A narrative research paper, according to Colorado State University writing department experts, is a research paper in which a researcher obtains material to subsequently communicate in a storytelling fashion. Investigating the life of an author who resided in your town for many years may also be a good topic. This type of paper tends to be more conversational in nature and includes descriptions that appeal more to the reader's sense than analysis or argument.
In contrast, an analytical paper presents information gathered through systematic research processes used by scientists in order to make conclusions about a subject. The information must be analyzed and interpreted before a conclusion can be reached. Examples of topics for analytical papers include scientific studies, surveys, experiments, and case reports. An academic writer should be aware of these differences when planning how to structure this kind of paper.
The first thing to understand about narratives is that they are stories. They begin with a plot point (the turning point in the story where things change dramatically), and each section of the paper should have a clear goal that will help the reader understand what will happen next. A narrative paper might discuss several issues within its scope but it should still follow a basic storyline - something that starts with a problem or issue that is then solved or resolved over time.
These are just some examples of topics that could be investigated using narrative research papers.
Narrative research, in addition to life history, encompasses methodologies such as life-story research, oral history, biography, personal experience methods, and narrative inquiry. These methods are used by social scientists as well as historians to explore how people make sense of their lives and their relationships to other people and events.
Examples of narrative research include but are not limited to: interviews with individuals or groups of people about their experiences over time; studies of how people organize information into stories or narratives; analyses of historical documents (such as letters, reports, or memoirs) that tell stories about the past; and studies using narrative techniques (such as storytelling or dramatization) to explore issues in the present.
In addition to these specific methods, all qualitative research is narrative in nature. That is, it is based on the study of patterns within large data sets, and tries to make sense of what has been observed. It is also possible to use quantitative methods within a qualitative framework (e.g., focus groups), or vice versa (e.g., statistical analysis of historical sources). Finally, some scholars have suggested that quantification may be used to "narrate" data sets without interpreting results from statistical tests or models as complete stories about the subjects being studied.
In the narrative inquiry tradition, narrative research is a qualitative research approach. Narrative inquiry arose from social constructionism and the story shift, which alerted narrative researchers to the significance of tales and the concept that stories shape people's lives. Like other qualitative approaches, narrative research is focused on describing and explaining how individuals or groups think, feel, act, and interact.
Narrative research as a methodology is distinct from other qualitative research methods in several important ways. First, narrative research is not interested in testing theories but in understanding human behavior by looking at examples of what people do and why they do it. Second, narrative research tries to tell complete stories rather than merely summarize evidence from multiple sources. This means that narratives are not just descriptions but also interpretations of events based on interviews with participants or other sources. Third, narrative research is not interested in finding general laws but in understanding unique cases. As one narrative theorist put it, "narratives are not statistical samples; they are singular, complex objects that cannot be reduced to their constituent parts."
Finally, narrative research is not a single method but a family of related techniques for analyzing stories that include analysis of themes, plots, structure, setting, characters, symbolism, and so on.
Narrative research as a methodology is useful for studying many topics in psychology and sociology.