I have been doing qualitative research for four years and I have realized that it is harder than I thought. Over the past few years, my confusions have been:

  1. What are differences between theory, theoretical frameworks, conceptual frameworks?

  2. Do we need a theory in a qualitative research? When I read publications, I imagine that if I removed the theory, I could have found same findings/themes though. What is the theory for?

  3. Both inductive approach and thematic analysis are to develop themes. Why do we have to call them by two different terms?

  4. There are so many terms in qualitative research: inductive/deductive approach, content analysis, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, etc. Could we just ignore all of them and do our job?

  5. In short, what should be a "good way" to do qualitative research? How many things should we prepare for a qualitative research?

If you also have same questions, you have arrived the right place. In this post, I will share all of my understandings towards qualitative research assembled from my research, frustration, confusion, and books that I have read to help me answer those questions.