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Masters Thesis based on qualitative research


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Howdy,

 

How detailed should a social science Masters Thesis Proposal be? 

 

I am conducting a qualitative study on which I plan to base my Masters Thesis. In my understanding, qualitative research tends to be 'inductive' (rather than deductive like in quantitative) and very participant based, very exploratory, more concerned with "how" rather than proving a hypothesis (But I do feel my study is somewhat "if" oriented anyway).  I plan to adapt my pre-existing qualitative study proposal to be my Thesis proposal. But I feel the qualitative study proposal was pretty open ended, in part because of the nature of the methods, and I'm wondering how much more detailed I should try to make the Thesis.

 

My committee already knows that I am extending out my qualitative study to my Thesis, and they are aware of my qualitative study topic. So everything seems fine there. 

 

I'm thinking that if anyone here can ask me some clarifying questions, that might help me to clarify for myself how to proceed. Sorry I can't be more specific, I'm protecting the topic.

 

Thanks!

Edited by Coconut Water
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Being more inductive doesn't really have to do with being detailed or in-depth or whatever. If you are basing all your research on qualitative analysis, the inductive method is to develop a theory based on your underlying qualitative data and the specific observations therein.

 

I don't know what your discipline is like, but you definitely need to develop an original theory. Without a theory or hypothesis, it's not really a thesis but rather more of an analysis or report. 

 

So for example, say that your research is based on surveys. You would look over your survey transcripts and/or data and begin to develop a testable theory based on that material. Then you would use X methods/evidence/case studies at your disposal in order to prove that thesis. 

 

Qualitative methods can result in just as rigorous hypotheses and support of those theories as quantitative methods, it's just a different process of how you get there. That being said, it's entirely possible to use qualitative methods but a deductive process as well, neither approach is set in stone. 

Edited by victorydance
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I think you need to read some books on qualitative research design and methodology. It would really help you understand what goes in a qualitative thesis/dissertation and how to get yourself there. 

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