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.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

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Analyzing and interpreting qualitative data is a complex and exciting process of bringing meaning to the piles of data you gather. A single piece of data by itself carries no real meaning. You assign meaning to the pieces as you label, code, and categorize; build analytic descriptions; compare and contrast; find patterns; construct themes; and consider alternatives. The process is both iterative and sequential, and it requires several activities: (1) fully knowing the data (immersion), (2) organizing these data into chunks (analysis), and (3) bringing meaning to those chunks (interpretation). Following Wolcott (1994) and the conventions in the field, we refer to these three distinct activities as analysis but also note that formal analysis (often conflated with coding data) ...

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