Sample Education Paper on Ethnographic Research Methods and Focus Group Discussions

Using Ethnographic Research Methods and Conducting Focus Group Discussions

Prompt 1

A focus group discussion is one of the qualitative research methods applied when a researcher seeks to undertake an in-depth analysis of an issue led by a skilled moderator. A random selection of participants is critical to ensure that the results are valid, reduce biases, and provide comprehensive insights into discussions (Calder, 1977). Providing incentives to participants to encourage their active engagement is another aspect of consideration. Recording the discussions in both video and audio formats for ease of reference at future dates is essential. The video record will help in establishing the non-verbal communication made during the discussions.  Audibility is another critical aspect of enhancing the quality of discussions and helping participants to get the details with clarity. The moderator is required to ensure audibility by testing the available equipment like microphones. Demonstrating leadership skills during the focus group discussions by using provocative questions is vital. This is mainly for participants that seem quiet or shy to speak, by seeking their opinion on the air freshener product and how to make it accessible to all the potential consumers. I will ensure that the participants adhere to the topic of discussion and that one person speaks at a time to increase audibility.

Scenario 2

Ethnographic methods examine real-life situations. Through observation, interviewing, and experience mapping, the teenagers’ frequency of visiting the library to use computers can be monitored (Quible, 1998). Observing the students’ patterns inside the library will help identify their reading trends, such as the preference for celebrity magazines and journals. Getting their user experience feedback through interviews will help in the practical arrangement of the library resources.



Calder, B. (1977). Focus Groups and the Nature of Qualitative Marketing Research. Journal of

Marketing Research14(3), 353-364. DOI: 10.1177/002224377701400311

Quible, Z. (1998). A Focus on Focus Groups. Business Communication Quarterly61(2), 28-38.

DOI: 10.1177/108056999806100205