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Qualitative Methodology

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A Guide to Using

Qualitative Research Methodology

© 2002 Michael Quinn Patton and Michael Cochran

Reproduced with kind permission of Michael Quinn Patton

Executive Summary
This guide to using qualitative research methodology is designed to help you think about all the steps you need to take to ensure that you produce a good quality piece of work.

most important steps in your research!), to how to develop a research protocol; and finally giving you tips on the sampling methods which are available and how to use them.

The guide starts by telling you what qualitative methodology is and when to use it in the field (understand people’s belief system, perspectives, experiences). It also flags the most important ethical issues that you will encounter (consent and confidentiality).

The third part details how you can actually obtain the data - what methods can you use to get the information you want? The three main methods (individual interviews, group interviews and observational methods) are explained, and the steps to build these different methods are outlined
(How to do a topic guide? How to ask questions? How to develop interview skills and manage expectations? How to run group discussions? etc)

The second part of the guide tackles how you can concretely develop qualitative research designs; starting from clearly defining your research question (one of the

Finally, the fourth chapter looks into how, once you have collected all the data, you can manage it and analyse it. For the management of data, a few practical issues are addressed, such as confidentiality and security, translation and recording. The analysis section will give you clues as to how to use thematic or narrative analysis, what validation strategies you need to think of, what good practice guidelines you should follow, and whether or not to…...

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