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Applied Thematic Analysis

Applied Thematic Analysis

November 2011 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

After collecting qualitative data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, or field observations, students and researchers often struggle to make sense of it. This step-by-step guide draws on the authors' many years of experience carrying out qualitative research and conducting trainings on the subject. Their book describes how to analyze qualitative data in a systematic and rigorous way. The authors introduce and outline applied thematic analysis, an inductive approach that draws on established and innovative theme-based techniques suited to the applied research context. Chapters follow the sequence of activities in the analysis process and also include discussions of mixed methods, choosing the most appropriate software, and how to write up and present the results.

"This book presents what all of the books I've tried to use in the past have failed to present—how to analyze qualitative data."—Catherine C. Schifter, Temple University

"This book does a wonderful job of explaining how important thematic analysis is for producing good research, and it uses rich and detailed examples to do it."—Matthew Hartley, University of Pennsylvania

Chapter 1. Introduction to Applied Thematic Analysis
Chapter 2. Planning and Preparing the Analysis
Chapter 3. Themes and Codes
Chapter 4. Validity and Reliability (Credibility and Dependability) in Qualitative Research and Data Analysis
Chapter 5. Supplemental Analytic Techniques
Chapter 6. Data Reduction Techniques
Chapter 7. Comparing Thematic Data
Chapter 8. Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data
Chapter 9. Choosing Qualitative Data Analysis Software
Chapter 10. Writing Up Thematic Analyses

An excellent text that explains the use of applied thematic analysis. A useful companion when undertaking thematic research.

Mr Alan Marvell
School of Leisure, University of Gloucestershire
April 15, 2013

Content wise, a decent book on thematic analysis.

Ms Chrysavgi Sklaveniti
Dept of Management (Grad Sch of Bus), Strathclyde University
April 10, 2013

An excellent and detailed overview of thematic analysis - an approach favoured by many dissertation students. Both detailed and easy to read.

Mr Simon Bishop
Science, Technologyand Health, University Campus Suffolk
March 13, 2013

A very useful text to guide and support dissertation or postgrad students implementing thematic analysis in their projects. Provides a great step by step guide to apply analysis in a flexible manner. Also well written and easy to follow.

Mr Hassan Khalil
Sport & Exercise Science & Sports Ther, Hertfordshire University
March 5, 2013

A detailed, practical handbook on thematic analysis that focuses on applied research using textual data. It is strong on the selection of methods of analysis that are fit for purpose and on choosing qualitative data analysis software. (On the first point, the chapter in planning and preparing an analysis offers a usefully fuller account of this process than most of the literature on thematic analysis that I have come across.) The book's main limitations are its deliberate avoidance of theoretical discussion and a (related?) tendency to give house room to some superficial approaches to word counting and quantitative content analysis. For our purposes on doctoral training in applied psychology I would have valued a more detailed account of visual methods and a broader range of examples outside anthropology.

Dr Tony Cline
Educational Psychology Group, University College London
February 19, 2013

Well written book , will be useful for the postgraduate students who are doing qualitative research . This book has given details description of carrying out thematic analysis which will be very useful early stage career researchers. The other books in the market on thematic analysis are not helpful like this. Very easy to read and understand the critical issues. I would recommend all the postgrads to have it.

Mr Russell Kabir
Health & Social Care, London Churchill College
February 13, 2013

This book will not be used for this course as the course is purely about thematic analysis emanating from grounded theory and will look at code production and theme generation from inductive and deductive means. This book focuses on Applied Thematic Analysis (ATA) rather than how thematic analysis is applied. Whilst this book is not suitable for the course, it may be used in publications and used in my own research as there are some interesting comparisons and discussion points between the difference between thematic analysis and ATA. The book also has useful information about coding and theme generation and how researchers may link themes to theory, which is an important aspect of research.

Dr Emma Rowland
School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London
February 7, 2013

For M level social work students who are undertaking primary qualitative research this book offers the key features and guidance of a popular method of analysis and how to undertake it in a rigorous and credible way

Ms Rhiannon Jones
Social Work, Keele University
January 18, 2013

This book offers a practical guidance on how to apply the thematic analysis in practice even for someone who has never conducted qualitative research. It is written in a simple language and therefore very approachable from the reader's perspective. It also includes real-world examples which again help to illustrate how the thematic analysis should be conducted.

Miss Magdalena Marczak
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Coventry University
January 2, 2013

A thorough and much needed text on what is a very useful but often misunderstood research technique. Written clearly, with reference to the many practical exercises contained within, the reader is carefully taken through the steps of the Thematic Analysis process. A variety of common pitfalls are outlined and addressed throughout each stage of the process. Overall, an excellent resource.

Mr James Deane
School of Education and Social Science, University of Central Lancashire
December 24, 2012
Key features

Key Features

  • Offers a practical methodological framework—applied thematic analysis—drawing on a broad range of theoretical and methodological perspectives and adapting them for use in applied research contexts
  • Includes a number of useful tools, templates, and other job aids in each chapter to help readers apply the concepts covered to their own research
  • Provides exercises in each chapter to give readers hands-on practice working with the techniques presented
  • Offers guidance on how, when, and how to count in the analysis of qualitative data
  • Features real world examples to illustrate and reinforce the ideas and procedures described


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