Participant Observations: Choosing Your Observation Methods Worksheet

Research Writing: Research Process

Practice with this Participant Observations Worksheet to get familiar with selecting groups to observe for specific research questions and evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of different methods. By completing 10 exercises, you can improve your research writing through a better understanding on conducting this type of primary research.
Participant Observations: Choosing Your Observation Methods

Instructions

For each of the exercises below, follow the instructions in each exercise to work through the process of creating research questions and making decisions about different types of participant observations.

  • Think of a research question that could be studied using a descriptive participant observation. Write the research question and the ideal group to observe in the below space.

  • What are the benefits of using a descriptive observation in the situation you wrote as a response to exercise #1?

  • What are the drawbacks of using a descriptive observation in the situation you wrote as a response to exercise #1?

  • Think of a research question that could be studied using a focused participant observation. Write the research question and the ideal group to observe in the below space.

  • What are the benefits of using a focused observation in the situation you wrote as a response to exercise #3?

  • What are the drawbacks of using a focused observation in the situation you wrote as a response to exercise #3?

  • Think of a research question that could be studied using a selective participant observation. Write the research question and the ideal group to observe in the below space.

  • What are the benefits of using a selective observation in the situation you wrote as a response to exercise #7?

  • What are the drawbacks of using a selective observation in the situation you wrote as a response to exercise #7?

  • Choose one of the research questions from questions from exercise #1, #4 or #7. What do you think would be an ideal level of participation given the research question and the group you would observe? Explain your answer.