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30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher

30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher

First Edition

October 2015 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher fills a gap in introductory literature on qualitative inquiry by providing practical "how-to" information for beginning researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Author John W. Creswell draws on years of teaching, writing, and conducting his own projects to offer effective techniques and procedures with many applied examples from research design, qualitative inquiry, and mixed methods. Creswell defines what a skill is, and acknowledges that while there may be more than 30 that an individual will use and perfect, the skills presented in this book are crucial for a new qualitative researcher starting a qualitative project.

Learn more about John Creswell's qualitative and mixed methods research titles as well as his 2017 mixed methods workshops



Organization of the book

Wriitng features


About the Author
Part I Understanding the Landscape of Qualitative Research
1 Thinking Like a Qualitative Researcher
2 Building on Quantitative Research Knowledge to Implement Qualitative Research
3 Making Your Qualitative Project Rigorous and Conceptually Interesting
4 Managing Difficult Emotions That Come Up During Research
5 Working With Research Advisers and Committees
Part II Considering Preliminary Elements
6 Using Philosophy and Theory In Qualitative Research
7 Anticipating Ethical Issues
8 Developing a Literature Map
9 Viewing the Structure of a Thesis or Dissertation for a Qualitative Study
Part III Introducing a Qualitative Study
10 Writing a Good Qualitative Title and Abstract
11 Writing a Good Introduction and Opening Sentence to a Study
12 Scripting a Qualitative Purpose Statement and Research Questions
Part IV Collecting Data
13 Understanding the Process of Qualitative Data Collection
14 Conducting a Good Observation
15 Designing and Administering an Interview Protocol
16 Collecting Data With Marginalized Populations
17 Being Culturally Aware in Global Qualitative Research
Part V Analyzing and Validating Data
18 Coding Text Data
19 Coding Images and Pictures
20 Developing Theme Passages
21 Using a Computer Software Program for Data Analysis
22 Implementing Validity Checks
23 Conducting Intercoder Agreement
Part VI Writing and Publishing Qualitative Research
24 Writing In a Scholarly Way
25 Writing In a Qualitative Way
26 Writing Reflexively
27 Writing a Good Conclusion Section
28 Publishing a Qualitative Journal Article
Part VII Evaluating a Study and Using Qualitative Designs
29 Selecting Quality Criteria for a Qualitative Study
30 Introducing Qualitative Designs
Glossary of Terms


Instructor Resource Site

Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for John W. Creswell's 30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, module-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • An Instructor's Manual, comprised of lecture notes and discussion questions for each module, align with PowerPoint slides to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Exercises for each module can be used in class to reinforce active learning. 
  • Suggested short-term and long-term assignments include notes about which qualitative research skills they engage
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each module. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. 
Student Study Site
Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course!

Our Student Study Site at is completely open-access and includes the following:

  • Mobile-friendly web quizzes for each module allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the module.

“[H]ighly accessible and offers practical, guiding ideas and concrete steps.”

Lori L. Britt
James Madison University

"This book is innovative, written following a conversational style, and provides excellent current references and connections to other authors’ work in the field of qualitative research. The book provides ideas for activities and further learning . . . This book will provide opportunities for having in-class discussions about topics that are not currently discussed in the existent textbooks such as managing difficult emotions that come up during research and anticipating ethical issues and preparing for the unexpected."

Clarena Larrotta
Texas State University

"[This book] acts as an overview of the landscape of qualitative work rather than an in-depth treatment of specific research designs or analytic strategies . . . First, the author provides a logical progression of concepts and applications for novice qualitative researchers. Second, these concepts are treated with clear prose and sufficient examples. Third, readers are directed to further (and more in-depth) scholarly reading to learn more about the concepts in each chapter. Fourth, the scope of the book moves a novice from ‘thinking like a qualitative researcher’ to considerations of scholarly venue analysis and placement for completed research."

Brian McNely
University of Kentucky

"[This book] is a comforting text. I would give it to every new grad student before they even took a qualitative research class—it’s a great primer, and it will ease the anxiety that arises when a student first engages in research methods in a scholarly way."

Andrew W. Ishak
Santa Clara University

Enjoyed the text and the information the author provided. The department approved for class adoption.

Mrs Summer Cutrer Tierno
Education, Univ of Southern Mississippi
September 13, 2017

This is a complete and very useful textbook for any teacher facilitating a course on qualitative research methods. It is succinct in its structure that is very appropriately presented with the skills any researcher must develop and its organization is driven by a very typical and comprehensive research workflow of tasks. Highly recommended for qualitative researchers early in their careers and especially for teachers.

Professor Juan Machin-Mastromatteo
Escuela de Psicología, CETYS Universidad
July 1, 2016

I have not used this book much - the in class text was stronger (Braun and Clarke), and the resources in this not unique enough as an additional resource. Well written - can still recommend as a text if someone is looking for one.

Dr Kerstin Roger
Community Health Sciences, Univ Of Manitoba
May 31, 2016

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ISBN: 9781452216867