A Case Study of Qualitative Methods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is a narrative of the actual doing of a qualitative research study. Qualitative analysis does not follow a recipe of steps where it is possible to make continual forward progress. Textbooks about qualitative methods have a burden of providing clarity to the methods. This chapter instead seeks to show all of the mess, setbacks, and ambiguity. The chapter chronicles what I learned through writing, revising, and now reflecting on a paper that traversed a particularly rocky path. I have distilled my insights into eighteen tips that are sequenced to roughly align with the broad categories of data collection, analysis, and writing. I provide some potentially controversial advice about how to cherry pick data and writing tips that go beyond “write clearly.” Some of these tips are likely applicable for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies and may even be helpful as a checklist. Beyond the content of the tips, I hope that this chapter helps readers see how much is hidden in the unpublished backstories of research papers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781108654555
ISBN (Print)9781108496735
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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