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Successful Qualitative Research

Successful Qualitative Research
A Practical Guide for Beginners

© 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


    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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