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30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher
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30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher

Second Edition


October 2020 | 316 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The second edition of 30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher provides practical, applied information for the novice qualitative researcher, addressing the "how" of conducting qualitative research in one brief guide. Author John W. Creswell and new co-author Johanna Creswell Báez draw on many examples from their own research experiences, sharing them throughout the book. The 30 listed skills are competencies that can help qualitative researchers conduct more thorough, more rigorous, and more efficient qualitative studies.  Innovative chapters on thinking like a qualitative research and engaging with the emotional side of doing qualitative research go beyond the topics of a traditional research methods text and offer crucial support for qualitative practitioners. By starting with a strong foundation of a skills-based approach to qualitative research, readers can continue to develop their skills over the course of a career in research. 

This revised edition updates skills to follow the research process, using new research from a wide variety of disciplines like social work and sociology as examples. Chapters on research designs now tie back explicitly to the five approaches to qualitative research so readers can better integrate their new skills into these designs. Additional figures and tables help readers better visualize data collection through focus groups and interviews and better organize and implement validity checks. The new edition provides further examples on how to incorporate reflexivity into a study, illuminating a challenging aspect of qualitative research. Information on writing habits now addresses co-authorship and provides more context and variation from the two authors. 
 
Part I: Understanding the Landscape of Qualitative Research
 
Chapter 1: Thinking Like a Qualitative Researcher
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
The research process

 
Different approaches to this research process

 
How qualitative researchers think

 
The boat picture

 
The nature of qualitative research

 
The nature of qualitative research

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 2: Building on Quantitative Research Knowledge to Implement Qualitative Research
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Characteristics of quantitative research in a quantitative journal article

 
Characteristics of qualitative research in a qualitative journal article

 
Comparing qualitative and quantitative characteristics on a continuum

 
Easy- and hard-to-see components

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 3: Making Your Qualitative Project Rigorous and Conceptually Interesting
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Decide on your research topic

 
Refrain from studying your own backyard

 
Make your topic conceptually interesting

 
Include an interesting element in your title

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 4: Managing Difficult Emotions That Come Up During Research
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
The emotional journey of qualitative research

 
Possible steps in the emotional journey

 
The upside of qualitative research

 
The downside of qualitative research

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 5: Working With Research Advisers and Committees
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Educating your committee

 
Putting forward your best material

 
On taking feedback

 
Research committee meetings

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Part II: Considering Preliminary Elements
 
Chapter 6: Using Philosophy and Theory in Qualitative Research
Skills

 
Why the skills are important

 
The philosophy behind qualitative research

 
Writing about philosophy in your qualitative study

 
Use of theory in qualitative research

 
Summary

 
Activities

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 7: Anticipating Ethical Issues
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Human research protections in your qualitative research

 
Ethical issues at different phases in the research

 
Ethical issues I have faced as a qualitative researcher

 
Permissions for borrowed material used in qualitative research

 
A checklist for ethics

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 8: Organizing the Literature
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Challenges in reviewing the literature

 
Options for placing the literature in a qualitative study

 
Steps in conducting a literature review

 
Priority for reviewing the literature

 
How to design a literature map

 
Additional ideas about designing a literature map

 
A sample description of a literature map

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 9: Viewing the Structure of a Thesis or Dissertation for a Qualitative Study
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Topics typically included in a qualitative proposal or plan

 
Structure of a dissertation or thesis qualitative proposal

 
A concept map of the structure of a qualitative journal article

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Part III Introducing a Qualitative Study
 
Chapter 10: Writing a Good Qualitative Title and Abstract
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Good qualitative titles

 
Improving titles

 
Definition of an abstract

 
A word about word count

 
Topics of a good abstract

 
Examples of abstracts

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 11: Writing a Good Introduction and Opening Sentence to a Study
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Positioning the introduction within a qualitative study

 
Five key elements of a good introduction

 
The first sentence of an introduction

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 12: Scripting a Qualitative Purpose Statement and Research Questions
Skills

 
Why the skills are important

 
Interrelating the purpose, the research questions, and the methods

 
Purpose statements

 
Research questions

 
The central question

 
Examples of improving the central question

 
The central phenomenon

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Part IV: Collecting Data
 
Chapter 13: Understanding the Process of Qualitative Data Collection
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
The parts of qualitative data collection

 
A checklist for qualitative data collection

 
Summary

 
Activities

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 14: Conducting a Good Observation
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Observation as a developed skill

 
The nature of observing

 
Steps in the process of observing

 
Additional helpful guidelines for observing

 
Challenges in observing

 
Observation checklist

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 15: Designing and Administering an Interview Protocol
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Types of interviews

 
Steps in conducting a qualitative interview

 
Parts of an interview protocol

 
A sample interview protocol

 
Additional interviewing ideas

 
An interview checklist

 
Challenges in conducting interviews

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 16: Collecting Data With Marginalized Populations
Skills

 
Why the skills are important

 
Marginalized groups

 
Concerns in collecting data from marginalized groups

 
Addressing potential concerns

 
Summary

 
Activities

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 17: Being Culturally Aware in Global Qualitative Research
Skills

 
Why the skills are important

 
Key concepts in conducting global qualitative research

 
Cultural competency

 
Building country-level expertise

 
Global research policies

 
Methodological orientation and data collection methods

 
Qualitative study designs and procedures

 
Recommendations for the global qualitative researcher

 
Summary

 
Activities

 
Further resources

 
 
Part V: Analyzing and Validating Data
 
Chapter 18: Coding Text Data
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
The overall process of qualitative data analysis

 
From the raw data to codes

 
From the raw data to themes

 
The nature of coding

 
Working backward from a theme passage to understand coding

 
The process of coding

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 19: Coding Images and Pictures
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Types of qualitative image data

 
Potential concerns when using images

 
Analyzing images

 
Summary

 
Activities

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 20: Developing Theme Passages
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Four levels of evidence in qualitative data analysis

 
Elements to write into themes

 
A table that organizes themes, codes, and quotations

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 21: Using a Computer Software Program for Data Analysis
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Using QDA software in the data analysis and report writing phases

 
Should you use QDA software?

 
Major software programs available

 
How do you choose a QDA program?

 
What are the steps in using QDA software?

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 22: Implementing Validity Checks
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
What is validity in qualitative research?

 
Types of validity in qualitative research

 
What validity strategies should you use?

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 23: Conducting Intercoder Agreement
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
What is intercoder agreement?

 
Procedures for conducting intercoder agreement

 
Examples of intercoder agreement from informal to more systematic procedures

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Part VI: Writing and Publishing Qualitative Research
 
Chapter 24: Writing In a Scholarly Way
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
John’s writing habit

 
Writing to think about your topic

 
Develop the habit of writing

 
Staging your thoughts

 
Use principles of good writing

 
Other strategies for good writing

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 25: Writing In a Qualitative Way
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Use “thick description” when you write

 
Writing coherently

 
Writing using similes

 
Writing using quotations

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 26: Writing Reflexively
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
What is reflexivity?

 
Reflexivity for the researcher

 
Reflexivity for the participants

 
Reflexivity for the readers

 
How to facilitate reflexive writing

 
Where do you place your personal reflexive statements in a study?

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 27: Writing a Good Conclusion Section
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
How do you conclude a qualitative study?

 
Perspectives on elements of a conclusion section

 
Two approaches to concluding a qualitative study

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 28: Publishing a Qualitative Journal Article
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Publishing during an academic career

 
How I study a journal before submission

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Part VII: Evaluating a Study and Using Qualitative Designs
 
Chapter 29: Selecting Quality Criteria for a Qualitative Study
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Are standards important in qualitative research?

 
Some perspective on the standards question

 
What standards should you use?

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 
 
Chapter 30: Selecting a Qualitative Design
Skill

 
Why the skill is important

 
Moving from generic to types of qualitative designs

 
The choice of five designs to emphasize

 
How do you choose what design is appropriate for your project?

 
An example, “turning the story”

 
Summary

 
Activity

 
Further resources

 

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ISBN: 9781544355702
£35.99