Punch up your writing by using strong verbs that help your reader understand how the source material presents ideas. T able 9. Any idea or fact taken from an outside source must be cited, in both the body of your paper and the reference s. The only exceptions are facts or general statements that are common knowledge. Common knowledge facts or general statements are commonly supported by and found in multiple sources.
For example, a writer would not need to cite the statement that most breads, pastas, and cereals are high in carbohydrates; this is well known and well documented. However, if a writer explained in detail the differences among the chemical structures of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, a citation would be necessary. When in doubt, cite! In recent years, issues related to the fair use of sources have been prevalent in popular culture. For academic purposes, however, the guidelines for fair dealing are reasonably straightforward.
For instance, a columnist may excerpt a few sentences from a novel when writing a book review. As he worked on his draft, Jorge was careful to cite his sources correctly and not to rely excessively on any one source. Occasionally, however, he caught himself quoting a source at great length.
In those instances, he highlighted the paragraph in question so that he could go back to it later and revise. Paraphrasing practice is always a good thing! Notice he is not really summarizing but rather quoting. While this is technically not plagiarism, it does not show any processing of the information from the original source. It is just copying and pasting; the end result seems very chopp y , and a lot of the information can be generalized.
After reviewing the paragraph, Jorge realized that he had drifted into unoriginal writing. Most of the paragraph was taken verbatim from a single article. Although Jorge had enclosed the material in quotation marks, he knew it was not an appropriate way to use the research in his paper. Low-carbohydrate diets may indeed be superior to other diet plans for short-term weight loss. Heinz concluded that these plans yield quick results, an idea supported by a similar study conducted by Johnson and Crowe What remains to be seen, however, is whether this initial success can be sustained for longer periods.
As Jorge revised the paragraph, he realized he did not need to quote these sources directly. Instead, he paraphrased their most important findings. He also made sure to include a topic sentence stating the main idea of the paragraph and a concluding sentence that transitioned to the next major topic in his essay. It is extremely important to remember that even though you are summarizing and paraphrasing from another source—not quoting—you must still include a citation, including the last name s of the author s and the year of publication.
Writing Commons. Open Text. Use lively language, but avoid language that is emotionally charged. So, now you may have decided after much critical thought, that you definitely have found the most amazing, well-suited quote that cannot be paraphrased, and you want to incorporate that quote into your paper. There are different ways to do this depending on how long the quote is; there are also a number of formatting requirements you need to apply. Most of the time, you will summarize or paraphrase source material instead of quoting directly. Doing so shows that you understand your research well enough to write about it confidently in your own words.
However, direct quotes can be powerful when used sparingly and with purpose. Quoting directly can sometimes help you make a point in a colourful way. Direct quotations from an interviewee or an eyewitness may help you personalize an issue for readers. Also, when you analyze primary sources, such as a historical speech or a work of literature, quoting extensively is often necessary to illustrate your points. These are valid reasons to use quotations. Less-experienced writers, however, sometimes overuse direct quotations in a research paper because it seems easier than paraphrasing.
At best, this reduces the effectiveness of the quotations. At worst, it results in a paper that seems haphazardly pasted together from outside sources. Use quotations sparingly for greater impact. Use an attributive tag e. Make sure any omissions or changed words do not alter the meaning of the original text. Omit or replace words only when absolutely necessary to shorten the text or to make it grammatically correct within your sentence. Use ellipses 3 […] if you need to omit a word or phrase; use 4 […. This shows your reader that you have critically and thoroughly examined the contents of this quote and have chosen only the most important and relevant information.
Use brackets [ ] if you need to replace a word or phrase or if you need to change the verb tense. Use [ sic ] after something in the quote that is grammatically incorrect or spelled incorrectly. This shows your reader that the mistake is in the original, not your writing. Jorge interviewed a dietitian as part of his research, and he decided to quote her words in his paper.
Sure, for some people, they are great, but for most, any sensible eating and exercise plan would work just as well. Notice how Jorge smoothly integrated the quoted material by starting the sentence with an introductory phrase. Remember, what you write in essays should be primarily your own words; your instructors want to know what your ideas are and for you to demonstrate your own critical thinking.
This means you should only use the ideas of experts in the form of quotes to support your ideas. A paper that consists of mostly quotes pieced together does not demonstrate original thought but rather that you are good at cutting and pasting. Therefore, you should strive to state your ideas, develop them thoroughly, and then insert a supporting quote, and only if necessary.
Focus on paraphrasing and integrating and blending those external sources into your own ideas giving the original author credit by using a citation, of course. When deciding to use any quotation as opposed to paraphrasing, you need to make sure the quote is a statement that the original author has worded so beautifully it would be less effective if you changed it into your own words. When you find something you would like to include verbatim word for word from a source, you need to decide if you should include the whole paragraph or section, or a smaller part. Sometimes, you may choose to use a longer quote but remove any unnecessary words.
You would then use ellipses to show what content you have removed. The following examples show how this is done. A short quote can be as one word or a phrase or a complete sentence as long as three lines of text again, removing any unnecessary words. Generally, a short quotation is one that is fewer than 40 words.
Whether you use a complete sentence or only part of one, you need to make sure it blends in perfectly with your own sentence or paragraph. For example, if your paragraph is written in the present tense but the quote is in the past, you will need to change the verb, so it will fit into your writing.
You will read about on this shortly. Using an attributive tag is another way to help incorporate your quote more fluidly. An attributive tag is a phrase that shows your reader you got the information from a source, and you are giving the author attribution or credit for his or her ideas or words. Using an attributive tag allows you to provide a citation at the same time as helping integrate the quote more smoothly into your work.
In the example above, the attributive tag with citation is underlined; this statement is giving Marshall credit for his own words and ideas. If you were to include only a portion of that sentence, perhaps excerpting from the middle of it, you would not start the quote with a capital. In this example, notice how the student has only used a portion of the sentence, so did not need to include the capital. For short quotations, use quotation marks to indicate where the quoted material begins and ends, and cite the name of the author s , the year of publication, and the page number where the quotation appears in your source.
Remember to include commas to separate elements within the parenthetical citation. Also, avoid redundancy. If you name the author s in your sentence, do not repeat the name s in your parenthetical citation. Review following the examples of different ways to cite direct quotations. The elements within parentheses are separated by commas. Include the page number in the parenthetical citation. Although APA style guidelines do not require writers to provide page numbers for material that is not directly quoted, your instructor may wish you to do so when possible. Check with your instructor about his or her preferences.
Long quotations should be used even more sparingly than shorter ones. Long quotations can range in length from four to seven or eight lines 40 words or more, and should never be as long as a page. If you believe you have found the perfect paragraph to support your ideas, and you decide you really want or need to use the long quote, see if you can shorten it by removing unnecessary words or complete sentences and put ellipses in their place. This will again show your reader that you have put a lot of thought into the use of the quote and that you have included it just because you did not want to do any thinking.
Be wary of quoting from sources at length. Remember, your ideas should drive the paper, and quotations should be used to support and enhance your points. Make sure any lengthy quotations that you include serve a clear purpose. Generally, no more than 10 to 15 percent of a paper should consist of quoted material. As with short quotations, you need to make sure long quotations fit into your writing. To introduce a long quote, you need to include a stem this can include an attributive tag followed by a colon :.
The stem is underlined in the example below. Much of the population—especially younger males—frequently engaged in violence by participating in saloon fights and shootouts and gun fights. In example, you can see the stem clearly introduces the quote in a grammatically correct way, leading into the quote fluidly. When you quote a longer passage from a source—40 words or more—you need to use a different format to set off the quoted material.
If the passage continues into a second paragraph, indent a full tab five spaces again in the first line of the second paragraph. Here is an example:. In recent years, many writers within the fitness industry have emphasized the ways in which women can benefit from weight-bearing exercise, such as weightlifting, karate, dancing, stair climbing, hiking, and jogging. Additionally, these exercises help women maintain muscle mass and overall strength, and many common forms of weight bearing exercise, such as brisk walking or stair climbing, also provide noticeable cardiovascular benefits.
It is important to note that swimming cannot be considered a weight-bearing exercise, since the water supports and cushions the swimmer. Look at the long block quotation example above. Identify four differences between how it is formatt ed and how you would format a short quotation. You may want to single space the quote, but not the main part of your essay. This will allow the long block quotation to stand out even more. Do not use quotation marks; they are unnecessary because the spacing and indenting and citation will tell your reader this is a quote.
Throughout the body of your paper, you must include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. The purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; you will provide more detailed information for each source you cite in text in the references section.
In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead. When directly quoting a source, you must include the page number where the quote appears in the work being cited.
This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples. Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence an optional piece of information to include and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can use the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.
Citing a book with a single author is usually straightforward. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. In each of the sentences below, identify the mistakes with how the quote was incorporated.
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Look carefully; some of them are tricky and have more than one error. Freedom of research is undoubtedly a cherished ideal in our society. In that respect, research has an interest in being free, independent, and unrestricted. Such interests weigh against regulations. On the other hand, research should also be valid, verifiable, and unbiased, to attain the overarching goal of gaining obtaining generalisable knowledge Simonsen, , p.
According to Emlet, the rate in which older adults have contracted HIV has grown exponentially. Emlet, The second one is redundant. There is an extra period before the citation. With a short quote, you put the end punctuation after the citation. The following subsections discuss the correct format for various types of in-text citations. Read them through quickly to get a sense of what is covered, and then refer to them again as needed. Include a page reference whenever you quote a source directly.
See also the guidelines presented earlier in this chapter about when to include a page reference for paraphrased material. At times, your research may include multiple works by the same author. If the works were published in different years, a standard in-text citation will serve to distinguish them. If you are citing multiple works by the same author published in the same year, include a lowercase letter immediately after the year. Rank the sources in the order they appear in your references section. Rodriguez a criticized the nutrition supplement industry for making unsubstantiated and sometimes misleading claims about the benefits of taking supplements.
Additionally, he warned that consumers frequently do not realize the potential harmful effects of some popular supplements Rodriguez, b. In this case, this is acceptable because this is referring to a different source written by the same person. Do so even if the publication years are different. Williams believes nutritional supplements can be a useful part of some diet and fitness regimens.
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Williams , however, believes these supplements are overrated. According to two leading researchers, the rate of childhood obesity exceeds the rate of adult obesity K. Connelley, ; O. Connelley, Studies from both A. Wright and C. Wright confirm the benefits of diet and exercise on weight loss. Et al. Note that these examples follow the same ampersand conventions as sources with two authors.
As Henderson et al. Disturbingly, some young women use smoking as a means of appetite suppression Henderson et al. Researchers have found that outreach work with young people has helped reduce tobacco use in some communities Costello et al. Lengthy organization names with well-known abbreviations can be abbreviated. In your first citation, use the full name, followed by the abbreviation in square brackets.
Subsequent citations may use the abbreviation only. Another cause for concern is that even if patients realize that they have had a stroke and need medical attention, they may not know which nearby facilities are best equipped to treat them AHA, You may use the full title in your sentence or use the first few words—enough to convey the key ideas—in a parenthetical reference. Follow standard conventions for using italics or quotations marks with titles:. To cite a source that is referred to within another secondary source, name the first source in your sentence.
At times, you may provide more than one citation in a parenthetical reference, such as when you are discussing related works or studies with similar results. List the citations in the same order they appear in your references section, and separate the citations with a semicolon. Both of these researchers authored works that support the point being made in this sentence, so it makes sense to include both in the same citation.
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In some cases, you may need to cite an extremely well-known work that has been repeatedly republished or translated. Many works of literature and sacred texts, as well as some classic nonfiction texts, fall into this category. For these works, the original date of publication may be unavailable. If so, include the year of publication or translation for your edition. Refer to specific parts or chapters if you need to cite a specific section. Discuss with your instructor whether he or she would like you to cite page numbers in this particular instance. In this example, the student is citing a classic work of psychology, originally written in German and later translated to English.
To cite an introduction, foreword, preface, or afterword, cite the author of the material and the year, following the same format used for other print materials. Whenever possible, cite electronic sources as you would print sources, using the author, the date, and where appropriate, a page number. For some types of electronic sources—for instance, many online articles—this information is easily available.
Other times, however, you will need to vary the format to reflect the differences in online media. If an online source has no page numbers but you want to refer to a specific portion of the source, try to locate other information you can use to direct your reader to the information cited.
Some websites number paragraphs within published articles; if so, include the paragraph number in your citation. Even if a source does not have numbered paragraphs, it is likely to have headings that organize the content. In your citation, name the section where your cited information appears, followed by a paragraph number. This student cited the appropriate section heading within the website and then counted to find the specific paragraph where the cited information was located.
For personal communications, such as interviews, letters, and emails, cite the name of the person involved, clarify that the material is from a personal communication, and provide the specific date the communication took place. Note that while in-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, personal communications are an exception to this rule.
The modification of individual behaviour through the initiation of highly stylised visual health campaigns became central to public and voluntary information programmes. This was achieved through the adoption of visual illustration as the main feature of health advertisement material. The promotion of anti-smoking material within Irish public health campaigns relied upon the efficacy of visual advertising in producing health responses on the part of the public.
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The images reproduced in this post were sourced directly from the Department of Health with the permission of Fergal Flynn, Department of Health. All other primary source material is held at the National Archives of Ireland. Dwyer, Short Fellow , p. Irish Times , 5 Dec. Location: Ireland. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.
Smokeless tobacco use among adults in the northern province of South Africa: qualitative data from focus groups. Substance Use and Misuse, 36 4 , Pucci, L. Focus groups: a tool for developing better health education materials and approaches for smoking intervention. Health Promotion International, 7 1 , World Bank.
Curbing the epidemic: governments and the economics of tobacco control. Tobacco Fact Sheets. Confronting the epidemic: a global agenda for tobacco control research. List and define some of the terminology describing qualitative research.
Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research. Identify the strengths and limitations of qualitative research. Know how qualitative research can be used in tobacco control research. Identify how mixed methods can be used in tobacco control research. Both quantitative and qualitative research have a valuable contribution to make to the field of tobacco control, whether used separately or in combination. The focus of this manual, however, is on qualitative research. Often qualitative research is described by the methods most associated with it, such as participant observation, in-depth interviews or the case study.
In fact, qualitative research is more than just method; it is a particular approach to inquiry, based on a particular set of assumptions about how knowledge is produced and about the nature of reality itself. It is quite distinct from the quantitative approach to research which, borrowing from the scientific method of the natural sciences, proceeds on the assumption that reality can and should be measured and verified objectively by using a set of standardized methods to test hypothetical understanding.
Qualitative researchers, by contrast, take the position that it is less important to discover what is "real" in the sense of objectively verifiable truth than it is to understand what contributes to people's subjective understanding of reality. For this reason, the qualitative research aims to build an understanding of people's "lived" experience, discovering how people interpret the world around them and how this influences their actions.
While the philosophical differences between qualitative research and quantitative research continue to be debated, it is important to point out that each has its own strengths and limitations when it comes to practical application. A qualitative approach is particularly well suited to research that seeks to explain and find meaning in social behaviour.
To develop an understanding of why people smoke or why farmers grow tobacco, for example, the starting point might be to interview an individual or a group. The research builds on data gathered from this particular context until patterns of behaviour start to emerge and a theoretical understanding of why people engage in certain behaviours can be made. The emphasis is on how people perceive and interpret the world, and how this is linked to many other influences in their lives. The conclusions only hold true for the particular individuals or groups in the study.
However, these findings can, if necessary, be tested in a wider population by means of a quantitative study. While the purposes of qualitative and quantitative research may overlap, it is helpful to distinguish between:. These differences are associated with different approaches to knowledge and theory building. Qualitative research tends to use an inductive approach to develop theory. In other words, it examines the data generated from the study of a particular population and builds an understanding of social behaviour as it emerges from the data.
In contrast, quantitative research tends to take a deductive approach , starting with a hypothesis and testing it to see if it holds true for the general population. This is called deductive analysis. For example, if we proceed inductively from the data collected in a particular qualitative study on teenage smoking, a pattern of teenage smoking behaviour may emerge that suggests an association with a sense of loneliness.
From this we may build a theory about the relationship between a sense of loneliness and smoking behaviour in the teen years. We may then use a quantitative study to test this theory. In this case, we would proceed deductively from a hypothesis that such a relationship exists, and then test the degree and extent to which this theoretical relationship holds true for the general population.
Because qualitative and quantitative inquiry have different purposes, they also differ in how much importance is attached to fieldwork, in the way subjects are selected for study, in the type of data collected, in the methods used to collect data, and in how data is analyzed.
A good starting point for understanding qualitative inquiry is to look at these key differences in more detail. The importance of fieldwork: Given the importance attached to discovering how people understand their world, it is important to go into the subjects' environment, rather than taking them out of that environment. This is what it means to "go into the field. During fieldwork, the researcher is able to have direct and personal contact with the subjects of research and to place their lived experience in a specific local context.
Unlike quantitative researchers, who tend to remain detached from subjects, qualitative researchers make a conscious effort to develop relationships in the field. In this way, they begin to see things in the way the research subjects see them, and appreciate why they think, act, and feel the way they do. While quantitative researchers also go into the field, this is typically to solicit information, or to take specific measurements, rather than to experience the lives of, or build relationship with, research subjects. Selection of subjects or units of analysis : In qualitative research, the selection of subjects is made in different ways, depending on the purpose of the study, hence the term purposeful sampling.
Sometimes, the purpose of the study dictates that a broad range of subjects should be sampled, in which case maximum variation sampling would be used. Sometimes extreme case sampling , may be appropriate. An example of this would be interviewing those who have never smoked and those who have smoked from adolescence to old age. This is done in the expectation that particular insights into extreme cases will highlight factors and patterns less apparent in typical or average cases. By contrast, quantitative research relies on random sampling so that each subject has an equal chance of being selected.
This is because quantitative research is designed to lead to conclusions that can be generalized. It is only possible to do this if the sample selected is random. The logic here is that if everyone has an equal chance of being selected, then the sample will be representative of the whole population under study. Type of data collected: Very simply put, qualitative data are words, while quantitative data are numbers. In their raw form, qualitative data could be the notes prepared by a researcher or tape recordings of interviews. The researcher's notes could include physical descriptions based on observations or responses from informal interviews.
Another source of qualitative data may be existing written material such as reports or correspondence. This is often called secondary data to distinguish it from the primary data collected through interviews and observations. The data generated from all these sources can be voluminous, but it yields the rich description that is the hallmark of sound qualitative research and the basis for qualitative data analysis. For example, the qualitative data in Michell and Amos' case study on girls and smoking provided rich "insider accounts" of the smoking world of teenagers that could not be fully captured using a quantitative study.
Quantitative research gathers a limited range of relatively little data about a lot of cases, while qualitative research gathers a relatively broad range of data about a few cases. The term rich or thick description is used to refer to the way in which data is converted into a coherent, comprehensive, and detailed description of whatever is being studied.
For example, if the study is about smoking habits among street children, it is not enough to simply record what the children are doing, or what they are saying. This would be superficial rather than rich description. To deepen the description, information is needed about the children's expressions and emotions; their relationships to others; and the appearance, smell, and feel of the environment. In other words, the description should reflect everything that the researcher has observed and heard, whether or not these things seem significant at the time. Rich or thick description is the basis for qualitative analysis.
From the description, it is possible to build analytical explanations about what is going on. The richer, or thicker, it is, the greater the possibility of a thorough analysis. Methods of collecting data: The data collection methods most commonly used in qualitative research are observation, interviews, case studies, and visual representation techniques such as mapping, drawing, and graphing.
Given that the purpose of qualitative research is to build understanding of complex social issues, the methods are typically geared to gather deep and rich insights into the topic being studied. Because of the ability of qualitative research to handle a lot of information, observations and case studies can be comprehensive; interviews can be designed with open-ended questions to allow maximum flexibility and freedom; and visual representation techniques can be designed to let the respondents fully express themselves on a particular topic.
While the methods may all be geared to gathering data on the topic, the research questions will vary depending on what is needed to draw out a detailed response. This is in contrast to quantitative research methods, where the purpose is to draw conclusions from a sample population that can be generalized to the population as a whole.
The methods for quantitative research inquiry are therefore standardized. In each and every case, the same questions are asked, the same observations are made, and the same measurements are taken. The results can be compared across all cases. Frequencies can be calculated, correlations established and causal relationships analyzed statistically. Another contrast between qualitative and quantitative research is the role of the researcher. In qualitative research, the researcher is often described as "the key instrument. In other words, all data is filtered through the researcher.
In quantitative research, instruments such as the questionnaire survey, and other data collection tools, are not so researcher-dependent. This difference means that in qualitative research, extra care has to be taken to ensure that the researcher's methods can be scrutinized. Methods for data analysis: The analysis of qualitative data relies on a systematic organizing of the data into categories and themes, sometimes with the aid of specialized computer software.
The researcher identifies patterns and relationships on which to base an analysis of the findings. Whether or not computer software is used, the researcher is the primary interpreter of the data. The qualitative researcher acknowledges that there may be bias in interpretation and takes steps to correct this by ensuring that evidence for the analytical findings exists in the data, and that different interpretations of the data can be reconciled.
In this way, the research conclusions are demonstrated to be grounded in the real-world patterns that emerge from the research findings. It is therefore crucial for the researcher to document the process of analysis thoroughly so that the logic of the analysis can be tracked. It is also useful to have several researchers analyze the same data and compare their different interpretations. In quantitative research, the analysis of the data relies on the application of standardized statistical procedures. This analysis makes it possible to see patterns of similarity and variability; factors contributing to the size and direction of change; and the significance of any differences between groups in the study.
Because the statistical procedures are standardized, the logic of analysis is the same across all cases and is less vulnerable to researcher bias. While there are many differences between qualitative and quantitative research, there are also similarities that need to be recognized. Both research traditions are rigorous in their methods although each may use different criteria for validity and reliability , and both demand the highest ethical standards with respect to the treatment of people in the study.
It is also important to acknowledge that there are wide variations within both the qualitative and quantitative traditions, so that distinctions between the two may be more blurred than has been indicated here. For example, qualitative researchers may use elements of a quantitative approach to test theory, while quantitative researchers may pursue an interest in subjects' interpretations of their experience, which is more typically associated with qualitative research.
The critical issue is that the choice of approach and choice of method be appropriate for the purpose of the research. For tobacco control research, like other applied research, this means taking into consideration the users of the research findings, such as policymakers and program designers, and making sure that the research suits their purposes.
Table 1: Comparison between Qualitative and Quantitative Research. The primary data produced are words. Raw qualitative data may be researcher's notes, audiotapes, or transcripts of informal interviews. Secondary data such as existing written material and observations are also often used. Data are gathered using less structured methods, such as observation and interviews, to generate rich description. Methods and instruments are structured beforehand to gather standardized data that can be coded or numerated. The researcher is the main instrument of inquiry, aided by semi-structured interview guides, observation strategies, and a thorough review of secondary data.
Instruments such as surveys are carefully designed to measure specific variables and are administered systematically, in a standardized fashion, to avoid researcher bias. Research generally takes place in the field and often involves face-to-face encounters with the subject. Research can take place without direct contact with the subject, as in the case of telephone or mailed surveys. Data is analyzed by systematically organizing and interpreting information using categories, themes and motifs that identify patterns and relationships.
In this section we describe the strengths and limitations of qualitative research that may influence decisions about research design. Issues can be examined in detail and depth. The researcher is not restricted to specific questions or lists. Interviews are in-depth discussions guided by the researcher to yield relevant information. The research framework and direction can be quickly revised as new information emerges.
Methods are adaptable for use with a wide range of subjects. For example, visual representation and mapping exercises can be done with people with low levels of literacy. Data collection can be more informal, relaxed, and fun, which encourages subjects to participate in the research. Research can be done with an analytical mind along with pen and paper. Computer skills may not be needed. Data is collected from a few cases or individuals, which means that findings cannot be generalized to the larger population.
Research quality is heavily dependent on the individual skills of the researcher. Rigour is more difficult to maintain, assess, and demonstrate. The volume of data makes analysis and interpretation time consuming. It is not as well understood as quantitative research. It is therefore often more difficult to convince others of the importance of its contribution.
For individuals involved in tobacco control research, the decision about whether or not to use qualitative or quantitative research will depend largely on the focus and rationale of the study. Research topics seeking an explanation of "why? Peltzer et. New research might ask: Why is smoking increasing among women? How does the tobacco industry recruit and maintain the loyalty of some scientists and politicians? Research topics that are at the exploration stage, when it is not clear yet what the notable variables are and what theoretical position needs to be tested. For example, in its early stages, Mehl's research was designed to explore the various social and physical contexts of tobacco use in urban Sri Lanka.
New research in the area of tobacco production could ask: What factors do farmers take into consideration when deciding whether to switch from tobacco to an alternative crop? Sometimes, tobacco control researchers will find that neither a qualitative study alone nor a quantitative study alone completely meets their needs. In these cases, mixing different research methods may be effective, as discussed in the next section.
In tobacco control research, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods can be highly effective in making the most of the strengths of both research approaches. Often this mixing of methods is done within a single study. For example, Mehl used qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews to find out about the characteristics of users of different types of tobacco products. He then carried out a quantitative survey of young smokers in the general population to find out how accurately these characteristics fit other smokers.
There are several different reasons for combining methods in one study, and these are outlined below. We will refer again to these different combinations in Module Four when we discuss the design and focus of the research. Triangulation : Different methods are used to examine the same research question in order to verify findings or identify biases in one of the methods used. Mixing methods for this purpose strengthens confidence in the research findings if the same results are obtained using different methods.
Complementarity : Different methods are used so that the findings from one method are elaborated, illustrated, or clarified by the findings of the other method. For example, in the Michell and Amos case study of young girls in Britain, quantitative analysis was used to identify peer group structure and qualitative methods were used to elaborate the resulting sociograms. Conceptual Development : In this case, various qualitative and quantitative methods are used sequentially at different stages of the research, thereby building a full understanding of the relationship between ideas and issues.
For example, in the Sri Lanka study conducted by Mehl , the findings from the qualitative research informed the direction and development of the questions used subsequently in the quantitative study. Expansion : For this purpose, different methods are used to increase the scope and breadth of the study. For example, qualitative interviews may be used to find out the underlying causes of smoking behaviour while a quantitative survey is conducted to examine the extent of smoking related illness within a specific population, or how increased tobacco taxation affects different populations of varying socioeconomic levels.
The results of such studies expand the knowledge about smoking from both a behavioural and an epidemiological perspective by using qualitative and quantitative methods, respectively. Whatever the purpose, combining different methods may uncover contradictions or new ways of thinking about tobacco control. Sometimes this is the deliberate intent of a mixed method design, while sometimes a fresh perspective arises as a result of triangulating different methods and discovering that the results do not converge.
Qualitative researchers often describe this as initiation. We now turn to learning more about the different methods used in qualitative research and how they can be applied in the field. Bamberger, M. Integrating quantitative and qualitative research in development projects. Bryman, A. Quantity and quality in social research. Unwin Hyman, London, UK. Greene, J. Towards a conceptual framework for mixed-method evaluation designs.
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 11 3 , Tobacco smoking in central Sri Lanka: an ethnographic study of male urban young adults. Merriam, S. Qualitative research and case study applications in education. Patton, M. Qualitative research and evaluation methods 3 rd ed. Qualitative evaluation and research methods 2 nd ed. Complementarity A reason for combining research methods so that the findings from one method are elaborated, illustrated, or clarified by the findings of the other method. Conceptual Development One of the reasons for combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, so that methods are used in sequence for different stages of the research.
Expansion A reason for combining qualitative and quantitative research methods to increase the scope and breadth of the study. Extreme case sampling A means of selecting subjects who are far from the average or mean in their behaviour, so that particular insights into extreme cases will highlight factors and patterns less visible in other cases. Inductive approach An examination of data from a particular population to create understanding of more general social behaviour.
Initiation A fresh perspective that arises as a result of triangulating different methods and discovering that the results do not converge. Primary data Data collected directly from the subjects of the research. Purposeful sampling In qualitative research, intentionally choosing subjects so as to ensure representation of all important groups. Random sampling Sampling that ensures that every individual in the sampling frame has an equal chance of being selected.
Rich description Detailed descriptive data gathered in qualitative research. Rigour Thoroughness of method. Research is rigorous if the methods used have been carried out thoroughly and the results of the research can be accepted with confidence. Secondary data Written material such as reports, correspondence, or other materials that are relevant to the topic under study.
Triangulation The use of different research strategies to examine the same research question in order to verify findings or to identify biases. Examples include mixing methods, using different researchers, and collecting data from different sources. Triangulation is important for validating and improving confidence in research findings. Unit of analysis The subject s of the research. This may be the individual, family, group, or community, depending on the research focus.
List and define the different methods commonly used in qualitative research. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each defined method. Identify examples of how these different methods can be applied to tobacco control research. List the skills and training required for the qualitative researcher to carry out these methods.
Understand and demonstrate the concept of "the researcher as the instrument" in qualitative research. Understand and demonstrate the concept of triangulation. Name at least one example of a qualitative tobacco control research case study and the method s used. In the previous module you learned about the nature and definition of qualitative research.
In this module we will explore the most commonly used methods for carrying out qualitative research. Case Studies, including life histories. Mapping and other visual representation techniques. This module is designed to give you knowledge and understanding of each of these data collection methods, and to highlight their strengths and limitations. The observation method is used to describe a setting, the activities that occurred, the people who were there, and the meaning of what was seen. Researchers typically use all of their senses to record impressions and thoughts. Although observation usually involves some kind of direct contact, it can also be done remotely using photographs, video taping or audiotaping, provided permission has been granted.
It is uncommon, however, for observation to be used alone. Everyone is an observer of life. The difference between the general observations we make every day and the observations made by qualitative researchers is the systematic way in which the latter are organized. Observation takes place when researchers intentionally place themselves in a specific location to observe what happens around them. In some instances, researchers actually follow specific subjects to different locations for example, farmers going to their fields over a time period or observe an event as it unfolds.
The type of observation depends on the purpose of the research and the information needed to suit that purpose. As researchers become more knowledgeable about the setting and the subjects, more specific observations occur. An example in tobacco control research could be a team of researchers observing a group of teenagers smoking outside a school. The researchers build an understanding of the behaviour of different teenagers and the group dynamics by making progressively more detailed observations about their actions and roles in this setting. Other examples of using the observation method might be watching women in the fields in order to learn more about the role of women in tobacco farming, or observing compliance with anti-smoking bylaws in public buildings.
Participant observation : This requires researchers to study the setting through their own participation. As participant observers, they become a part of the group and are fully engaged in experiencing what those in the study group are experiencing. Most often, researchers as participants conduct casual and informal interviews while watching and recording what they see around them in order to increase their understanding. Participant observation is especially useful when researchers need to examine complex social relationships and intricate patterns of how people and groups interact.
In tobacco control research, this could involve going to the fields with farmers, accompanying tobacco smugglers, or watching law enforcement officials at work. It might also be useful for understanding basic values and behaviour patterns associated with particular activities.
For example, it could be used in situations where researchers are trying to understand what motivates certain groups to smoke or why they are involved in some aspect of tobacco farming, smuggling, or other activity. There is no hard and fast rule for how much researchers participate in the group. The level of participation will depend on the nature of the study and the desired outcomes, as well as the length of time it takes for the researchers to collect information unobtrusively, without influencing the behaviour of the group.
In some cases, there may be gender, language, social, or cultural factors that limit the participation of the researchers. Depending on the nature of the study, participant observation may take place over a long period of time. For example, it may be appropriate to observe changes as they unfold over the course of daily or even yearly life.
By sharing experience on a day-to-day basis, the researchers can gain a deep understanding and sensitivity to the subjects' world. This enhances their powers of interpretation and analysis, and helps them build the trust of the group that is being studied, so that information can be more easily accessed. Direct observation : This method consists of systematically observing and documenting something in its natural setting.
Video photography can be an asset in direct observation as long as it is not intrusive. In direct observation, researchers are silent observers and do not interact with the research subjects or the situation although interviews and conversations may also take place at a different time during the research period. Observation always occurs in normal, natural settings and contexts. Researchers watch while events unfold. Actions, conversations, and interactions usually continue without researchers intruding into the scene or activity. Observers do not intervene or deliberately influence the subjects in the study.
Researchers look for many things and describe the situation at many different levels. Researchers need to address ethical issues to ensure that participants have given permission to be observed. This also means protecting confidentiality if necessary or desired. More information on ethical issues is outlined in Module Four. Box 2: Case study examples of the use of observational methods in tobacco control research. Several studies have used observational methods to examine doctor-patient interactions regarding smoking.
Some used video technology to capture observations. For example, Willms et al used observational methods to examine physician smoking cessation counselling practices in Canada. The study compared what family doctors and patients said about health promotion messages delivered during patient visits to the doctor's office. Twelve doctors participated in interviews and focus groups as part of the study. In addition, the researchers undertook observation of doctor-patient interaction in four office settings. Each of the 98 patients included in the study were interviewed in their homes.
This paper is particularly helpful because it is written with an emphasis on describing the methods used. In a similar study carried out in the region of Leicestershire, UK, Coleman et al and Coleman and Murphy used video-recordings of doctors' consultations with smokers.
Doctors were shown the video prior to participating in a qualitative semi-structured interview, to enhance their recall of events surrounding the consultation. Using these methods, the researchers discovered that doctors knew that they should raise concerns with their smoking patients and thought they did so fairly frequently. In practice, however, they often did not bring the subject up unless the patients themselves did. The doctors justified this as being in the interest of "preserving good doctor-patient relationships and avoiding negative responses from patients.
In a similar study of smoking cessation counselling practices among a group of physicians in Nebraska, USA, McIlvain et al used a combination of direct observation of clinical encounters, chart reviews, and in-depth interviews. Lundberg used participant observation methods, together with ethnographic interviews, with 10 key informants and 16 general informants living in Uppsala, Sweden, to investigate the understanding and practices of health among Thai immigrant women married to Swedish men.
Smoking was one of several health-related behaviours explored. Lawn used a combination of qualitative interviews and observation of 24 mentally ill clients who smoke to examine the "smoking culture" within clinical and community environments, as well as the financial and social consequences of smoking in this population. Using observational methods in a non-clinical setting, Ammerman and Nolden recorded and compared all bus-stop-shelter billboard advertisements over a one-year period in two distinct San Francisco neighborhoods one predominantly white, the other predominantly Latino.
They analyzed the type of products advertised; the frequency and content of tobacco advertisements; and the possibility of adolescent exposure. Another example is a 5-year longitudinal study of tobacco, drug, and alcohol use in two remote Alaskan villages near the Bering Sea. Stillner et al recruited a panel of villagers comprising key informants in a wide variety of formal and informal leadership roles magistrates, school teachers, village police, mayors, council members, village health aides, parents, store clerks, city managers, native corporation leaders, public officials in village offices, and village elders.
This group became the "eyes and ears" of the research team, who met with members of the panel twice a year.
9.3 Making Your Quotes Fit
This data was complemented by a survey of Head Start parents, a limited records review, and participant observation in public and private settings conducted by members of the research team. The following table outlines some of the limitations of observation and suggests solutions for combating them. Have several researchers make observations at the same time; have researchers of different ages and gender make observations; use triangulation.
Questionable reliability because observations could be limited to a particular circumstance. Systematically repeat observations over varying conditions, times of day, or season. Observer may influence action subjects may behave differently because of being watched. Repeat observations; spend enough time integrating with the group or the community to reduce self-consciousness. Only external actions can be seen; the researcher cannot tell what people are thinking.
Mix with other methods such as interviews, which are designed to elicit thoughts and ideas. As can be seen, many of these limitations can be overcome or offset by experience and rigorous effort. It helps develop a deeper understanding of issues, practices, problems, and people. Researchers see things that they may not notice in normal time-bound social interaction. Researchers can examine previously held assumptions and see if they hold true in a natural setting. Researchers gain access to information that subjects may not talk about in interviews or other research situations.
This depends on the focus of the research, or the research question. However, the following guidelines are appropriate for many research situations:. Researchers should take specific notes on the physical environment. Researchers should use all of their senses to describe the setting sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. This might be a school, a workplace, a village, a farm, a bar, a private home. Researchers should describe and observe the social environment.
This means documenting the behaviour and interaction of different groups by gender, age, culture, race, and any other category or grouping that is meaningful to the tobacco control research topic. Of particular importance are decision-making patterns. In tobacco control research one might ask: Who offers someone a cigarette? Who accepts the offer? Who smokes first? If you are observing a group of smugglers or a black market sale, who is the leader?
How are decisions made?