Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tips for Writing Qualitative Results

Im writing up one of the studies I have been doing with a  student at the moment for publication and thinking about how to do it in a way that isn't just a collection of themes and quotes..god knows that can be pretty boring...

The general principle is creativity..its NOT a report

“I write in order to learn something that I didn’t know before I wrote it…not to write until I knew 
what I wanted to say, until my points were organized and outlined… this static writing model 
coheres with mechanistic scientism and quantitative research… It ignores the role of 
writing as a dynamic, creative process….(Richardson L. 1990)

Writing also involves analysis

“Writing-up qualitative research inevitably results in the emergence of new ideas and ways of viewing the data and hence plays a crucial role in the analysis process.”(Pitchforth et al. 2005)

Here ten tips:
1. Add a case study which focuses on how the overall results are exemplified
2. Include longer sections of the transcript or other forms of data
3. Include a pictorial diagram of the results so long as it doesnt clean them up too much
4. Present theoretical triangulation in detail....how each theory informed coding
5. Write a section "What Was Most Unexpected"
6. Include a reflective piece about the impact on you, the researcher
7. Blend your quotes into the actual text rather than make them separate
8. Ask the participants at the end (in a focus group) how they want to be represented
9. Ask them about Implications for the discussion
10. Its an art not just a science!

What ideas do you have? Got any examples you want to share?

Good Book: Wolcott HF. Writing Up Qualitative Research. California: Sage Publications 2001.

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