A quantitative research paper is a type of paper that is usually written for a class at some level of education, but it can also be written for publication in a scholarly journal. The quantitative paper is usually written in a scientific manner, and it frequently involves the use of the scientific method and experimentation to gather data. This information is then processed, analyzed, and translated into usable knowledge, which is also discussed and demonstrated in the paper. A quantitative research paper can be used in almost any field or area of study as long as the process involves the generation of raw, usually numerical, data that is then compiled into some final understanding.
In general, two types of information are used in the preparation of a research paper, and the type of information used in the final paper will often indicate the type of research conducted. Quantitative observations or information and qualitative observations are the two types of data. Qualitative data does not usually deal with specific numbers and values, but rather with vague degrees of change or comprehension. Qualitative data, which is information that describes the quality of something rather than precise values, is usually denoted descriptive words like “hot” or “cold” or “many people in the test group.”
Quantitative data or information that directly relates to numerical values and quantities discovered through research or experimentation is used in a quantitative research paper. Rather than general indicators, this type of data will include specific values such as “35° F (about 1.7° C)” or “300° F (almost 150° C)” or “72 percent of the test group.” Such data is typically gathered through scientific processes and research, and may also include data collection through experimentation.
This is why a quantitative research paper frequently employs the scientific method. Because precise numbers are frequently used, it is common to form and test a hypothesis through experimentation, which is then interpreted and presented in a quantitative research paper. While this isn’t always the case, using the scientific method to investigate a problem forming a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis to generate real data, and then analyzing the data to support or refute the hypothesis is fairly common.
A quantitative research paper is commonly written for science classes, but it can also be written for social sciences, language studies, ethnographic courses, and even a student in a history or art class. A student of art, for example, might want to reconsider the art style known as pointillism. If he or she used quantitative data to calculate the average number of dots used in a square inch (about 2.5 cm) of canvas in a famous pointillism painting, the result would almost certainly be a quantitative research paper.