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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > July 2016 > Research tips: Group focus

Research tips: Group focus

Careful planning and the right questions will help you get the best answers from a focus group, says research expert Tarja Moles

Focus groups are used in qualitative research and they tend to comprise six to ten people who are asked about their views, beliefs and attitudes towards a specific product, service, concept or idea. The discussion is led by a moderator who steers the participants through a set of predetermined questions while making sure that the conversation remains interactive and free-flowing.

You might want to include focus groups in your research toolkit, for example, if you want to know several people’s opinions about something: it’s quicker to conduct a focus group than interview each person individually. If you are a novel writer, you could benefit from getting a group of your beta readers together to discuss your unpublished novel before you submit your manuscript to agents and/or publishers.

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