore in your dissertation. This set of texts – which may be theoretical, research-based, practice-based or policies – form your theoretical framework. In other words, by bringing these texts together in the literature review, you are creating a lens that you can then apply to more focused examples or scenarios in your discussion chapters.


As you will not be collecting primary data, your methodology will be quite different from a typical dissertation. You will need to set out the process and procedure you used to find and narrow down your literature. This is also known as a search strategy.

Including your search strategy

A search strategy explains how you have narrowed down your literature to identify key studies and areas of focus. This often takes the form of a search strategy table, included as an appendix at the end of the dissertation. If included, this section takes the place of the traditional 'methodology' section.

If you choose to include a search strategy table, you should also give an overview of your reading process in the main body of the dissertation.  Think of this as a chronology of the practical steps you took and your justification for doing so at each stage, such as:

  • Your key terms, alternatives and synonyms, and any terms that you chose to exclude.
  • Your choice and combination of databases;
  • Your inclusion/exclusion criteria, when they were applied and why. This includes filters such as language of publication, date, and country of origin;
  • You should also explain which terms you combined to form search phrases and your use of Boolean searching (AND, OR, NOT);
  • Your use of citation searching (selecting articles from the bibliography of a chosen journal article to further your search).
  • Your use of any search models, such as PICO and SPIDER to help shape your approach.
  • Search strategy template A simple template for recording your literature searching. This can be included as an appendix to show your search strategy.

The discussion section of an extended literature review is the most flexible in terms of structure. Think of this section as a series of short case studies or ‘windows’ on your research. In this section you will apply the theoretical framework you formed in the literature review – a combination of theories, models and ideas that explain your approach to the topic – to a series of different examples and scenarios. These are usually presented as separate discussion ‘chapters’ in the dissertation, in an order that you feel best fits your argument.

Think about an order for these discussion sections or chapters that helps to tell the story of your research. One common approach is to structure these sections by common themes or concepts that help to draw your sources together. You might also opt for a chronological structure if your dissertation aims to show change or development over time. Another option is to deliberately show where there is a lack of chronology or narrative across your case studies, by ordering them in a fragmentary order! You will be able to reflect upon the structure of these chapters elsewhere in the dissertation, explaining and defending your decision in the methodology and conclusion.

A summary of your key findings – what you have concluded from your research, and how far you have been able to successfully answer your research questions.

  • Recommendations – for improvements to your own study, for future research in the area, and for your field more widely.
  • Emphasise your contributions to knowledge and what you have achieved.

Alternative structure

Depending on your research aims, and whether you are working with a case-study type approach (where each section of the dissertation considers a different example or concept through the lens established in your literature review), you might opt for one of the following structures:

Splitting the literature review across different chapters:


This structure allows you to pull apart the traditional literature review, introducing it little by little with each of your themed chapters. This approach works well for dissertations that attempt to show change or difference over time, as the relevant literature for that section or period can be introduced gradually to the reader.

Whichever structure you opt for, remember to explain and justify your approach. A marker will be interested in why you decided on your chosen structure, what it allows you to achieve/brings to the project and what alternatives you considered and rejected in the planning process. Here are some example sentence starters:

In qualitative studies, your results are often presented alongside the discussion, as it is difficult to include this data in a meaningful way without explanation and interpretation. In the dsicussion section, aim to structure your work thematically, moving through the key concepts or ideas that have emerged from your qualitative data. Use extracts from your data collection - interviews, focus groups, observations - to illustrate where these themes are most prominent, and refer back to the sources from your literature review to help draw conclusions. 

Here's an example of how your data could be presented in paragraph format in this section:

Example from  'Reporting and discussing your findings ', Monash University .

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Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

Tips for a qualitative dissertation

Veronika Williams

Veronika Williams

17 October 2017

Tips for students

This blog is part of a series for Evidence-Based Health Care MSc students undertaking their dissertations.

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Undertaking an MSc dissertation in Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC) may be your first hands-on experience of doing qualitative research. I chatted to Dr. Veronika Williams, an experienced qualitative researcher, and tutor on the EBHC programme, to find out her top tips for producing a high-quality qualitative EBHC thesis.

1) Make the switch from a quantitative to a qualitative mindset

It’s not just about replacing numbers with words. Doing qualitative research requires you to adopt a different way of seeing and interpreting the world around you. Veronika asks her students to reflect on positivist and interpretivist approaches: If you come from a scientific or medical background, positivism is often the unacknowledged status quo. Be open to considering there are alternative ways to generate and understand knowledge.

2) Reflect on your role

Quantitative research strives to produce “clean” data unbiased by the context in which it was generated.  With qualitative methods, this is neither possible nor desirable.  Students should reflect on how their background and personal views shape the way they collect and analyse their data. This will not only add to the transparency of your work but will also help you interpret your findings.

3)  Don’t forget the theory

Qualitative researchers use theories as a lens through which they understand the world around them. Veronika suggests that students consider the theoretical underpinning to their own research at the earliest stages. You can read an article about why theories are useful in qualitative research  here.

4) Think about depth rather than breadth

Qualitative research is all about developing a deep and insightful understanding of the phenomenon/ concept you are studying. Be realistic about what you can achieve given the time constraints of an MSc.  Veronika suggests that collecting and analysing a smaller dataset well is preferable to producing a superficial, rushed analysis of a larger dataset.

5) Blur the boundaries between data collection, analysis and writing up

Veronika strongly recommends keeping a research diary or using memos to jot down your ideas as your research progresses. Not only do these add to your audit trail, these entries will help contribute to your first draft and the process of moving towards theoretical thinking. Qualitative researchers move back and forward between their dataset and manuscript as their ideas develop. This enriches their understanding and allows emerging theories to be explored.

6) Move beyond the descriptive

When analysing interviews, for example, it can be tempting to think that having coded your transcripts you are nearly there. This is not the case!  You need to move beyond the descriptive codes to conceptual themes and theoretical thinking in order to produce a high-quality thesis.  Veronika warns against falling into the pitfall of thinking writing up is, “Two interviews said this whilst three interviewees said that”.

7) It’s not just about the average experience

When analysing your data, consider the outliers or negative cases, for example, those that found the intervention unacceptable.  Although in the minority, these respondents will often provide more meaningful insight into the phenomenon or concept you are trying to study.

8) Bounce ideas

Veronika recommends sharing your emerging ideas and findings with someone else, maybe with a different background or perspective. This isn’t about getting to the “right answer” rather it offers you the chance to refine your thinking.  Be sure, though, to fully acknowledge their contribution in your thesis.

9) Be selective

In can be a challenge to meet the dissertation word limit.  It won’t be possible to present all the themes generated by your dataset so focus! Use quotes from across your dataset that best encapsulate the themes you are presenting.  Display additional data in the appendix.  For example, Veronika suggests illustrating how you moved from your coding framework to your themes.

10) Don’t panic!

There will be a stage during analysis and write up when it seems undoable.  Unlike quantitative researchers who begin analysis with a clear plan, qualitative research is more of a journey. Everything will fall into place by the end.  Be sure, though, to allow yourself enough time to make sense of the rich data qualitative research generates.

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Home   >>   Blog   >>   Tips on writing a qualitative dissertation or thesis, from Braun & Clarke – Part 1

Tips on writing a qualitative dissertation or thesis, from Braun & Clarke – Part 1

master thesis qualitative research

Our advice here relates to many forms of qualitative research, and particularly to research involving the use of thematic analysis (TA). 

Based on our experience of supervising students over two decades, as well as our writing on qualitative methodologies, we discuss what we think constitutes good practice – and note some common problems to avoid. 

Our first tip is  always to check local requirements ! Check what is required in your university context with regard to the format and presentation of your dissertation/thesis; if our advice clashes with this, discuss it with your supervisor. Sometimes requirements are “rules”, and sometimes they’re more norms and conventions, and there’s room to do things differently.

Qualitative centric research writing

Why might our advice here clash with what your local context expects or requires? The simple answer is that there isn’t a widely agreed on  single  standard for reporting qualitative research. Broadly speaking, there are two styles of qualitative research reporting – let’s call these “add qualitative research and stir” and “qualitative centric”. The “add qualitative and stir” style reflects the default conventions for reporting  quantitative  research slightly tweaked for qualitative research. Some characteristics of this style of reporting include: 

  • third-person/passive voice
  • searching out and identifying a “gap” in the literature in the introduction
  • methodological critique of existing research; 
  • and, when it comes to reporting the analysis, separate “results” and “discussion” sections. 

This style of reporting is far more widely understood and accepted than the other. 

What we advocate for is a “qualitative centric” style of reporting – one that is more in line with the ethos and values of qualitative research. This style departs from quantitative norms of empirical research reporting, and is consequently less widely recognised and understood. 

This is why you might experience a clash between what we recommend as good practice and what is required in your local context. We experience this clash of reporting values all the time – we have been required by reviewers and editors on numerous occasions to turn our qualitative centric research papers into something more conventional, and our students have sometimes been required by examiners to turn their qualitative centric theses into something more conventional (e.g., by separating out an integrated “results and discussion” and including methodological critique in the introduction). 

We want to be open about the fact that there  can be  risks in a qualitative centric style of reporting! One of the aims of this blog post, and the  Twitter thread  on which it is based, is to increase understanding of qualitative centric reporting styles so that fewer qualitative researchers are required to rework their research report into something less reflective of the ethos of qualitative research. 

So, what are some of the features of a qualitative centric reporting style? Let’s work through a report section by section.


Think of the opening section of your report not as a literature  review  but as an  introduction  – the introduction is highly likely to include discussion of relevant literature, but the goal of the introduction is not to review the literature and find a “gap”. Instead, your goal in this section is to provide a context and rationale for your research.

If you do discuss bodies of literature, try to avoid summarising study after study after study… instead overview and synthesise a body of literature (What questions have been asked? What, if any, assumptions have been made? What are some of the common themes across the literature?). Have the confidence to tell the reader something about the state of the literature from your perspective.

Theoretical consistency in your introduction 

If you embrace fully the ethos and values of qualitative research, you don’t just understand qualitative research as providing you with tools and techniques to generate and analyse data; you’re unlikely to be a committed positivist or (simple/pure) realist. So if you’re not a positivist or realist when conducting and reporting  your  own research, how should you handle reporting research in your introduction that  is  positivist/realist? We think it’s important to be theoretically consistent across  your  report! 

That means not being a positivist/realist in your introduction when discussing quantitative research, then shifting to being something else when reporting your research. It means you need to think carefully about how you present and frame the findings of quantitative research. As an example, don’t present results from other projects as statements of fact (e.g. by stating “gay men are more likely than straight men to experience poor body image”), but rather as what other research has reported e.g. by saying “several quantitative studies suggest that gay men are more likely than straight men to experience poor body image”. It’s a subtle but important difference. It shows the reader that you understand your theoretical approach, and that it doesn’t (necessarily) align with the philosophical assumptions underpinning the quantitative research. 

We would also advise against engaging in methodological critique based on the values and assumptions of quantitative research in an introduction (methodological critique consistent with the philosophical assumptions of your research may be appropriate).

Framing your research: inverted triangles or stacked boxes?

Ideally, your introduction will make an  argument for your research  and  frame it within relevant wider contexts . It will flow beautifully – the reader will always know why they are being told something and where they are being taken next. There will be no jumping around from one to another seemingly unrelated topic. 

To help with flow and structure, work out if your introduction is the classic “inverted triangle” (starts broad and gets increasingly more specific) or what we call the “stacking boxes” structure. With the latter, you have several different topics to discuss but they aren’t easily classifiable as broader or more specific, they are all roughly at the same level. Your task is to decide how to order or stack the boxes! This is a judgement call and you will often need to figure out what works best  as you write . We regularly advise our students to reorder their stack of boxes; we do the same with our own work. You can’t always know ahead of writing how things will flow. 

With a “stacking boxes” introduction, we strongly recommend having some signposting or an overview at the start of the introduction to help the reader understand what you will cover and where things are going. Try to have linking sentences between different topics or sections to signal transitions to the reader (we’ve been here, now we are going there…). 

Research questions/aims

Typically, we’d advise you to end the introduction with your research questions/aims*. Any question (or questions) and aims should make sense to the reader – they definitely should not come as a surprise! – in light of the context you have presented. You want the reader to almost expect and anticipate your research question; you want your research question to  make sense . 

*Though, in some instances, this  might  work best at the start, ahead of your box stack! In such cases, you should come back to it at the end or before the start of the methodology. This works within a qualitative-centric introduction because you are not building towards a great “reveal” of the “gap” you have identified. 

Make sure you formulate your research question in a way that is consistent with the ethos and values of qualitative research. Don’t frame your research question(s) as hypotheses or, indeed, discuss what you expect to find. A common error is to formulate a research question in terms of the impact or effect of X on Y – which is essentially a poorly-disguised quantitative hypothesis! Our book  Successful Qualitative Research  provides a detailed discussion of formulating research questions for qualitative research. If you’re using TA, we have recently published a paper  Conceptual and Design Thinking for Thematic Analysis  t hat includes guidance on appropriate research questions for reflective TA – the approach to TA that we developed and first wrote about in  2006 .

Circling back to the title 

Let us circle around to thesis/dissertation  titles  here too – qualitative research is nothing if not recursive! Double check your title to make sure it isn’t implicitly quantitatively framed either. You really don’t want the reader to read your title and the introduction and be expecting a quantitative study when they get to your research questions! Ideally a good title tells the reader something about the topic, the methodological approach and perhaps also a key message from the analysis. Short, evocative quotations from participants can make great titles. Here’s an example from a project on  gay fathers .

Read Part 2 of this blog.

Victoria Clarke and Virginia Braun’s forthcoming book is  Thematic Analysis: A Practical Guide . They have websites on  thematic analysis  and the  story completion method . You can find them both on  Twitter  –  @drvicclarke  and  @ginnybraun  – where they tweet regularly about qualitative research.

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master thesis qualitative research

About Victoria Clarke

Victoria is an Associate Professor in Qualitative and Critical Psychology at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. You can find her on Twitter - @drvicclarke - regularly tweeting about qualitative research.

View all posts by Victoria Clarke

master thesis qualitative research

About Virginia Braun

Virginia is a Professor in Psychology at The University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. You can find her on Twitter - @ginnybraun – (re)tweeting about qualitative research and other issues.

View all posts by Virginia Braun

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  • How to Write a Results Section | Tips & Examples

How to Write a Results Section | Tips & Examples

Published on August 30, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

A results section is where you report the main findings of the data collection and analysis you conducted for your thesis or dissertation . You should report all relevant results concisely and objectively, in a logical order. Don’t include subjective interpretations of why you found these results or what they mean—any evaluation should be saved for the discussion section .

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Table of contents

How to write a results section, reporting quantitative research results, reporting qualitative research results, results vs. discussion vs. conclusion, checklist: research results, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about results sections.

When conducting research, it’s important to report the results of your study prior to discussing your interpretations of it. This gives your reader a clear idea of exactly what you found and keeps the data itself separate from your subjective analysis.

Here are a few best practices:

  • Your results should always be written in the past tense.
  • While the length of this section depends on how much data you collected and analyzed, it should be written as concisely as possible.
  • Only include results that are directly relevant to answering your research questions . Avoid speculative or interpretative words like “appears” or “implies.”
  • If you have other results you’d like to include, consider adding them to an appendix or footnotes.
  • Always start out with your broadest results first, and then flow into your more granular (but still relevant) ones. Think of it like a shoe store: first discuss the shoes as a whole, then the sneakers, boots, sandals, etc.

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If you conducted quantitative research , you’ll likely be working with the results of some sort of statistical analysis .

Your results section should report the results of any statistical tests you used to compare groups or assess relationships between variables . It should also state whether or not each hypothesis was supported.

The most logical way to structure quantitative results is to frame them around your research questions or hypotheses. For each question or hypothesis, share:

  • A reminder of the type of analysis you used (e.g., a two-sample t test or simple linear regression ). A more detailed description of your analysis should go in your methodology section.
  • A concise summary of each relevant result, both positive and negative. This can include any relevant descriptive statistics (e.g., means and standard deviations ) as well as inferential statistics (e.g., t scores, degrees of freedom , and p values ). Remember, these numbers are often placed in parentheses.
  • A brief statement of how each result relates to the question, or whether the hypothesis was supported. You can briefly mention any results that didn’t fit with your expectations and assumptions, but save any speculation on their meaning or consequences for your discussion  and conclusion.

A note on tables and figures

In quantitative research, it’s often helpful to include visual elements such as graphs, charts, and tables , but only if they are directly relevant to your results. Give these elements clear, descriptive titles and labels so that your reader can easily understand what is being shown. If you want to include any other visual elements that are more tangential in nature, consider adding a figure and table list .

As a rule of thumb:

  • Tables are used to communicate exact values, giving a concise overview of various results
  • Graphs and charts are used to visualize trends and relationships, giving an at-a-glance illustration of key findings

Don’t forget to also mention any tables and figures you used within the text of your results section. Summarize or elaborate on specific aspects you think your reader should know about rather than merely restating the same numbers already shown.

A two-sample t test was used to test the hypothesis that higher social distance from environmental problems would reduce the intent to donate to environmental organizations, with donation intention (recorded as a score from 1 to 10) as the outcome variable and social distance (categorized as either a low or high level of social distance) as the predictor variable.Social distance was found to be positively correlated with donation intention, t (98) = 12.19, p < .001, with the donation intention of the high social distance group 0.28 points higher, on average, than the low social distance group (see figure 1). This contradicts the initial hypothesis that social distance would decrease donation intention, and in fact suggests a small effect in the opposite direction.

Example of using figures in the results section

Figure 1: Intention to donate to environmental organizations based on social distance from impact of environmental damage.

In qualitative research , your results might not all be directly related to specific hypotheses. In this case, you can structure your results section around key themes or topics that emerged from your analysis of the data.

For each theme, start with general observations about what the data showed. You can mention:

  • Recurring points of agreement or disagreement
  • Patterns and trends
  • Particularly significant snippets from individual responses

Next, clarify and support these points with direct quotations. Be sure to report any relevant demographic information about participants. Further information (such as full transcripts , if appropriate) can be included in an appendix .

When asked about video games as a form of art, the respondents tended to believe that video games themselves are not an art form, but agreed that creativity is involved in their production. The criteria used to identify artistic video games included design, story, music, and creative teams.One respondent (male, 24) noted a difference in creativity between popular video game genres:

“I think that in role-playing games, there’s more attention to character design, to world design, because the whole story is important and more attention is paid to certain game elements […] so that perhaps you do need bigger teams of creative experts than in an average shooter or something.”

Responses suggest that video game consumers consider some types of games to have more artistic potential than others.

Your results section should objectively report your findings, presenting only brief observations in relation to each question, hypothesis, or theme.

It should not  speculate about the meaning of the results or attempt to answer your main research question . Detailed interpretation of your results is more suitable for your discussion section , while synthesis of your results into an overall answer to your main research question is best left for your conclusion .

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I have completed my data collection and analyzed the results.

I have included all results that are relevant to my research questions.

I have concisely and objectively reported each result, including relevant descriptive statistics and inferential statistics .

I have stated whether each hypothesis was supported or refuted.

I have used tables and figures to illustrate my results where appropriate.

All tables and figures are correctly labelled and referred to in the text.

There is no subjective interpretation or speculation on the meaning of the results.

You've finished writing up your results! Use the other checklists to further improve your thesis.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively.

In quantitative research , for each question or hypothesis , state:

  • The type of analysis used
  • Relevant results in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Whether or not the alternative hypothesis was supported

In qualitative research , for each question or theme, describe:

  • Recurring patterns
  • Significant or representative individual responses
  • Relevant quotations from the data

Don’t interpret or speculate in the results chapter.

Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

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Qualitative Research 101: Interviewing

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Undertaking Interviews

By: David Phair (PhD) and Kerryn Warren (PhD) | March 2022

Undertaking interviews is potentially the most important step in the qualitative research process. If you don’t collect useful, useable data in your interviews, you’ll struggle through the rest of your dissertation or thesis.  Having helped numerous students with their research over the years, we’ve noticed some common interviewing mistakes that first-time researchers make. In this post, we’ll discuss five costly interview-related mistakes and outline useful strategies to avoid making these.

Overview: 5 Interviewing Mistakes

  • Not having a clear interview strategy /plan
  • Not having good interview techniques /skills
  • Not securing a suitable location and equipment
  • Not having a basic risk management plan
  • Not keeping your “ golden thread ” front of mind

1. Not having a clear interview strategy

The first common mistake that we’ll look at is that of starting the interviewing process without having first come up with a clear interview strategy or plan of action. While it’s natural to be keen to get started engaging with your interviewees, a lack of planning can result in a mess of data and inconsistency between interviews.

There are several design choices to decide on and plan for before you start interviewing anyone. Some of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before conducting interviews include:

  • What are the guiding research aims and research questions of my study?
  • Will I use a structured, semi-structured or unstructured interview approach?
  • How will I record the interviews (audio or video)?
  • Who will be interviewed and by whom ?
  • What ethics and data law considerations do I need to adhere to?
  • How will I analyze my data? 

Let’s take a quick look at some of these.

The core objective of the interviewing process is to generate useful data that will help you address your overall research aims. Therefore, your interviews need to be conducted in a way that directly links to your research aims, objectives and research questions (i.e. your “golden thread”). This means that you need to carefully consider the questions you’ll ask to ensure that they align with and feed into your golden thread. If any question doesn’t align with this, you may want to consider scrapping it.

Another important design choice is whether you’ll use an unstructured, semi-structured or structured interview approach . For semi-structured interviews, you will have a list of questions that you plan to ask and these questions will be open-ended in nature. You’ll also allow the discussion to digress from the core question set if something interesting comes up. This means that the type of information generated might differ a fair amount between interviews.

Contrasted to this, a structured approach to interviews is more rigid, where a specific set of closed questions is developed and asked for each interviewee in exactly the same order. Closed questions have a limited set of answers, that are often single-word answers. Therefore, you need to think about what you’re trying to achieve with your research project (i.e. your research aims) and decided on which approach would be best suited in your case.

It is also important to plan ahead with regards to who will be interviewed and how. You need to think about how you will approach the possible interviewees to get their cooperation, who will conduct the interviews, when to conduct the interviews and how to record the interviews. For each of these decisions, it’s also essential to make sure that all ethical considerations and data protection laws are taken into account.

Finally, you should think through how you plan to analyze the data (i.e., your qualitative analysis method) generated by the interviews. Different types of analysis rely on different types of data, so you need to ensure you’re asking the right types of questions and correctly guiding your respondents.

Simply put, you need to have a plan of action regarding the specifics of your interview approach before you start collecting data. If not, you’ll end up drifting in your approach from interview to interview, which will result in inconsistent, unusable data.

Your interview questions need to directly  link to your research aims, objectives and  research questions - your "golden thread”.

2. Not having good interview technique

While you’re generally not expected to become you to be an expert interviewer for a dissertation or thesis, it is important to practice good interview technique and develop basic interviewing skills .

Let’s go through some basics that will help the process along.

Firstly, before the interview , make sure you know your interview questions well and have a clear idea of what you want from the interview. Naturally, the specificity of your questions will depend on whether you’re taking a structured, semi-structured or unstructured approach, but you still need a consistent starting point . Ideally, you should develop an interview guide beforehand (more on this later) that details your core question and links these to the research aims, objectives and research questions.

Before you undertake any interviews, it’s a good idea to do a few mock interviews with friends or family members. This will help you get comfortable with the interviewer role, prepare for potentially unexpected answers and give you a good idea of how long the interview will take to conduct. In the interviewing process, you’re likely to encounter two kinds of challenging interviewees ; the two-word respondent and the respondent who meanders and babbles. Therefore, you should prepare yourself for both and come up with a plan to respond to each in a way that will allow the interview to continue productively.

To begin the formal interview , provide the person you are interviewing with an overview of your research. This will help to calm their nerves (and yours) and contextualize the interaction. Ultimately, you want the interviewee to feel comfortable and be willing to be open and honest with you, so it’s useful to start in a more casual, relaxed fashion and allow them to ask any questions they may have. From there, you can ease them into the rest of the questions.

As the interview progresses , avoid asking leading questions (i.e., questions that assume something about the interviewee or their response). Make sure that you speak clearly and slowly , using plain language and being ready to paraphrase questions if the person you are interviewing misunderstands. Be particularly careful with interviewing English second language speakers to ensure that you’re both on the same page.

Engage with the interviewee by listening to them carefully and acknowledging that you are listening to them by smiling or nodding. Show them that you’re interested in what they’re saying and thank them for their openness as appropriate. This will also encourage your interviewee to respond openly.

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3. Not securing a suitable location and quality equipment

Where you conduct your interviews and the equipment you use to record them both play an important role in how the process unfolds. Therefore, you need to think carefully about each of these variables before you start interviewing.

Poor location: A bad location can result in the quality of your interviews being compromised, interrupted, or cancelled. If you are conducting physical interviews, you’ll need a location that is quiet, safe, and welcoming . It’s very important that your location of choice is not prone to interruptions (the workplace office is generally problematic, for example) and has suitable facilities (such as water, a bathroom, and snacks).

If you are conducting online interviews , you need to consider a few other factors. Importantly, you need to make sure that both you and your respondent have access to a good, stable internet connection and electricity. Always check before the time that both of you know how to use the relevant software and it’s accessible (sometimes meeting platforms are blocked by workplace policies or firewalls). It’s also good to have alternatives in place (such as WhatsApp, Zoom, or Teams) to cater for these types of issues.

Poor equipment: Using poor-quality recording equipment or using equipment incorrectly means that you will have trouble transcribing, coding, and analyzing your interviews. This can be a major issue , as some of your interview data may go completely to waste if not recorded well. So, make sure that you use good-quality recording equipment and that you know how to use it correctly.

To avoid issues, you should always conduct test recordings before every interview to ensure that you can use the relevant equipment properly. It’s also a good idea to spot check each recording afterwards, just to make sure it was recorded as planned. If your equipment uses batteries, be sure to always carry a spare set.

Where you conduct your interviews and the equipment you use to record them play an important role in how the process unfolds.

4. Not having a basic risk management plan

Many possible issues can arise during the interview process. Not planning for these issues can mean that you are left with compromised data that might not be useful to you. Therefore, it’s important to map out some sort of risk management plan ahead of time, considering the potential risks, how you’ll minimize their probability and how you’ll manage them if they materialize.

Common potential issues related to the actual interview include cancellations (people pulling out), delays (such as getting stuck in traffic), language and accent differences (especially in the case of poor internet connections), issues with internet connections and power supply. Other issues can also occur in the interview itself. For example, the interviewee could drift off-topic, or you might encounter an interviewee who does not say much at all.

You can prepare for these potential issues by considering possible worst-case scenarios and preparing a response for each scenario. For instance, it is important to plan a backup date just in case your interviewee cannot make it to the first meeting you scheduled with them. It’s also a good idea to factor in a 30-minute gap between your interviews for the instances where someone might be late, or an interview runs overtime for other reasons. Make sure that you also plan backup questions that could be used to bring a respondent back on topic if they start rambling, or questions to encourage those who are saying too little.

In general, it’s best practice to plan to conduct more interviews than you think you need (this is called oversampling ). Doing so will allow you some room for error if there are interviews that don’t go as planned, or if some interviewees withdraw. If you need 10 interviews, it is a good idea to plan for 15. Likely, a few will cancel , delay, or not produce useful data.

You should consider all the potential risks, how you’ll reduce their probability and how you'll respond if they do indeed materialize.

5. Not keeping your golden thread front of mind

We touched on this a little earlier, but it is a key point that should be central to your entire research process. You don’t want to end up with pages and pages of data after conducting your interviews and realize that it is not useful to your research aims . Your research aims, objectives and research questions – i.e., your golden thread – should influence every design decision and should guide the interview process at all times. 

A useful way to avoid this mistake is by developing an interview guide before you begin interviewing your respondents. An interview guide is a document that contains all of your questions with notes on how each of the interview questions is linked to the research question(s) of your study. You can also include your research aims and objectives here for a more comprehensive linkage. 

You can easily create an interview guide by drawing up a table with one column containing your core interview questions . Then add another column with your research questions , another with expectations that you may have in light of the relevant literature and another with backup or follow-up questions . As mentioned, you can also bring in your research aims and objectives to help you connect them all together. If you’d like, you can download a copy of our free interview guide here .

Recap: Qualitative Interview Mistakes

In this post, we’ve discussed 5 common costly mistakes that are easy to make in the process of planning and conducting qualitative interviews.

To recap, these include:

If you have any questions about these interviewing mistakes, drop a comment below. Alternatively, if you’re interested in getting 1-on-1 help with your thesis or dissertation , check out our dissertation coaching service or book a free initial consultation with one of our friendly Grad Coaches.

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A Qualitative Perspective on the Status of the Master’s Thesis in Higher education – A Commentary on ‘Social Normativity of Research Methods and the Methodological Discrepancy Between Mainstream Psychological Research and Danish Psychology Students’ Master’s Thesis Projects’

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  • Published: 25 December 2022
  • Volume 57 , pages 1050–1064, ( 2023 )

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  • Thomas Szulevicz   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6830-4583 1 &
  • Peter Clement Lund 1  

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In this paper, the findings and conclusions from a previous study concerning Danish psychology students’ Master thesis projects are discussed. By conducting eight qualitative semi-structured interviews with nine psychology students, shortly after they had handed in their Master’s theses, we attempted to uncover and challenge some of our previous findings. We set out to deepen our previous conclusions concerning (1) why there is a seeming discrepancy between the use of certain methods and theories amongst the students and psychology as a discipline writ large, (2) whether their use of qualitative methods indicated a routine-like relationship to methods, and (3) whether a unification of methods and theories can be identified. Based on the interviews conducted for this commentary, we conclude that the students do indeed take an active stance when it comes to choosing their methods and topics, and that they are fully aware of the discrepancy between their interests and psychology as a discipline.

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Szulevicz, T., Clement Lund, P. A Qualitative Perspective on the Status of the Master’s Thesis in Higher education – A Commentary on ‘Social Normativity of Research Methods and the Methodological Discrepancy Between Mainstream Psychological Research and Danish Psychology Students’ Master’s Thesis Projects’. Integr. psych. behav. 57 , 1050–1064 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-022-09743-y

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131 Interesting Qualitative Research Topics For High Scoring Thesis

qualitative research topics

Qualitative research topics are undoubtedly not easy. While statistics enthralls some students, others don’t like the subject. That’s because qualitative assignments entail cognitive analysis, which complicates them. But apart from the hardships of completing the projects, selecting topics for qualitative research papers is also a challenge.

This article presents a list of 130-plus qualitative research topic ideas to help learners that struggle to get titles for their papers. It is helpful because many learners have difficulties picking titles that will make their essays impressive to educators. But before presenting the topics, this article defines qualitative research.

What Is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is an investigative and innovative abstract data analysis. When writing a qualitative research paper, a learner analyzes intangible data. Qualitative researchers code the data after or during collection. Therefore, having top-notch research topics is necessary for a first-class essay.

Knowing how to write a qualitative research paper is vital because it helps the student deliver a copy that provides a clear picture of an event or situation. A researcher can achieve this via practical experience, reliable reporting, and conversations. Gathering raw data is the initial step in qualitative research. A researcher can gather raw data by conducting reviews, observations, and surveys. Also, researchers can use creative methods to collect data.

Best Examples Of Qualitative Research Topics

Qualitative research covers many things. Here are examples of topics that learners can explore in their qualitative study.

  • What causes stigma around some health challenges?
  • Stigma facing the people living with disabilities- What is the cause?
  • Can Pro Bono legal assistance improve the criminal justice system?
  • How the less privileged can benefit from Pro Bono services
  • The educational challenges facing rural children- Are there ways to help them?
  • Child labor causes- How to mitigate the practice
  • Substance and drugs- What are young people abusing more?
  • How alcohol affects college students
  • Can food insecurity interfere with children’s performance in school?
  • Food banks intricacies- Understanding the challenge in low-income areas
  • Free education- Does it have socioeconomic benefits?
  • Culture and female harm- What’s the connection?
  • The impact of social media on physical and social engagement among teens in urban areas
  • Using medication to treat depression- What are the health benefits?
  • Investigating peer educators’ efficiency in creating awareness of health and social issues
  • Gender-based violence- What causes it in rural areas, and how does it affect victims?
  • Sexual reproductive health challenges of child brides- Are there ways to control it?
  • Investigating the causes of school dropout among teenagers
  • How to address school dropout among young adults
  • Investigating the deteriorating academic pursuit in Third-World countries
  • Social activities- Do they have benefits for depressed people?
  • Investigating cerebral palsy and the stigma that people associate with it.
  • Living with disabilities- Are there social implications?
  • The impact of ableism on disabled people
  • Exploring the promotion and benefits of feminist values
  • Why should society promote free education in all learning environments?
  • What causes food insecurities among low-income earners?
  • Food and housing insecurity- What are the root causes?
  • What are the effects of displacement- Investigating the homeless people’s mental health

These are good examples of qualitative research topics. However, a student that picks a title in this category should research it extensively to impress the educator with their work.

Qualitative Nursing Research Topics

Professors ask students to write about qualitative topics when pursuing nursing studies. Here are issues to consider in this category.

  • How does the nurse-patient relationship affect health outcomes?
  • How can nurses deal with complex patients?
  • How can nurses provide culturally competent care?
  • How do personal beliefs affect nursing practice?
  • What is the impact of spirituality on nursing care?
  • How does the nurse’s role change when working with terminally ill patients?
  • What challenges do nurses face when providing end-of-life care?
  • How can nurses best support families whose members have serious illnesses?
  • What are the unique challenges of caring for elderly patients?
  • How does the nurse’s role change when working in a hospice setting?
  • Health outreach programs- What are the most effective ways to execute them?
  • Effective methods of curbing drug abuse
  • Effective ways to help rape survivors
  • How can nurses administer care to female genital mutilation victims?
  • How to care for special needs individuals
  • Anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Methods of administering care to Dyslexia patients
  • How to help individuals dealing with mental disorders
  • Signs of Alzheimer’s disease in older people
  • How to provide primary patient care

These are good qualitative research topics for students pursuing nursing studies. Nevertheless, learners must research any of these titles before writing their papers.

Qualitative Research Topics In Education

Most topics spring up from the education niche despite fitting other specifications. Here are examples of qualitative research topics that include the education niche.

  • Are guidance and counseling essential in schools?
  • How computer literacy affects education
  • Why governments in developing schools should encourage adult education
  • Autistic children’s education- Which learning style suits them?
  • Is mental health education relevant in the modern school curriculum?
  • Exploring the learning conditions for kids in third world countries
  • Child education and food insecurity- What is the connection?
  • The impact of virtual learning on high school students
  • How does alcoholism affect a student and their education?
  • Homeschooling- What are its advantages and disadvantages?
  • How do teachers’ beliefs about intelligence affect their teaching?
  • What is the teacher’s role in developing a student’s self-concept?
  • Does race or ethnicity play a role in how teachers treat their students?
  • What are the teachers’ experiences with teaching students with special needs?
  • What methods do effective teachers use to motivate their students?
  • What are the most effective ways to teach reading and writing?
  • How does technology use affect how teachers teach, and students learn?
  • What are the challenges faced by teachers in rural areas?
  • What are the challenges faced by teachers in urban areas?
  • How do charter schools differ from traditional public schools?

Many topics and issues in the education system allow learners to find subjects to investigate and cover in their papers quickly. And this is not an exhaustive qualitative research topic list in this field. Nevertheless, it covers the most exciting ideas to explore.

Qualitative Research Topics In Public Health

Educators ask students to write academic papers while studying the public health sector. And this provides insights into crucial and relevant aspects of this sector. Here are qualitative research topics examples in this category.

  • How does the public health sector manage epidemics?
  • The role of public health in disaster management
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of public health campaigns
  • An analysis of the factors that hinder effective public health delivery
  • Access to healthcare: A study of rural and urban populations
  • Health needs assessment of refugees
  • Mental health support within the public health sector
  • The role of technology in public health
  • Understanding and addressing health disparities
  • Sexual and reproductive health rights in the public health discourse
  • How immunization benefits people in rural areas
  • What causes water-borne diseases, and how can society mitigate them?
  • Symptoms of high blood pressure among young people
  • How antenatal care helps pregnant women
  • How to boost breast cancer awareness

These are excellent qualitative research paper topics in the public health sector. Nevertheless, learners need sufficient time and resources to investigate their preferred titles in this category to write winning papers.

Qualitative Research Topics In Project Management

Project management writing focuses on ways to achieve results and goals while basing the achievement on the process. This subject covers planning, structuring, proffering, and controlling ways to execute plans to accomplish desired goals. Here are research topics for qualitative research in project management.

  • How effective communication strategies can impact the outcome of a project
  • How different leadership styles affect team productivity during a project
  • The role of conflict management in ensuring successful project outcomes
  • Gender differences in the perception and understanding of project risk
  • The impact of organizational culture on a project’s likelihood of success
  • How different project management methodologies affect its outcome
  • The effect of stakeholder involvement on project success
  • How to manage virtual teams effectively to ensure successful project outcomes
  • What motivates project managers to achieve successful results?
  • How can project managers create a positive work environment that leads to successful outcomes?
  • What challenges do project managers face when trying to achieve successful outcomes?
  • How can project management be used to achieve social change?
  • What are the ethical implications of project management?
  • What are the global impacts of project management?
  • Ways to achieve sustainable development through project management

These are topics to explore in project management. Nevertheless, learners need adequate time to investigate their chosen titles and write winning essays.

Qualitative Research Topics In Political Science

Qualitative research can also cover political science. Investigating this field enables people to understand it better and can be broad. Here are sample titles to consider in for your scientific thesis .

  • How do social media affect the way people engage with politics?
  • What motivates people to vote?
  • How does voting behavior change over time?
  • What are the consequences of gerrymandering?
  • How does campaign finance influence elections?
  • Interest groups- What is their role in politics?
  • How do the media cover politics?
  • What are the effects of political scandals?
  • How does public opinion influence policymakers?
  • How feminism enhanced the American politics
  • The adverse effects of misrepresentation
  • The American democracy- A look into its dimensions
  • Colorism, racism, and classism- How the American ideologies differ
  • What causes an election crisis?
  • Two-party system- What challenges does it face in America?
  • Black women’s inclusion in the American politics
  • Should America have a multi-party system?
  • Why mass media matters in politics’ scrutiny and promotion

While political science is a broad field, these narrow topics help learners handle their research effectively. Pick any of these ideas to write a winning essay.

Topics For Ethnography Qualitative Research

Ethnographic research entails studying and paying attention to society and describing it. Here are topics to consider for a research paper in this field.

  • Studying a subculture: Reasons people join and stay in gangs
  • How does social media use vary by culture?
  • An ethnographic study of a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
  • Understanding the lives of sex workers through ethnography
  • The impact of religion on family life
  • How does parenting vary between cultures?
  • How do children learn and socialize in different cultures?
  • What is the effect of migration on family life?
  • What are the experiences of refugees?- An explorative case study
  • What is the impact of poverty on family life?
  • How do people in different cultures understand and experience mental illness?
  • What is the role of the family in other cultures?
  • What are the end-of-life experiences and beliefs around death in different cultures?

This article has presented easy qualitative research topics. However, some need time and resources to investigate and write quality papers. Therefore, pick your paper title carefully to write an essay that will earn you an excellent grade.

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Maybe you have a title for your paper but not time for writing a unique, top-notch thesis. In that case, get the best dissertation services from our writers. We’re educated, native ENL writers with a proven track record of exceeding customers’ expectations. Our team helps university, college, and high school learners complete their writing and editing assignments. Whether writing a research paper is a requirement for a degree or a diploma course, we can help you. Contact us to get quality, custom, and cheap help from qualified experts in your study field.

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University of South Florida

School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

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Graduate programs, ma in political science.

SIGS Political Science Image, Students at the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Florida


How To Apply

The university's application for admission is available online . 

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: Domestic - Spring Semester: Domestic -  No summer admissions

Admission Requirements

Must meet University Requirements , as well as the requirements listed below: 

  • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • GRE/ TOEFL scores
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably by academics
  • A 500 word personal statement
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Must have an undergraduate background in political science

International students:

Transcripts/documents that are issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by a literal English translation. In addition, transfer applicants who completed any postsecondary work (college or university) at an institution not in the U.S. are required to submit an evaluation of that academic work. The evaluation must include a course-by-course assessment, with grades or marks and credits or hours equated to the U.S. system. Click here for a list of evaluation services.

Curriculum Requirements

During the first semester in the program, each student must develop a plan of study in consultation with the Graduate Director. Thereafter, students consult with the Graduate Director who provides technical and procedural advising as well as substantive advice. However, students are also encouraged to discuss their research interests with individual members of the faculty. An orientation session for new and continuing students is provided at the beginning of the academic year. In addition, monthly professional workshops discuss topics of interest to graduate students.

Total Minimum Hours: 36 credit hours Common Core – 12 credit hours Major Field or Concentration 9 credit hours Electives – 9 credit hours minimum Thesis/Non-Thesis – 6 credit hours

For instructional purposes, the graduate curriculum in Political Science has been divided into four fields: Field 1 Comparative Politics (courses with a CPO prefix) Field 2 International Relations (courses with an INR prefix) Field 3 American Government (Courses with a PUP, POS, or URP prefix) Field 4 Political Theory (courses with a POT prefix)

Common Core Courses -12 credit hours POS 6735 Foundations of Political Inquiry (3)

Disciplinary Seminar Requirements - Select two: POS 6045 Seminar in American Government (3) POT 6007 Seminar in Political Theory (3) INR 6007 Seminar in International Relations (3) CPO 6091 Seminar in Comparative Politics (3)

Required Research Methods Sequence - Select one: POS 6746 Quantitative Analysis I (3) POS 6707 Qualitative Analysis (3)

Students may either choose a Major Field of study, or the concentration in Africana Studies. Major field - 9 credit hours

In addition to the core course in major area, three additional courses in the core area are chosen from American Government, Political Theory, International Relations, or Comparative Politics.

Concentration in Africana Studies - 9 credit hours AFA 6932: Topics in Africana Studies (3) AFA 6120: Social Theory and Social Thought (3) AFA 6108: Social Construction of Race and Racism (3)

Electives - 9 credit hours minimum. Electives include, but are not limited to: AFA 6207: African American Historiography AFA 6805: African Historiography AFA 6355: African American Community Research AFA 6387: Seminar on Genocide and Human Rights AFA 6932: Special Topics AFA 6905: Independent Study AFA 6910: Directed Research CPO 5934: Selected Topics in Comparative Politics (3) POS 6933: Selected Topics in Political Science (3)

Electives have to be approved by the Graduate Director. Other graduate courses may also be taken as electives, with approval by the Graduate Director.

Thesis/Non Thesis - 6 hours minimum Thesis POS 6971 6 Thesis: Master’s AFA 6971 6 Thesis: Master’s

Students must enroll in either POS 6971 or AFA 6971 (Africana Studies Concentration students) Thesis: Master’s for a minimum of 6 credit hours. In their thesis, students must provide new insight into a relevant topic in political science or international studies. As students approach the thesis stage, they need to compose a thesis committee consisting of a major professor, who must be a member of the Department of Government and International Affairs, and two readers. One of the two readers can be from another department, but that person must first be approved by the Graduate Director. The thesis committee must approve proposals before students embark on their projects. Students must prepare a written thesis and defend their work in a formal oral presentation before their committee.

Non-Thesis: Elective 3 Structured course approved by the Graduate Director and one of the following: POS 6909 3 Independent Study (for students in a major field) AFA 6905 3 Independent Study (for students in the Africana Studies Concentration)

Students who choose a non-thesis option will be required to complete an additional 6 hours of course work at the 6000 level. The student is required to demonstrate competency by successfully completing a substantial literature review of approximately 50 pages in his or her major field, or in the Africana Studies Concentration.

Comprehensive Examination For students in the thesis option, successful completion of the Thesis serves in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam. For students in the non-thesis option, the extensive literature review determines competency and serves as the equivalent of a comprehensive examination.

Students may take a maximum of 3 credit hours of Independent Study (POS 6909) and 3 credit hours of Directed Research (POS 6919)

For the full requirements, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies Graduate Catalog. 

Forms and information

General Information Course Offerings (Please verify the requirements based on the catalog from the year you were admitted) Research Proposal Example SIGS Graduate Resources   MA in Political Science Tracking Sheet   MA in Political Science/Africana Studies Concentration Tracking Sheet Independent Study/Directed Research Contract Graduate Catalog Listing Office of Graduate Studies Forms Plagiarism Information (Office of Graduate Studies) Thesis and Literature Review Forms Thesis, Dissertation, and Proposal Guidelines and Tips MA Thesis Checklist Graduate Student Supervisory Committee Appointment Form Request to Schedule Thesis Defense Form Certificate of Approval Form for Thesis & Dissertation Doing a Literature Review General Guidelines for the Literature Review (MA Student Non-Thesis Option)


  1. Thesis Title Qualitative

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  2. Thesis Chapter 1 Introduction

    master thesis qualitative research

  3. 8+ Qualitative Research Proposal Templates

    master thesis qualitative research

  4. Chapter 3 Methodology Sample Thesis

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  5. Qualitative research methodology sample thesis proposal

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  6. Samples Of Research Design In Thesis

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  1. Research Designs: Part 2 of 3: Qualitative Research Designs (ሪሰርች ዲዛይን

  2. Find here experts level suggestion for thesis wrting help

  3. Qualitative Research Method

  4. Defining Undergraduate Research and Inquiry

  5. Research Session 8

  6. Thesis Presentation


  1. PDF Student Engagement: a Qualitative Study of Extracurricular Activities

    completion of this dissertation. I am truly privileged to have had the support and valuable guidance of Dr. Jim Ryan, my thesis supervisor during this research. The effort, encouragement, wisdom, and valuable recommendations and guidance he imparted greatly supported me throughout this research completion. Many thanks, Jim.

  2. Qualitative Description as an Introductory Method to Qualitative

    Qualitative Description (QD) emerges as a pivotal introductory method in qualitative research for master's-level students and research trainees. Its principal strength lies in its straightforward, adaptable approach that emphasizes direct descriptions of experiences and events, staying close to the data.

  3. Qualitative research

    You are likely to need a variety of tools in qualitative research - different theories, models or concepts - to help you tackle different parts of your research question. When deciding what tools would be best for the job of answering your research questions or problem, explore what existing research in your area has used.

  4. Planning Qualitative Research: Design and Decision Making for New

    Qualitative research draws from interpretivist and constructivist paradigms, ... used a case study to investigate the process of transformative learning for students in a counseling master's degree program. ... Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation: Tips and Strategies for Students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

  5. PDF Writing up your PhD (Qualitative Research)

    What makes qualitative research 'qualitative'? Before we look at alternative thesis structures, let's take a step backand consider the fundamental differences between qualitative and quantitative research: Qualitative researching is exciting and important. It is a highly rewarding activity because it engages us

  6. Tips for a qualitative dissertation

    Undertaking an MSc dissertation in Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC) may be your first hands-on experience of doing qualitative research. I chatted to Dr. Veronika Williams, an experienced qualitative researcher, and tutor on the EBHC programme, to find out her top tips for producing a high-quality qualitative EBHC thesis.

  7. PDF 1 Structure and Introduction

    Given the different aims and approaches of qualitative and quantitative research, it is not surprising that theses written in the two traditions can also look rather different. On the next page is Adrian Hollidays map [ for writing up qualitative research. Task 1.6 Study Holliday's map and read the notes 1-21 carefully.

  8. A qualitative study of mental health experiences and college student

    This qualitative study explores the lived experience of mental distress within college. student identity. The purposes of this study is to: (1) address a gap in extant literature on mental. health as an aspect of college identity from students' own voice, (2) add to literature that.

  9. Tips on writing a qualitative dissertation or thesis, from Braun

    Tips on writing a qualitative dissertation or thesis, from Braun & Clarke - Part 1. Our advice here relates to many forms of qualitative research, and particularly to research involving the use of thematic analysis (TA). Based on our experience of supervising students over two decades, as well as our writing on qualitative methodologies, we ...


    minimum of ten days for all members of the thesis committee to review the thesis. Step 1: Prepare the content of your presentation. The content of your presentation is the mirror of your thesis ...

  11. Dissertation Results & Findings Chapter (Qualitative)

    The results chapter in a dissertation or thesis (or any formal academic research piece) is where you objectively and neutrally present the findings of your qualitative analysis (or analyses if you used multiple qualitative analysis methods ). This chapter can sometimes be combined with the discussion chapter (where you interpret the data and ...

  12. A guide on how to write the master's thesis

    The objective of this guide is to show you what a master's thesis written in the monograph form involves. If you are writing an article-based thesis, please see the guide written for article-based ... knowledge/previous research and the thesis research question. A delimitation of the area of ... qualitative method (here the method of data ...

  13. PDF A Sample Qualitative Dissertation Proposal

    Rationale for Qualitative Methods The purpose of qualitative research is to understand and explain participant meaning (Morrow & Smith, 2000). More specifically, Creswell (1998) defines qualitative research as, an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem.

  14. How to Write a Thesis: A Guide for Master's Students

    Learn how to write a master's thesis with this in-depth guide. Discover vital strategies with insights and tips from an experienced educator. Skip Navigation. Open Menu. 877-755-2787 ... An example of a multi-method approach would be using a comparative case study as the first qualitative research method and process tracing as the second ...

  15. PDF Healthcare in the Age of AI: A Qualitative Study on the Perceptions and

    A Master's Thesis by Radoslav Iliev Kanalev Student Number: raka21ad Programme: MSc Business Administration and Innovation in Health Care ... Methods: The research employs a qualitative methodology, including a systematic literature review and interviews, guided by an interpretivist philosophy and an abductive research approach. The

  16. How to Write a Results Section

    Reporting qualitative research results. ... The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively. ... Tegan is an American based in Amsterdam, with master's degrees in political science and education administration. While she is definitely a political scientist at heart, her experience working ...

  17. How To Do Qualitative Interviews For Research

    5. Not keeping your golden thread front of mind. We touched on this a little earlier, but it is a key point that should be central to your entire research process. You don't want to end up with pages and pages of data after conducting your interviews and realize that it is not useful to your research aims.

  18. PDF Overview of the Master's Degree and Thesis

    Each chapter has a specific focus and objective. The titles of the five chapters are: (1) Introduction, (2) Review of the Literature, (3) Methods, (4) Results, and (5) Discussion. The structure of the five chapters is the same whether you are conducting a qualitative or quantitative study.

  19. A Qualitative Study Exploring Faculty Perception and Adaptation of

    A QUALITATIVE STUDY EXPLORING FACULTY PERCEPTION AND ADAPTATION OF SOCIAL PRESENCE IN THE ONLINE CLASSROOM . BY KATHLEEN J. MARINO . Dissertation Committee . Joseph Stetar, Ph.D., Mentor Rong Chen, Ph.D. Kathleen A. Reddick, Ph.D. Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Seton Hall University . 2012

  20. A Qualitative Perspective on the Status of the Master's Thesis in

    In our paper, Social Normativity of Research Methods and the Methodological Discrepancy between Mainstream Psychological Research and Danish Psychology Students' Master's Thesis Projects (Szulevicz et al., 2021), we identified patterns in Danish psychology students' theoretical and methodological preferences in their Master's thesis project by analysing more than 4,000 problem ...

  21. 131 Qualitative Research Topics For Academic Thesis Writing

    This article presents a list of 130-plus qualitative research topic ideas to help learners that struggle to get titles for their papers. It is helpful because many learners have difficulties picking titles that will make their essays impressive to educators. But before presenting the topics, this article defines qualitative research.

  22. Examining PhD and research masters theses

    The research questions in this study address firstly whether PhD and research masters theses were treated by examiners as qualitatively different on 12 indicators of importance across the areas: contribution of the thesis, the literature review, approach and methodology, analyses and results and presentation.

  23. (PDF) MA Thesis Final Document Jan 14, 2020

    PDF | On Jan 21, 2020, Betel Chemere published MA Thesis Final Document Jan 14, 2020 | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

  24. MA in Political Science

    The MA in Political Science at the University of South Florida enables students to research and analyze politics at the local, national, and international levels. ... POS 6707 Qualitative Analysis (3) ... Thesis: Master's for a minimum of 6 credit hours. In their thesis, students must provide new insight into a relevant topic in political ...