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How to Create a Focus Group for Your Research Paper

On education
Preparing yourself
Study Abroad



If you are reading this article, it means that you have reached the methodology section of your qualitative research paper, and you are getting ready to create a successful focus group for your research. However, have no fear! Educatly has got your back.


This is how to create a focus group that WORKS:

1. Why and when should you use a focus group as your methodology?

When there is a lack of information on the target audience, focus groups are typically used. The researcher can get more data in less time by using a focus group. When beliefs or views are conditional, or the area of concern involves more than one type of behavior or motive, focus groups can be very useful. You should always remember that focus groups aim to get people's views on a certain subject or product. Although surveys and questionnaires have their uses, they cannot reveal what an individual is really thinking or experiencing.


2. How many people should there be in a focus group?

The ideal number of participants to be in a focus group is around 8 to 12 participants. This way, the group will both be efficient and manageable. Of course, a moderator and notetaker should be in the group too. 


3. How to contact the focus group participants? 

The first step here is to determine the suitable people for this focus group and then ask yourself where these people spend their time. For example, if your research is about TikTok users then the best place to find them is on TikTok! Yes, that's right. 


What you need to do after that is to create an invitation in which you should introduce yourself, your team, your topic, and your plan for the focus group to the participants. Let them know what exactly will happen during their time with you. After that, you wait for their consent, let them know the time and the place of the session, wait for their confirmation, and then send them a confirmation email, text, or call. 


How to Create a Focus Group


4. Why should you always offer rewards to your participants?

The right question here is: Why would they waste 1 hour of their time participating in a focus group without having anything in return? Make sure to let them know in your invitation that you will offer a reward (and mention what it is). You can offer some food and refreshments; you can also offer coupon codes, gift cards, or anything that is affordable and appropriate. 


5. How do you organize your questions? 

At the beginning of the focus group session, you first want to introduce yourself and your team. Let them know that someone will be taking notes and that the session is being recorded. After that, let each one of the participants introduce themselves, their profession, and whatever questions that might be relevant to the session.


What you want to do next, as the moderator, is to start asking your questions and let each one of them answer in order. The notetaker should be writing or narrating what is being said during the session in the same order. When you finish all the questions, thank them and offer them the rewards. 


6. How do you write down the gathered data? 

When it’s all over, you’ll be left with the notes and a recording or video of the session. You’ll need to write down the results and answers in the same order as the questions. The easiest way to do that is to write each question and each participant's answers below it. You might even want to listen to the recording one more time to make sure that you didn't forget any mentioned points.


After that, you’ll be able to write your discussion and the results in your research paper! Don’t forget to sign up to Educatly, and browse through our blog posts to learn more about education and studying abroad!


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