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1. Reading task: overview of qualitative research

This slideset (from last year) is quite heavy stuff, so, but use 15 minutes to skim these slides (wink) These slides give an overview of (qualitative) scientific research. (use this link is embedded slideshare presentation doesn't show)

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B. TASK: Analyse structure (theses)

We will continue our Nvivo exercises. Today we will use Nvivo10 in order to analyse master thesis.

B1.Import source into Nvivo

SOURCE: Import one qualitative master thesis* into Nvivo (before importing, be sure that thesis is QUALITATIVE)

*Download from these sites:

B2. Create coding structure** in Nvivo10

B3. Code thesis by using coding structure (nodes)

**Suggested node coding structure:

Hint: Create node structure before coding

N1 Introduction (broad overview of the research)

  • N1.1 opening statement of purpose, aims, argument to be presented, perspective to be employed or the problem to be investigated, or the question to which you do not know the answer, and for which research is therefore necessary. If these 'emerged' during the process of the research, then the narrative of the emergence needs to be detailed (probably in one or more chapters following the introduction): how emerged, what led to what, what problems were encountered, how overcome, what unanticipated theoretical, methodological issues arose, how these shaped the emergent design, and what social, political, cultural, professional, personal psychological, etc issues emerged as the fieldwork was undertaken).
  • N1.2 background to the research. - what led to it?- the nature of the debate (political, social, cultural, economic, professional ... etc) that has led to it . In short, this is a justification for doing the research, indicating for example, its personal, professional, academic, methodological, social, political etc importance. This may be included in the introduction, however, if it is substantial it may be a full chapter on its own.

N2 Review of the literature (and conceptual framework)

  • Review of the relevant literature - there are four kinds of review that can be done: a review of perspectives; a methodological review; a theoretical review; a substantive review. The purpose and focus of the assignment, dissertation or thesis will place different stress on one or more of these. Each review may be merged in one chapter or may be located in other apprpriate chapters, or may be woven into the emergent body of the writing throughout its chapters. In each case each the review will address such questions as: What's the debate? What rationales are employed by the protagonists, where are the weak spots and the strong points of each protagonist?

N3 Research questions

N4 Methodology

  • N 4.1 the research methods and methodology: This is typically a separate chapter. Depending on the focus of the writing (stressing methodology and using the substance of the research as illustrative as opposed to stressing the substance, employing the methdology as the means of developing findings/conclusions/recommendations that are convincing), the methodology and the methods may either be discussed and detailed in one chapter or separated into two or more chapters.
    • description of and justification of methodology/perspective chosen (e.g., why qualitative, or case study, or quantitative; why symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, feminism, marxism, critical realism, ...etc)
    • outline of methods employed (interview, participant observation, statistical etc)- descriptions of how many interviewed etc
    • justification of methods employed (i.e., why particularly appropriate for the subject under study), indications of their limitations
    • how and degree to which objectivity and validity are achieved; or, degree to which subjectivity is justifie
    • discussion of ethical issues in collecting, processing, and re-presenting data
  • N 4.2 Description of 'field site' where data gathered 
    • the physical site .
    • relevant organisations involved and their relevant organisational features
    • nature of the population, composition (relevant gender, ethnic, age, cultural, etc factors)

    • relevant historical background
    • relevant social, economic, political, religious, etc factors/circumstances

N5 Results or Findings

N6 Interpretations, Conclusions, and Recommendations

  • N6.1 Summary: Begin with a very brief summary of the problem addressed and the main results of your research. Indicate whether or not the hypotheses were supported
  • N6.2 Conflusions: The results should be interpreted in light of the full set of results, the applicable literature, the theoretical foundation or conceptual framework used, and the limitations of the study and literature. What do the results mean and what do they not mean? What are the possible causes of the results? What are the possible consequences of the results?



Suggested coding structure is based on the following websites:


  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010


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