The Quantitative/Qualitative Debate: Contrasting the Two Main Paradigms

BS2500 Introduction to Research Methods Module

1. Required

Write an essay that evaluates the arguments for and against each of the two main paradigms. The title of the essay is:  The Quantitative/Qualitative Debate: Contrasting the Two Main Paradigms

2. Guidance

Conduct a literature search of databases containing academic publications to look for relevant articles.

Base your essay on what you have read in 1) Research Methods for Business Students 3e Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, (2007). 2) Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2003) Business Research, (2nd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan and 3) the article you have found.

You must cite the sources of your ideas/information and all quotations using the Harvard system of referencing.

Your essay should not exceed 1,500 words in length (excluding the references).

3. Marking scheme


Explanation of the purpose of the assignment and definitions of terms.

Description of how you conducted your literature search.

(15 marks)

The debate

Description of the two main paradigms

Analysis of their strengths and weaknesses based on the literature (ie Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, and the articles you have found).

(60 marks)


Discussion of the conclusions that can be drawn from your analysis.

You should show the word count at the end of this section.

(20 marks)


An alphabetical list of all publications cited in the text.

(5 marks)

Key skills

This assessment will help you develop the following key skills:

Research skills


Collecting and collating information

Improve your learning performance

Harvard system of referencing