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Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-00361-8
368 pages
August 2015, Jossey-Bass
Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation, 4th Edition (111900361X) cover image


The bestselling guide to qualitative research, updated and expanded

Qualitative Research is the essential guide to understanding, designing, conducting, and presenting a qualitative research study. This fourth edition features new material covering mixed methods, action research, arts-based research, online data sources, and the latest in data analysis, including data analysis software packages as well as narrative and poetic analysis strategies. A new section offers multiple ways of presenting qualitative research findings. The reader-friendly, jargon-free style makes this book accessible to both novice and experienced researchers, emphasizing the role of a theoretical framework in designing a study while providing practical guidance.

Qualitative research reaches beyond the what, where, and when of quantitative analysis to investigate the why and how behind human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior, but this presents a number of significant challenges. This guide is an invaluable reference for students and practitioners alike, providing the deep understanding that this sometimes difficult area of research requires to produce accurate results. The book contains a step-by-step guide to analyzing qualitative data and an addendum for graduate students with a template for a thesis, dissertation, or grant application.

  • Build a strong foundation in qualitative research theory and application
  • Design and implement effective qualitative research studies
  • Communicate findings more successfully with clear presentation
  • Explore data sources, data analysis tools, and the different types of research
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

The Authors xvii


1 What Is Qualitative Research? 3

2 Six Common Qualitative Research Designs 22

3 Expanding the Qualitative Paradigm: Mixed Methods, Action, Critical, and Arts Based Research 43

4 Designing Your Study and Selecting a Sample 73


5 Conducting Effective Interviews 107

6 Being a Careful Observer 137

7 Mining Data from Documents and Artifacts 162


8 Qualitative Data Analysis 195

9 Dealing with Validity, Reliability, and Ethics 237

10 Writing Up Qualitative Research 267

Appendix: The Methodology Section of a Qualitative Research Study 293
Sharan B. Merriam

References 301

Name Index 323

Subject Index 331

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Author Information

SHARAN B. MERRIAM is professor emerita of adult education at the University of Georgia. She is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than fifteen books, including Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice and Qualitative Research in Practice, both from Jossey-Bass.

ELIZABETH J. TISDELL is professor of adult education and coordinator of the doctoral program in adult education at Penn State University Harrisburg.

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