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Successful Qualitative Research

Successful Qualitative Research
A Practical Guide for Beginners

First Edition
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April 2013 | 400 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
*Shortlisted for the BPS Book Award 2014 in the Textbook Category*

*Winner of the 2014 Distinguished Publication Award (DPA) from the Association for Women in  Psychology (AWP)*

Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners is an accessible, practical textbook. It sidesteps detailed theoretical discussion in favor of providing a comprehensive overview of strategic tips and skills for starting and completing successful qualitative research.

Uniquely, the authors provide a "patterns framework" to qualitative data analysis in this book, also known as "thematic analysis." The authors walk you through a basic thematic approach, and compare and contrast this with other approaches. This discussion of commonalities, explaining why and when each method should be used, and in the context of looking at patterns, will provide you with complete confidence for your qualitative research journey.

    This textbook will be an essential textbook for undergraduates and postgraduates taking a course in qualitative research or using qualitative approaches in a research project.

    Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here.

    PART ONE: Successfully Getting Started in Qualitative Research
    Chapter One: Some Very Important Starting Information
    Chapter Two: 10 Fundamentals of Qualitative Research
    Chapter Three: Planning and Designing Qualitative Research
    PART TWO: Sucessfully Collecting Qualitative Data
    Chapter Four: Interactive Data Collection 1: Interviews
    Chapter Five: Interactive Data Collection 2: Focus Groups
    Chapter Six: Textual Data Collection: Surveys, Stories, Diaries and Secondary Sources
    PART THREE: Successfully analysing Qualitative Data
    Chapter Seven: Preparing Audio Data for Analysis: Transcription
    Chapter Eight: Moving Towards Analysis
    Chapter Nine: First Analytic Steps: Familiarization and Data Coding
    Chapter Ten: Identifying Patterns across Data
    Chapter Eleven: Analyzing and Interpreting Patterns Across Data
    PART FOUR: Successfully Completing Qualitative Research
    Chapter Twelve: Quality Criteria and Techniques for Qualitative Research
    Chapter Thirteen: Writing and Communicating Qualitative Research


    'Like water wings for the qualitative research beginner, Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners gracefully supports methodological novices until they learn to swim elegantly, on their own, in qualitative waters… As a teacher, researcher or a student, you will want to thank the gifted methodologists Braun and Clarke for making it all seem so easy'
    Michelle Fine
    The City University of New York, NY, USA

    'This is an admirably useful textbook that provides an uncommonly accessible, practical, and absorbing introduction for beginners to qualitative research'

    Eva Magnusson
    Umeå University, UMEÅ, Sweden

    'A clear, engaging and intelligent qualitative research guide which will greatly appeal to students new to this area. The authors should be commended for their lively style and attention to often hidden processes and practices involved in successful qualitative research'
    Brendan Gough
    Leeds Metropolitan University

    'This book provides an excellent introduction to qualitative research, combining in-depth explanation of the distinctive nature and goals of qualitative research methods with practical tips and helpful examples for beginners'

    Lucy Yardley
    University of Southampton

    'Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke present a clear and comprehensive road map for executing a successful qualitative study. They do so in a very engaging way that really brings the process to life for the reader. This book will be an essential read for anyone contemplating a qualitative research project'
    Guy Faulkner
    University of Toronto

    'This practical guide refreshingly demystifies the qualitative research process, relentlessly pushing an agenda for uncomplicated but high standards across the board and generously enabling anyone, no matter how inexperienced, to get on with it and do it well. It is the kind of guide that not only says how to do it but that actually shows how to do it, with a myriad of real, reproduced examples, extremely useful tables, boxes, chapter summaries, questions for discussion, exercises and lists of resources including references to a companion website with even more guidance and examples.'

    Edith Steffen
    Counselling Psychology Review

    For students who are undertaking qualitative research this book is an essential read. It is comprehensive, well written and provides the student with both basic and more advanced information. I have added it to the BSc undergraduate and masters reading list.

    Dr Helen Nicholas
    Institute of Health & Society, Worcester University
    December 14, 2016

    A great duo Braun and Clark. The book has lovely examples of research questions and outlines the practical aspects of qualitative research. Presented in a well written way and easy to access for students. It guides the students through the process of qualitative research offering suggestions, guidance and support.

    Dr Helen Nicholas
    Institute of Health & Society, Worcester University
    November 17, 2016

    An excellent resource for post-graduate students doing qualitative research.

    Dr Ensa Johnson
    Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria
    November 16, 2016

    This book provides an excellent introduction to undergraduate students wishing to conduct thematic analysis of their qualitative research. It is highly accessible and practical.

    Dr Sue Vella
    Social Policy & Social Work , University of Malta
    November 16, 2016

    This book is a gem - for all qualitative researchers and those who are about to become one. It is easy to read and to understand; also because there are vivid examples from the wider literature but also from the focus group example conduced particularly for the book. Although it says it is "for beginners" it is also valuable as a resource and reference for advanced researchers.

    Ms Christiane Grünloh
    Faculty for Informatics & Engineering Services, Cologne University of Applied Sciences
    November 11, 2016

    This is an excellent text for both students and researchers. It provides an excellent overview of how to conduct rigorous qualitative research. As such, I have recommended this text to students and utilised this as an indicative text for my qualitative research methods module.

    Mr Sean Figgins
    Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Chichester University
    November 1, 2016

    The book provides a valuable resource for students undertaking qualitative research. The layout and style is clear and guides the reader through the process. It has been included on the reading list and copies are in the university library

    Mrs Sandie Woods
    Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University
    September 22, 2016

    This is an essential accessible research reference text for any students contemplating primary qualitative research or study. The incremental structure of this book practically guides the reader through the key fundamentals of qualitative research questions and design, data collection and analysis. Each chapter is filled with supplementary, useful illustrative good practice examples, concise figures, tables, further resources, on-line resources and reflective questions which promotes a deeper understanding and learning for any novice researcher.
    An ideal core text for any post-graduate students wishing to embark upon successful qualitative research.

    Mr David Gaylard
    Social Work Bishop Otter, Chichester University
    August 1, 2016
    Key features
    • Full of useful tips and strategies for successful qualitative work, for example considering the nervous student not just the beginner student.
    • Skills-based, utilising a range of pedagogical features to encourage you to apply particular techniques and learn from your experience.
    • The authors use the same dataset throughout - reproduced in full (with associated research materials) on the companion website - to help you make comparisons across different analytical approaches.
    • A comprehensive suite of student support materials, including practice exam questions, can be found online at

    Sample Materials & Chapters

    Chapter 1

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