The updated Fourth Edition of Rossman and Rallis’s popular introductory text leads the new researcher into the field by explaining the core concepts through theory, research, and applied examples. Woven into the chapters are three themes that are the heart of the book: first, research is about learning; second, research can and should be useful; and finally, a researcher should practice the highest ethical standards to ensure that a study is trustworthy. The Fourth Edition includes an elaborate discussion of systematic inquiry as well as a nuanced discussion of developing a conceptual framework.

Our Characters’ Data


This chapter presents data gathered by Ruth, Marla, and Anthony for their small-scale qualitative research projects. We note here that these data are authentic; they are drawn from actual studies that students in our qualitative research classes have conducted. We show how our characters begin the process of gathering data that will help them respond to their research questions. Our characters generate a variety of data, including field notes from observations and transcriptions of interviews. Note that the data we present have been “cleaned up” for ease of reading. Original field notes are often quite messy, with arrows, underlining, and questions all over them. While we could present some data this way, we believe that providing examples of good, well-developed ...

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