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The How To of Qualitative Research

The How To of Qualitative Research

Second Edition
Additional resources:

December 2021 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book will support you through each milestone of your research project with step-by-step instructions to doing qualitative research.

Whatever type of data or data collection method you use, it will help you to navigate the nuts and bolts of qualitative research, from forming your research question to effectively writing up.

Your roadmap and toolbox all in one, it helps you choose the best research tools for your project while managing any challenges you might encounter along the way. It includes:

·       Guidance on putting different research designs into practice, including using technology for interviews, data management, and unobtrusive research
·       Practical mapping tools, including checklists and quick tips
·       Online case studies and further reading to deepen your knowledge and expand your bibliography
·       Advice from experts on how to design and implement excellent qualitative research, including considerations of ethical issues.

This book is the perfect companion for social sciences students carrying out their first qualitative research project.
Part I: Jump Starting Your Qualitative Research Project
Chapter 1: Introduction: From Why to How in Qualitative Research
What is Qualitative Research?

A pragmatic approach to qualitative research: What this book is (and is not) about

Chapter 2: How to Conceptualize Research: Getting Started and Advancing Ongoing Projects
Step One: Selecting a topic

Step Two: How to Use the Literature to Conceptualize

Step Three: Take a step back

Chapter 3: How to Design a Qualitative Project: Selecting the Right Tools for the Job
Step One: Develop Research Question(s)

Step Two: Connecting Research Question(s) to Methods

Step Three: Developing a sampling strategy

Chapter 4: Taking a Step Back: How to Build Methodological and Ethical Integrity into your Research
Step One: Feasibility and fit

Step Two: Trustworthiness

Step Three: Sample size and saturation

Step Four: Ethical considerations

Part II: The Ins and Outs of Collecting Qualitative Data
Chapter 5: How to Do Interviews: Making What People Say Matter
Step One: Types of interviews

Step Two: Method of interviewing

Step Three: Getting prepared

Step Four: Data collection tools

Step Five: Closing the deal

Step Six: Interviewing techniques

Step Seven: Transcription decisions

Step Eight: Managing interview data

Chapter 6: How to Do Focus Groups: Making the Most of Group Processes
Step One: Types of focus groups

Step Two: Group size and sample size

Step Three: Group composition

Step Four: Group dynamics

Step Five: Incentives

Step Six: Roles

Step Seven: Selecting a location

Step Eight: The discussion guide

Step Nine: Recording

Chapter 7: How to Conduct Field Research: Getting in and Getting out with High Quality Data
Step One: Types of field research

Step Two: What is the ‘field’?

Step Three: Theoretical development

Step Four: Gaining access

Step Five: You’re in, now what? Negotiating roles in the field

Step Six: Time matters: How long is enough?

Step Seven: Field notes: Data recording and organizational devices

Chapter 8: How to Use Unobtrusive Methods: The Beauty of Social, Physical and Visual Artefacts
Step One: Types of unobtrusive data

Step Two: Collecting unobtrusive data: Key considerations and tools

Part III: Analysing and Writing Up Your Research
Chapter 9: How to Do Data Analysis: The Beginner’s Guide to Coding
Step One: Getting prepared

Step Two: Pre-coding, first cycle and second cycle coding

Chapter 10: How to Write up Qualitative Research: Making Your Words Count
Step One: Writing up Qualitative Research: Style and Substance

Step Two: Presenting your data

Step Three: Tips for good writing

Step Four: Effectively responding to reviewer comments



Find the Online Resources
Instructor Resources (Log-in needed)
  • PowerPoint slide templates covering the key information for each chapter, which can be downloaded and customized for use in your own presentations.
  • Testbanks containing multiple choice and short answer questions related to the key research concepts in each chapter, which can be downloaded and used in class, as homework or exams.  
  • Applied learning activities ready to be used in the classroom. These include a research conceptualisation chart to help students design their project, and interview, observation and focus group activities.

This books cleverly steers both new and more experienced researchers through the process of undertaking qualitative research. Its welcome pragmatic approach and rich examples are both useful and insightful, offering a toolkit for doing a wide range of projects with people, situations and different social environments. Whether you choose to dip into a single chapter or use the book as an overall guide, it will help you get started and get published!

Dr Dawn Lyon
Lyon is Reader in Sociology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent.

Love the tactical advice, examples, and strategies for students to learn and do each of these methods. I appreciate the study questions and resources online, too.

Dr Jennifer Henderson
Geosciences Dept, Texas Tech University
February 1, 2023

This is an excellent resource for anyone who is planning to undertake qualitative studies. It provides great insight from conception to finish the qualitative project.

Dr Kumaresan Cithambaram
School of Nursing & Human Sciences, Dublin City University
February 7, 2022

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ISBN: 9781526495044

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