17th August 2009 at 4:52 am #5707
I am writing an introductory textbook on the fundamentals of qualitative research. The final manuscript draft is limited to 220 pages double-spaced. What do you feel is necessary, important, irrelevant, etc. to include in an introductory book–i.e., what do you or your students want and need from this type of work? Based on your readings of other introductory texts in qualitative research, what works and what doesn’t for you? Thanks for your suggestions.
Arizona State University17th August 2009 at 7:33 am #5718Lexine HansenParticipant
Good luck with your book, getting something as complicated as qualitative research into 200 pages is a challenge! I believe something that is missing in many qualitative texts is how such work can collaborate with other methods. Rather than setting up the Qual vs Quant debate, how about recognition of complementary strengths? Issues of validity are also very challenging to beginning qualitative researchers. Finally, I find Patton’s (Qualitative Research and Evaluation, 2002) practical examples to be useful and appropriate–for new learners and for occasional review. Again, good luck!17th August 2009 at 1:45 pm #5717
Thanks Lexine!17th August 2009 at 2:18 pm #5716
Way ahead of you. I, too, find the analysis section weak in many intro texts, so I’m devoting a lot of coverage to this. Thanks for the reminder!17th August 2009 at 2:52 pm #5715Elba DebatParticipant
I can´t agree more with the suggestions. I think that a few concrete examples on how to analyze data following different qualitative approaches would be a great asset. …and skip the debate on quan vs qual.. we´ve had enough. Best wishes17th August 2009 at 3:30 pm #5714
Thanks, Elba – yes, I include a section on mixed methods, but I don’t labor on about quan vs qual.19th August 2009 at 11:26 am #5713Lexine HansenParticipant
Absolutely right on–analysis is lacking! But can it be covered in 220 pages?3rd September 2009 at 11:01 pm #5712Roy WilliamsMember
Rosemary, agreed. Here is an example of an introductory chapter written some time ago about critical discourse analysis, and its application to Apartheid discourse and media (see the Text and Discourse Word link at the bottom of the page).
Ironically enough, the key ‘worked examples’ focus on different ways of ‘counting’ in media headlines.4th September 2009 at 8:02 pm #5711Jeffrey KeeferMember
I think there is always more room for an additional intro to qualitative research book, as all the great ones out there just never seem to cover everything enough to be the only qualitative book used. With a cap of 220 pages, that certainly does limit things as well!
One of the intro books I recently picked up for my students is Left Coast Press’s Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry http://www.lcoastpress.com/book.php?id=221 which does a reasonably good job with an introduction to the various aspects of qualitative research.
While I agree with all the items and issues that our colleagues mentioned throughout this posting thread, the one thing that I would find particularly useful is a model, or even a list / several lists for the parts of a qualitative research paper. I know that there is not a single model for the various elements or parts of a qualitative research article or study, though my students often struggle, when I have them create a research design that they then use with a future class, about the parts (or headers) for their studies and why the various elements should be there (like a checklist or various checklists depending on several factors) and in that order. For example, they know there needs to be a literature review, but some guidance or model as to where that should be, what subheadings or components are often found within an introduction, and even how to distinguish between a strategy of inquiry and research methods (terms which those new to qualitative work can completely confuse) may help students understand that there may be a structure to their work (which is something many of them expect, having studied quantitative work before coming to me).
I know that there will not be a single way to approach these issues, and I don’t want to oversimplify how complex they are. However, the world of research is at times confusing and intimidating enough, that simply offering some versions of possible checklists to follow would be helpful.
Jeffrey4th September 2009 at 8:09 pm #5710
Thanks for the book rec and the content recommendations. I have a (obligatory) chapter on research design, which could put some emphasis on the research paper outline as you recommended. But perhaps what might be better is more structured guidance toward the end of my book after eveything’s been covered. Great idea, I’ll see what I can develop!
Johnny Saldana30th September 2009 at 3:45 pm #5709Heather HonoreMember
Your book sounds like a wonderful addition to the literature. Wolcott has a book titled “Writing Up Qualitative Research” that might be helpful in putting together recommendations for “critical” elements of the manuscript. I have found it very helpful as I’m converting my dissertation into manuscripts for publication.
Heather2nd October 2009 at 11:29 am #5708
Yes, Wolcott’s works will be referenced and cited prominently in my book. Thanks for the validation that “WUQR” is a valuable text.
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