Describe the key elements of a theory for qualitative research (one paragraph).

This is the second of the four assignments that will help you prepare for writing qualitative research proposals. For this assignment, you will write a paper about research theory that supports the research topic you developed in the Week 4 assignment.

In this assignment, you will use research theory to demonstrate how the proposed study:

  • Provides intended outcomes that could have practical implications that could be used by the stakeholders of the research.
  • Contributes to the qualitative research knowledge base.
  • Addresses something that is not known, something that is new or different from prior research, extends prior research, or fills a gap in the existing literature.
    • An analysis of any theoretical implications that the proposed study may have for understanding phenomena.
    • A description of the practical implications that may result from the research.


Write a paper that reflects the research theory that supports the research topic and qualitative research for a proposed study. Use the Week 6 Assignment Template [DOCX] to structure your paper. In your paper:

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  • Describe the key elements of a theory for qualitative research (one paragraph).
  • Explain how the theory supports the proposed study and/or understanding of the research topic (1–2 paragraphs).
  • Describe how the practical implications resulting from the research could be used by stakeholders of the research (1–2 paragraphs).
  • Support your assignment with appropriate academic sources and include both citations and references in current APA format. Use 5–7 scholarly resources published with the past three years by recognized academic sources.


Your assignment should also meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Length of paper: Meets the structure provided in the assignment instructions.
  • Resources: 5–7 scholarly resources. Include a reference page at the end of the paper.
  • APA guidelines: Double-spaced paragraph formatting in the body of the paper. When appropriate, use APA-formatted headings. Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and format. See Evidence and APA for more information on APA style and format.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Your Work will be evaluated using this criteria.


Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assignment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Evaluate the characteristics, purposes, benefits, strengths, and weaknesses of qualitative research methods.
    • Present key elements of a theory for qualitative research.
  • Competency 3: Assess the scientific merit of research.
    • Evaluate the specific, practical implications that may result from a research study that can be used by any of the following stakeholders: the population being studied, professionals for whom this topic pertains, and/or the wider community itself.
    • State how the proposed study would contribute to the qualitative research knowledge base.
  • Competency 4: Describe methods for data collection and analysis.
    • Develop a rationale on how theory supports the proposed research.
  • Competency 6: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with the expectations for members in the identified field of study.
    • Convey purpose in an appropriate tone and style, incorporating supporting evidence and adhering to organizational, professional, and scholarly writing standards.Description: CU_Horiz_RGB Assignment: Developing a Research Topic for Qualitative Studies






      Learner’s Name

      Capella University

      XXX_7868 – Qualitative Design and Analysis

      Instructor Name

      Quarter, Year





      Impact of Digital age in the daily lives of individuals

      Modern society has experienced continuous changes, often at the same rate at which technology is evolving. The development of the digital age, described as the information age that started in 1970, began with introducing the personal computer among other technology innovations that followed, which gained huge applications among contemporary society. The impacts range from social, economic, and political aspects of our lives, whereby it usually has the potential to either improve and reshape the environment or make it worse if left unregulated.

      Topic Background

      Despite the wide application of technology within the digital age society, it has often brought widespread impacts on society, including negative and positive influences. Some of the effects include an impact on the way individuals communicate, learn, and think within the contemporary society. The issue on the weight of the merits and demerits has often been the point of contention between a variety of scholars and especially with an increase in the application of the internet within the society whereby in America, as an example, an average of 88-99% of the adult population is described as being active internet users (Joshi et al., 2018). Hence, the study aims to analyze qualitative data from various sources and subsequently come up with a theoretical framework to support the advantages of technology within contemporary society.

      Topic Rationale

      Computers have had immense contributions to society, for example, improvement of the efficiency of the healthcare services and other technologies that made lives of individuals more comfortable such as vehicles and entertainment systems that were more developed (Sutton, 2013 p.6). Subsequently, technology has enhanced the delivery and access to education, whereby different modes of accessibility through virtual platforms have been developed for access even with students far from libraries and physical classrooms. However, some negative attributes have often emerged as a result of the spread of technology, including loss of privacy and an increase in the level and rate of moral decay. Subsequently, technology is linked with the development of a wide variety of psychological and health problems among the youth due to the elements of isolation and exposure to verbal and other forms of abuse available through the use of social media and other communication platforms (Younes & Al-Zoubi, 2015 p.83). However, the most prevalent issue that has often been underplayed involves social disconnect, whereby technology has adversely affected the level of social engagement during communication (Bonev, 2017).

      Research questions

      Ethnographic approaches: What crucial needs in your daily lives do you rely on technology for help?

      Case study: What aspects of your daily lives have been made easier through the use of technology?

      Grounded theory: Name at least three elements in your life that has been most affected during the digital age.

      Phenomenology: What could you described as the most significant shifts in our daily processes ever since the introduction of technology during the start of the digital age.

      Generic qualitative inquiry: What is your view on the impact of technology within contemporary society regarding the social, political, and economic aspects of your life?

      Suitability of each methodological approach with the research questions

      Ethnographic approaches

      The ethnographic approaches usually take a cultural route towards analyzing the research topic whereby people are observed within their cultural setting with the aim being to establish a relationship between the theoretical framework and that particular culture or natural environments mostly within their habitat (Morgan-Trimmer & Wood, 2016). The ethnographic questions established for the research study aim to necessitate the observation of individuals within their daily life environments and subsequently come up with a list of some of the most common technology applications, including communication, assistance in locomotion, and task completion. This notion helps shed light on the application of the research questions findings in answering the questions.

      Grounded Theory

      The grounded theory approach mainly aims at developing theories through a series of inductive methods during a qualitative study. The question described as a way of creating a grounded theory provides an open-ended answer provision for participants hence providing the researchers with a wide range of information necessary to create a theory based on a pattern identified from the responses. Thus, by asking what the impact of the digital age on an individual’s life’s patterns is, there is a wide range of approaches and responses available for a participant since it does not specify any particular responses and reactions that should be taken into consideration when answering. However, restricting the responses to only three increases the weight of the answers hence laying a platform for the development of the theory.


      Unlike the grounded theory, the phenomenological approach to qualitative studies focuses on studying experiences individuals have undergone within their lifetime (Neubauer, Witkop & Varpio, 2019). The question related to the phenomenological approach supports the development of an overview of some of the most significant impacts technology has brought to the world through the lens of individuals who have lived through the changes, hence learning from others’ experiences.

      Generic qualitative research approach

      On the other hand, this approach mainly focuses on the description of the experience of people and how people experience what they experience. Generally, the research approach seeks to understand the investigated topic’s perspectives and worldviews (Bellamy et al., 2016, p.671). The choice of the question in regards to the methodological approach seeks to draw more information about the participants on their perceived impact on the society to identify a shared perspective about a phenomenon, which in this case is the perceived impact of the digital age on the daily activities of participants who represent the general society. Subsequently, the question does not limit participants to the amount of information they can contribute towards the research study.


      Bellamy, K., Ostini, R., Martini, N., & Kairuz, T. (2016). Erratum to: Seeking to understand: using generic qualitative research to explore access to medicines and pharmacy services among resettled refugees. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy38(3), 671-675.

      Bonev, A. (2017). The impact of the digital age on human engagement. Medium.

      Joshi, S. V., Stubbe, D., Li, S. T., & Hilty, D. M. (2019). Correction to: The use of technology by youth: Implications for psychiatric educators. Academic Psychiatry43(4), 466-466.

      Morgan-Trimmer, S., & Wood, F. (2016). undefined. Trials17(1).

      Sutton, B. (2013). The Effects of Technology in Society and Education [Master’s thesis].

      Younes, M. B., & Al-Zoubi, S. (2015). The Impact of Technologies on Society: A Review. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science20(2), 82-86.