Qualitative Inquiry Research Design By Creswell Ch9 30may Jib

Writing a Qualitative Study

Reflexivity and Representations in Writing

How we write is a reflection of our own interpretation based on the cultural, social, gender, class, and personal politics that we bring to research.

Writing has an impact on the reader, who makes an interpretation of the account and may form an entirely different interpretation than the author or the participants.

Major points that should be considered by the researchers about their writings:

1. Should I write about what people say or recognize that sometimes they cannot remember or choose not to remember?
2. What are my political reflexivities that need to come into my report?
3. Has my writing connected that voices and stories of individuals back to the set of historic, structural, and economic relations in which they are situated?
4. How far should I go in theorizing the words of participants?
5. Have I considered how my words could be used for progressive, conservative, and repressive social policies?
6. Have I backed into the passive voice and decoupled by responsibility from my interpretation?
7. To what extent has my analysis (and writing) offered an alternative to common sense or the dominant discourse?

Audience for Our Writings

A basic axiom: All writers write for an audience

Four potential audiences: colleagues, those involved in the interviews and observations, policy makers, and the general public.

Encoding Our Writings

The words we use encode our report, revealing ourselves and how we perceive the needs of our audiences.

Quantitative: Introduction, methods, results, and discussion format.
Qualitative: no need to be standardized, methods can be called ‘procedures’, results can be called ‘findings’, researcher can phrase the heading in the words of participants in the study.

A writing style that is personal, familiar, highly readable, friendly, and applied for a broad audience.

A level of detail that makes the works come alive, expressing emotions.

Quotes in Our Writings

Authors should bring in the voice of participants in the study. There are three types of quotes.

1. Short eye-catching quotations
2. Embedded quotes, briefly quoted phrases within the analyst’s narrative, to support the theme.
3. Longer quotation, used to convey more complex understandings.

Narrative Research Structure (Story telling)

Chronological approach: events unfold slowly overtime ex; narrative story of the life of an individual, evolution of a program or an organization.
Classical approach: introduction, literature review, methodology, series of the stories of the author’s experiences with the participants.
The writing may emphasize the “key event” or the “epiphany” (the interactional moments and experiences that mark people’s lives.
1. The major event that touches the fabric of the individual’s life,
2. The cumulative or representative events, experiences that continue for some time,
3. The minor epiphany, which represents a moment in an individual’s life,
4. Episodes or relived epiphanies, which involve reliving the experience.
Use of themes, transitions, or metaphors
Phenomenological Structure
Phenomenology writings provide more extensive attention to overall writing structures. The analysis steps for organizing a report are:
1. Identifying significant statements
2. Creating meaning units
3. Clustering themes
4. Advancing textural and structural descriptions
5. Making a composite description of textural and structural descriptions into an exhaustive description of the essential invariant structure of the experience.
Specific chapters in creating a research manuscript;
Chapter 1: Introduction and statement of topic and outline, including social implications and relevance of the topic, new knowledge and contribution, research question, and the terms of the study.
Chapter 2: Review of the relevant literature, including how the present research differs from prior research
Chapter 3: Conceptual framework of the model, including the theory to be used, concepts and processes related to the research design
Chapter 4: Methodology, including the methods and procedures in preparing to conduct the study, in collecting data, and in organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing the data
Chapter 5: Presentation of data, including verbatim examples of data collection, data analysis, a synthesis of data, essences of the experience
Chapter 6: Summary, implications, and outcomes, including how the findings differ from those in the literature review, recommendations for future studies, the identification of limitations, a discussion about implications.
Grounded Theory Structure
The research procedures in grounded theory:
1. The research questions are broad, and they will change several times during data collection and analysis.
2. The literature review “neither provides key concepts nor suggests hypotheses”. Instead, the literature review shows gaps or bias in existing knowledge, providing a rational for this type of qualitative study.
3. The methodology evolves during the course of the study, writing it early in a study poses difficulties. However, the researcher can describe preliminary ideas about the sample, the setting, and the data collection procedures.
4. The findings section presents the theoretical scheme. The writer includes references from the literature to show outside support for the theoretical model. Segments of actual data, uses of vignettes and quotes can show how well the theory in grounded in the data.
5. The final discussion section discusses the relationship of the theory to other existing knowledge and the implications of the theory for future research and practice.
Examples of features
1. Descriptions, generation of categories, linking categories around a core category, develop a substantive, low-level theory, and link to a formal theory.
2. Examine the form for stating propositions or theoretical relationships in grounded theory studies, describe the theory in narrative form.
3. Presentation of the “logic diagram”, “mini-framework”, or “integrative diagram”, the researcher presents the actual theory in the form of a visual model.
Ethnographic Structure
1. Realist tale, reports that provide direct, matter-of-fact portraits of studied cultures without much information about how the ethnographers produced the portraits. Writer uses an impersonal point of view, conveying a “scientific” and “objective” perspective.
2. Confessional tale: researcher focuses more on his/her fieldwork experiences than on the culture.
3. Impressionistic tale: a personalized account of “fieldwork case in dramatic form”. Combine elements of realist and confessional writing.
4. Critical tale: focus on large social, political, symbolic, or economic issues
5. Formalist tale: build, test, generalize, and exhibit theory
6. Literary tale: the ethnographers write like journalists, borrowing fiction-writing techniques from novelists
7. Jointly told tale: the production of the studies is jointly authored by the fieldworkers and the informants, opening up shared and discursive narratives.
Three components of a good qualitative inquiry that are a centerpiece of good ethnographic writing
1. An ethnographer writes a “description” of the culture that answers the question “What is going on here?” by using chronological order, narrator order, or a critical or key event to tell several perspectives.
2. The researcher “analyzes” the data, including highlighting findings, displaying findings, reporting fieldwork procedures, identifying patterned regularities in the data, comparing the case with a known case, evaluating the information, contextualizing the information within a broader analytic framework, critiquing the research process, and proposing a redesign of the study.
3. Interpretation: the researcher extends the analysis, makes inferences from the information, turns to theory, connects with personal experience, analyzes or interprets the interpretive process.
Structured outline for an ethnography
1. Introduction: engage the reader’s attention and focus the study, link the researcher’s interpretation to wider issues of scholarly interest in the discipline.
2. The Setting and the methods for learning: relate details about entry into and participation in the setting as well as advantages and constraints of the research role.
3. Presenting analytic claims: incorporate an analytic point, provide orientation information about the point, present the excerpt or direct quote, and advance analytic commentary about the quote as it relates to the analytic point.
4. Conclusion: reflect and elaborate on the thesis advanced at the beginning, extend or modify the thesis in light of the material examined, relate the thesis to general theory or a current issue.
Use figures of speech or “tropes” for example; metaphors, synecdoche (examples, illustrations, cases, vignettes), irony (contrasts of competing frames), include detail, context, emotion, and the webs of social relationships, voices, feelings, actions, and meanings of interacting individuals.
Case Study Structure
Outline for the flow of ideas in a case study:
1. The writer opens with a vignette so that the reader can develop a vicarious experience to get a feel for the time and place of the study.
2. The researcher identifies the issue, the purpose, and the method of the study so that the reader learns about how the study came to be, the background of the writer, and the issues surrounding the case.
3. Extensive description of the case and its context – a body of relatively uncontested data – a description the reader might make if he or she had been there.
4. Present a few key issues so that the reader can understand the complexity of the case.
5. Present several of the issues; the writer brings in both confirming and disconfirming evidence.
6. Present assertions, a summary of what the writer understands about the case and whether the initial naturalistic generalizations, conclusions arrived at through personal experience or offered as vicarious experiences for the reader.
7. Finally, the writer ends with a closing vignette, an experiential note, reminding the reader that this report is one person’s encounter with a complex case.
The writer can start from broader to narrower view, or write in chronology of events that occur.

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