Essay: Inductive and Deductive Approaches to Research

Sample Essay

Inductive Approach

The inductive approach is one that is based on the extensive and in depth analysis of a case that may appear to be of minor relevance if it were to be considered in isolation but serves as an integral part of the bigger picture pertaining to the research subject (Hatch 2002). By doing so, the inductive approach allows the research to proceed in a manner such that it initiates by taking observations and making assessments of a seemingly unimportant case and evaluates the observations and assessments in light of the bigger picture at hand (Denzin and Lincoln 2003). The process of moving from a specification to a generalization therefore forms the gist of the process and facilitates the research in reaching a conclusion.

Deductive Approach

The deductive approach, which is otherwise commonly referred to as the top-down approach, is one that has a converging orientation in terms of its application and subsequent progress (Nance 2008). In the deductive approach, the research initiates through the formulation of a broad theory that is eventually condensed to form a precise hypothesis. This hypothesis is then tested for its authenticity through the analysis of acquired and recorded observations.

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