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Report writing 101 – Quantitative research

When doing any writing, for a report, presentation, research paper or post, we have different ways to analyze our subject. We can use qualitative analysis, the how and why of the subject. And we can also use quantitative analysis, the use of measurements.

So to continue on my example of wedding days, lets do some quantitative research.

  • What number of people get married in 2007?
  • What number of people get married on Saturday as opposed to any other day of the week?
  • What are the percentages of people getting married each day of the week
  • How many people attend the average wedding?
  • What is the largest wedding every held?
  • What is the largest number of people ever married at one time?
  • Which month of the year has the most weddings?
  • Has the price for weddings kept steady when adjusted for inflation?
  • Has the price of wedding dresses remained stable for the past 10 years?
  • Do people spend the same or more for engagement rings and wedding rings then they did 10 years ago?

All of this questions can be answered with a measure. A number, a percentage, a chart, a graph or some other form of data. Feelings and emotions drive why those numbers are what they are, and we research that with qualitative research and qualitative analysis. But the numbers and facts and figures we measure and analyze with quantitative analysis and quantitative reporting.

So whip out that ruler and start measuring for that wedding day.

Report writing 101 – Qualitative research

When you are doing research for a paper, project or post on a particular subject, you have to decide how you will look at them subject and the information you gather and from there the conclusions you draw. What you draw in your mind compared to what your reader interprets in a matter of your writing style and their comprehension of the subject matter. Explain a complex theory in simple terms and anyone can understand it. Will an expert on the material gain any benefit or insight? No, and that is why you also need to keep your target reader, your audience, in mind.

When we look at a subject, for example – wedding day parties – and we want to do qualitative research, we would focus on the how and why of wedding days.

Why do people have a wedding day? Do they do it for moral, religious, spiritual or family reasons? Is their wedding day one of obligation, service or duty, or something they want to do to carry on traditions, share the moment with friends and family?

Is it a custom to have the brides family for breakfast and then more for lunch and a larger party for dinner? The custom is the why and the actual activities are the how, the second part of our qualitative analysis.

How do people have a wedding day? Do they spend it at home with family and friends, go to a church and then a small cake and punch at the church reception room? A church, then limo to the 1st National Bank for awesome portrait pictures they will cherish the rest of their lives, then take the limo to a hall where they have a wine and cheese hour followed by a wonderful reception with music and a string band, that their friends and family will remember for years? Do they get on an airplane and go to Las Vegas and get married at the Little White Wedding Chapel? How to they make their wedding day?