Qualitative research: Defining features and guiding principles

  • Md. Saiful Alam Department of English, World University of Bangladesh, Uttara Sector 17H, Dhaka 1230, Bangladesh
  • Adelina Asmawi Department of Language and Literacy Education, Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
Ariticle ID: 1262
187 Views, 91 PDF Downloads
Keywords: generalizability; transferability; triangulation; data saturation; member checking; qualitative method; credibility


In the present age and time, there has been a research explosion, thus, a huge diversity in research and methods. Defining, characterizing, specializing, and isolating major and minor research and methodology diversity is very significant. Qualitative research, for example, is one of the two major research approaches. However, what makes qualitative research qualitative or what is qualitative in qualitative research is a crucial question for understanding qualitative research. This is especially true for novices in the field of qualitative research who depart with this fundamental question. Scholarly attention is, therefore, needed to address this question. Noticeably, there is scanty literature on a substantial overview that captures the unique features of qualitative research. This paper aims to present a literature survey of the defining characteristics and guiding principles of qualitative research. The authors have extensive experience in qualitative research. Based on their review, the paper outlines the commonly shared characteristics of qualitative research. In the current landscape of resulting research diversity, the highlights on the overview of qualitative research in the present paper are particularly pertinent especially for novice researchers entering the field.


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How to Cite
Alam, M. S., & Asmawi, A. (2024). Qualitative research: Defining features and guiding principles. Forum for Education Studies, 2(2), 1262. https://doi.org/10.59400/fes.v2i2.1262