Answered By: Jon Allinder
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2023     Views: 81440

You can find qualitative articles by searching in the Library databases using methodology terms as keywords. Possible keywords include the type of study, data analysis type, or terminology used to describe the results.

Example keywords for qualitative studies
  • Action research
  • Case study
  • Content analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Ethnographic
  • Focus group
  • Grounded theory
  • Interview
  • Narrative
  • Observational
  • Phenomenological


The following search uses our multi-database search tool to find examples of qualitative research studies. However, you can use any article or dissertation database for your search.

  1. On the Library homepage, type your general term in the main search box, and click search:

  2. Sign in with your Walden credentials if prompted. 
  3. Type more methodology terms in the first search box, with the word OR between the terms. Use as many alternative terms as are relevant to your search. Use the remaining search box(es) to narrow your search to a specific topic of interest. 
  4. Click on the Search button.

Here is an example of a search set up: 

First search box:

qualitative OR ethnograph* OR phenomen*

Second search box:

post-traumatic stress disorder OR PTSD



Many articles and dissertations will use methodology terms in the abstract or title. To make sure that you have an example of a qualitative study, be sure to look at the methodology section in the full text. This will provide detailed information about the methodology used.


Database Search Tips:

  • Connect similar terms with OR to tell the database to search for any of these terms.
  • Use the asterisk (*) at the end of a root word to search for different endings. The database will search for the part of the word you typed before the asterisk, along with any possible endings for the word. Using ethnograph* tells the database to search for ethnography, ethnographic, etc.
  • Some methodologies are rarely used for some research topics. You may need to broaden your search topic to find a study that uses your methodology.
  • To find more results, change the Select a Field (optional) drop-down menu to TX All Text. This is especially helpful when searching for a very specific type of study design.
  • Placing words in quotation marks tells the database to search for the words as a complete phrase, instead of as individual words. For example: 

First search box:

"grounded theory"

Change the drop-down box from Select a field (optional) to TX All Text.




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