Now that you’ve read about the three main qualitative methods (participant observation, qualitative interviewing, social text analysis) from the corresponding
Chapters 13, 14, and 15, choose one and decide how you might collect and analyze a few imagined (anticipated) findings. Briefly describe your topic and
method for conducting a qualitative study on the COMMUNICATION topic of your choice (with my expressed permission). No group work!
1. A review of the literature is not necessary. Choose a qualitative framework appropriate to your topic, based on existing qualitative research. If you decide
to closely follow previous work, then cite the framework.
2. APA section headings are much less critical but continue to cite in a manner consistent with the research articles on which you base your study. Even so,
you do not need to cite any studies if you think you don’t need to; this is a flexible method and a more flexible report. Identify the method you chose (from the
Chapter 13-14-15 readings) or cite some analytic framework. You only need one method. You can propose to use more than one but it will not add to your
grade and I would expect more detail. The primary goal of this essay is to convince me you know how to perform a qualitative study, even though you lack
the time to complete one. Walk me through the analytic guidelines on pp. 366-370.
3. Length is at least 750 words (or more) with spell/grammar checking (no last-minute rough drafts).
Any qualitative study related to your topic (which may also be the topic from the quantitative project, or not) could serve as a general pattern for your
qualitative assignment. But don’t go beyond a general pattern. There are no real findings to be uncovered, so you can be creative and anticipate imagined
findings. Qualitative reports typically explore ONE aspect of communication without reference to an independent variable. Also, avoid words like “variable”
(see special note below).
Special note: Avoid jargon from quantitative studies! You are not testing theory so there are no hypotheses. Words like “survey” and “data” and “experiment”
are a total turn-off to a qualitative researcher. Call your prospective participants “informants” or “participants” (unless you’re doing textual analysis, in which
case you need no participants at all). Drastically limit anything that makes it seem that your counting or quantitatively measuring. Find analytic tools in
Chapter 16 (pp. 366-370) to bolster your credibility, because your subjective findings are your own view of social regularities, patterns, and themes. Keep it
interpretive and interested in deep meanings. Dig for underlying meanings that you might analyze in findings if you only had time to do it for real.
Do not collect new findings for this assignment, but be sure to describe potential exemplars (direct, imaginary quotations from imaginary participants) that
would have served as evidence of your findings (had you completed the study). Dig deep to explain potential interpretations of whatever communication
phenomena you are studying. Identify and support with anticipated-but-imaginary evidence any recurring themes or communicative rules that you might have
found, depending on your topic, had you actually had the time to mount a full study. The best framework for analysis is the one chosen and adapted from
existing published work but you don’t have to describe the published work as you did for the quantitative project. But cite that study in APA style if you
choose to travel that path.
More than a couple of past students have wondered why I do not post an example of what I want. It’s simple: Although a quantitative report is an extremely
boilerplate format (they all look pretty much alike), a qualitative report is different, which is a point I made in one of the videos from the first or second
module. It’s very difficult to post a typical example because qualitative write-ups look so different, except that exemplars are used for evidence (or in the case
of proposal essays like this one, totally anticipated or imagined findings). I posted a study by Dr. Jenna Abetz to show you what it might look like if you had
time to do more than a mere essay on a proposed study, but invent your own format without parroting her style. Qualitative research is meant to be flexible.
Step 1: determining questions
most times qualitative researchers begin their research with a general question” what is going on here”. These startup questions reflect the researchers
general framework or orientation to the data.
Step 2; Unitzing textual data
a text, an interview scriipt, or a social text need to be broken down or unitized.
Step 3 developing coding categories
The coding categories developed by the researchers stand at the heart of qualitative data analysis. The process of developing coding categories is an
iterative cycle that you engage in over and over, each time receiving the coding categories until they capture all your data units.
Step 4 plugging holes
When a researcher revisits coding categories in the process just described, it is often necessary to “plug holes” with additional data gathering
Because coding categories are the foundation of qualitative analysis, you should spend extra effort to ensure that your process meets the criteria of
confirmability and credibility. Three procedures are employed by many qualitative researchers to check on the analysis at all points of the process, beginning
with the development of coding categories: negative case analysis, member checks, and triangulation.
To put simply, examples are examples that illustrate vividly and concretely the abstract properties of each coding category. they help the researcher establish
confirmability and credibility of the qualitative study
Step 7 integrating coding categories
If all you do is create categories your qualitative analysis is a listing enterprise. You need to take it to the next step. Determining conceptual relationships
between and among your various categories.