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Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Characteristics and Comparison Descriptive Essay

Quantitative research is the systematic experimental study of social phenomena using scientific, statistical or mathematical and computational procedures.

Measurement forms the backbone of quantitative research since it offers a link between empirical examination and mathematical expression of relationships. The main objective in this design is developing and using mathematical models, hypotheses and theories in relation to phenomena.

Qualitative research is the process of gathering data based on the importance of observations through a systematic, thorough inquiry into a problem, situation or a society with the aim of generating new facts or authenticating the existing knowledge.

In this research the phenomena under study are hard to measure mathematically such as attitudes, beliefs, meanings, attributes and culture. Therefore, it is the analysis, assessment and interpretation of observations in determining the fundamental significance and nature of phenomena, relationships and units without using mathematical models.

Characteristics of quantitative research Methods and measurements

Quantitative research uses several methods such as surveys and questionnaires, experiments in case controlled studies as well as tracking and cohort studies. Surveys and questionnaires enable the researchers to place numerical values on opinions or attributes. Experiments in case controlled studies enable one to control environmental factors under study.

Cohort studies involve placing people of the same characteristics in a cohort and then measuring the changes in comparison to the control, group. Basically this design is based on numbers and figures that are less in-depth but broad in information on a number of cases. The responses for the data have fixed options for instance in questionnaires.

Use of statistics

Quantitative research applies statistical tests and methods such as data collection, data recording, and formulation of hypothesis which is based on theories. Causal relationships are also established using mathematical tools. Correlation analysis for instance is mostly applied in measuring causality.

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Quantitative research offers experimental effects that are interpreted by the researchers of a situation, problem or project. This is mainly because it is based on facts obtained from surveys or interviews or questionnaires from the respondents. Additionally, in this design the research is independent of what is being researched. The findings of the research can be valid and accurate depending on the instrument or measurement device being used.


Quantitative research involves a confirmatory or “top down” scientific technique which is used primarily for explanation, description, and prediction. A deductive procedure is used to test pre-stated models, constructs, and hypotheses that forms the structure of a theory

Characteristics of qualitative research Design strategies

Qualitative research uses naturalistic inquiry, emergent design flexibility and purposeful sampling. Naturalistic inquiry involves having no predetermined limitations on findings and studying the real situations as they occur without controlling them.

Emergent design flexibility involves being open to adjusting inquiry as situations change or get deeper. Purposeful sampling involves selecting population that is rich in information like cultures, communities, events, organizations and so on to get the insight of the phenomenon.

Data collection and fieldwork strategies

Qualitative research focuses on personal experience and engagement, qualitative data, mindfulness and emphatic neutrality, dynamic systems and an inside view with an objective mind. These are necessary to ensure in-depth information which is objective and valid is obtained even in sensitive circumstances.


Qualitative research uses methods like focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, ethnography, observation and review of documents on the theme. The information is text based and has greater detailed information based on few cases. The responses do not have fixed options since they can be structured or semi-structured.


Facts in this design are based on the description of a problem or situation according to those experiencing it. Therefore the validity, precision and reliability of the data rely on the skill or expertise of the researcher and the willingness and reliability of the source.

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Qualitative and quantitative research differ in a number of ways including; methods of data collection and fieldwork strategies, nature of data collected, design strategies as well as situations in which they can be used.

Qualitative research is used in complex situations that require deep and qualitative data. It is also applicable in abstract situations like studying culture and behavior in which case cannot be quantified.

However, these two designs more often than not serve to complement one another. Qualitative research can be seen as the precursor of quantitative research because it produces probable guides and innovations to formulate a practical and testable hypothesis. The hypothesis can then be expansively tested and scientifically examined, through standard quantitative research techniques.

Slavery in To Kill a Mockingbird Novel Explicatory Essay

Nursing Assignment Help Table of Contents Introduction

The Theme of Slavery in To Kill a Mockingbird

Was Tom Robinson a Slave?

Plot Analysis


Works Cited

Introduction To Kill a Mockingbird book was published in 1960 and is based on a true story and explains the events that took place in the writer’s hometown in the late 1930s. It is a classic book that captivates the reader with the unique flow of the story bringing out the author’s emotions. The book became an instant hit due to its perfect combination of humor and remorse in the narration and received multiple positive reviews.

The narrator of the story is a young girl named Scout Finch, who lives with her father, Atticus Finch, in Maycomb, Alabama. He is a lawyer by profession. She has only one brother called Jem. Throughout the story, Scout portrays her father as a hero and a role model in maintaining integrity in the legal profession (Johnson 6).

The Theme of Slavery in To Kill a Mockingbird The book brings out specific themes, such as roles of gender, education, racism, courage, and destruction. The primary idea in the book is the issue of black slavery and the attempt to abolish it. Slavery is more depicted through racial prejudice. The main characters in the novel are said to live in the southern area of the United States of America (Roden 45).

The South Americans practiced racism as opposed to the inhabitants in the north. The southern territory supported the use of slaves to provide free labor in their large cotton plantations as opposed to the northern state who had declared the practice illegal.

However, the southerners were faced with a dilemma of maintaining their Christian morals on the one hand and retaining the slaves on the other (Tolstoy 43). The ‘negroes,’ as the Southerners referred them, were valuable during this period of the Great Depression.

To balance their Christianity beliefs and their material needs, they declared the Negroes as being in-humans who were inferior to society. This justified their role as slaves and the reason why they could not be treated equally according to Christianity (McCarty 23).

Was Tom Robinson a Slave? The author introduces a character Tom Robinson who represents the slaves in the South (Lee and Bloom 12). Tom is accused of rape, and Atticus acts as his lawyer.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More He worked as a slave in Mr. Link Deas’s farm. He had been accused of raping a white lady, Mayella, in the pretense of helping her. Racial discrimination was evident during the cross-examination when Tom told the court that he felt pity for the white lady who seemed lonely. The statement is said to shock the audience as it was not usual for a black Negro to feel any remorse towards a white person.

The narrator can bring out the hardships the slaves go through during the trial of Tom (Bloom 63). They are depicted as liars and criminals with no chance of being justifiably heard. Atticus defends Tom with all his might by reminding the jury that there was no difference between the black and white men in the court of law and that they should be fair in their verdict.

Tom is, however, found guilty despite his strong defense. Atticus does not display any shock at the outcome, and he states that he expected the jury not to rule in favor of Tom as he was a black Negro. Tom is finally shot dead by prison guards in his attempt to escape from prison.

Plot Analysis The introduction of Tom by the author is a plot device to represent the plight of the slaves in the state. Tom is black and in a crippled state. He has been convicted before for engaging himself in a fight and being unable to pay up a fine. This is an indication that the slaves in To Kill a Mockingbird were poor. He had severely injured his arm on the farm while working on the cotton gin machine.

It should be noted that this machine was used primarily by slaves in cotton fields. Tom’s character depicts the hardships that the slaves underwent. The injured arm plays a vital role in acting as an emblem to portray negligence over the slaves by the whites.

The decision by the jury, despite the strong defense, is also an indication that the slaves had no chance against the whites. Lastly, Tom’s death portrays how the slaves were killed for no apparent reason. This is due to the fact that they were not considered humans at all by the whites.

However, the author brings out another side of the black people as opposed to the whites. They are generous and do not seem to discriminate. One incidence is the fact that Tom befriends the lonely white woman and even offers to help her on several occasions.

We will write a custom Essay on Slavery in To Kill a Mockingbird Novel specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More The other incidence is the fact that the black people in the courtroom stand up to pave the way for Atticus as a sign of respect for his effort to set Tom free. The whites, on the other hand, seem to hold a grudge towards Atticus for representing a black man in court and trying to uphold justice in the court.

Conclusion The author brings out slavery in To Kill a Mockingbird in a brilliant manner though her excellent narration style. She tells the story as an innocent child observer in an adult based situation hence embedding the scene in the reader’s mind. Not only does the author portrays her father as a hero but also her hatred towards the practice of slavery. Her only wish is for justice to be served equally to both the blacks and the whites.

Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Harper Lee’s To Kill a mockingbird. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2007. Print.

Johnson, Claudia. Understanding To Kill a mockingbird: a student casebook to issues, sources, and historic documents. United States: The Greenwood Press, 1994. Print.

Lee, Harper and Bloom, Harold. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010. Print.

McCarty, Lisa. To kill a Mockingbird. USA: Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2006. Print.

Roden, Donald. Harper Lee’s To Kill a mockingbird. London: Barnes