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Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research

Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research

Third Edition

September 2017 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Combining the latest thinking in the field with practical, step-by-step guidance, the Third Edition of John W. Creswell and Vicki L. Plano Clark’s Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research now includes seven mixed methods designs with accompanying journal articles illustrating each design. The authors walk readers through the entire research process and present updated examples from published mixed methods studies drawn from multiple disciplines. In addition, this new edition includes information about the dynamic and evolving nature of the field of mixed methods research, four additional methodological approaches, and coverage of new directions in mixed methods.

List of Figures
List of Tables
Purpose of the Book

Audience for the Book

Book Features

New Features Added to the Third Edition


About the Authors
Chapter 1 • The Nature of Mixed Methods Research
Defining Mixed Methods Research

Examples of Mixed Methods Studies

What Research Problems Require Mixed Methods?

What Are the Advantages of Using Mixed Methods?

What Are the Challenges in Using Mixed Methods?



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 2 • The Foundations of Mixed Methods Research
Historical Foundations

Philosophical Foundations

Theoretical Foundations



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 3 • Core Mixed Methods Designs
Key Concepts That Inform Mixed Methods Designs

The Three Core Mixed Methods Designs

Additional Considerations in Choosing a Core Design

Describing a Design in a Written Report



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 4 • Complex Applications of Core Mixed Methods Designs
Intersecting Core Mixed Methods Designs With Other Research Approaches or Frameworks

Four Prominent Types of Complex Mixed Methods Designs

Drawing Diagrams of Complex Applications



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 5 • Introducing a Mixed Methods Study
Writing a Mixed Methods Title

Stating the Research Problem in the Introduction

Developing the Purpose Statement

Writing Research Questions and Hypotheses



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 6 • Collecting Data in Mixed Methods Research
Procedures in Collecting Qualitative and Quantitative Data

General Considerations for Data Collection in Mixed Methods

Data Collection Within the Mixed Methods Designs



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 7 • Analyzing and Interpreting Data in Mixed Methods Research
Procedures in Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation

Mixed Methods Data Analysis and Interpretation

Integrated Data Analysis and Interpretation Within the Mixed Methods Designs

Validity and Mixed Methods Designs

Software Applications and Mixed Methods Data Analysis



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 8 • Writing and Evaluating Mixed Methods Research
General Guidelines for Writing

Relate the Mixed Methods Structure to the Type of Writing

Evaluating a Mixed Methods Study



Additional Resources to Examine

Chapter 9 • Advances in Mixed Methods Research
Advances in Mining Data

Advances in the Insight Gained Through the Value of Mixed Methods Research

Advances in Mixed Methods Designs

Advances in Representations of Design Procedures

Advances in Integration

Advances in Creating Mixed Methods Questions and Study Aims

Advances in Representing Integration Through Joint Displays

Advances in Mixed Methods Validity

Advances in Understanding Skills Required for Mixed Methods

Advances in Publishing Mixed Methods Manuscripts



Additional Resources to Examine

Appendix A: Unwritten Rules of Talking to Doctors About Depression: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
Appendix B: Students’ Persistence in a Distributed Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership in Higher Education: A Mixed Methods Study
Appendix C: The Development of Client Violence Questionnaire (CVQ)
Appendix D: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Robotic Gait Training and Gait-Focused Physical Therapy Programs for Children and Youth With Cerebral Palsy: A Mixed Methods RCT
Appendix E: Reconciling Data From Different Sources: Practical Realities of Using Mixed Methods to Identify Effective High School Practices
Appendix F: Understanding Transitions in Care From Hospital to Homeless Shelter: A Mixed-Methods, Community-Based Participatory Approach
Appendix G: Mixed Methods in Intervention Research: Theory to Adaptation


Instructor Resource Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • A sample syllabus assists in planning a course using Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research, Third Edition. 
Student Resource Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

  • Full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to expand upon each chapter.
  • Exclusive content curated specifically for this text from the SAGE Research Methods platform, including case studies and premium video, allows for further exploration into important topics.

"The go-to text for mixed methods research.”

Regardt Ferreira
Tulane University

“Creswell and Plano Clark have captured recent changes within mixed methods research, and these are reflected in this dynamic, salient book!”

Susan Sweat Gunby
Mercer University

“An excellent guide for the design and conduct of mixed methods research!”

Mansoo Yu
University of Missouri-Columbia

“Readers of the book will understand the expanding breadth of multiple methods, the value of complex methods for sophisticated analysis of problems, and how to use and evaluate mixed methods in research.”

Joseph Drew
Morgan State University

“This updated edition provides thoughtful consideration to how the field of mixed methods research has changed, including how the authors' own definitions and typologies have refined. It also provides a discussion of a diverse array of empirical studies from prominent and emerging mixed methods scholars, highlighting the strength and potential of this field for social and behavioral sciences.”

Peggy Shannon-Baker
Bryn Mawr College

“Creswell and Plano Clark do excellent work in showing the evolution of mixed-methods research. One of the highlights of this edition is the addition of scaffolds that guide writing sections of a mixed-methods study.”

Senay Purzer
Purdue University

“Narrowing down the research methods to three primary types and then providing application methods and basic step-by-step instructions, along with great resources in the appendix and outside contributions, makes this a must have book in any academic study leading to research development.”

Natalie Ellis
The University of Oklahoma

Excellent tables and clear explanations of study design. Students loved templates to help write MM questions and purpose statements.

Ms Bani Saluja
Behavioral and Community Health, University Of Maryland
October 14, 2022

Comprehensive and clear text. Easy for students to follow. Great initial methodology text.

Dr Aislinn Lalor
Health, Monash University - Peninsula Campus
August 2, 2022

A comprehensive presentation of the mixed method design offering a well-balanced discussion of both qualitative and quantitative approaches that is also sustained by a good selection of examples and suggested readings.

Dr Nicoleta Gaciu
School of Education, Oxford Brookes University
December 7, 2020
Key features


  • A new Chapter 3 focuses on three core mixed methods designs (the Convergent, the Explanatory Sequential, and the Exploratory Sequential designs) and their applications to illustrate the decisions involved with the most common uses of mixed methods research.
  • Advanced mixed methods designs explain four prominent applications (intervention trials, case studies, participatory-social justice designs, and program evaluations) to show the latest thinking about mixed methods designs and the complexity and decisions involved.
  • Ten advances in mixed methods research introduce new directions in mixed methods so students can understand the dynamics of the field and consider how their own work can use and contribute to cutting-edge practices.
  • Seven articles, four new to this edition, provide multidisciplinary examples of quality mixed methods studies, and complex applications provide models to guide readers’ own planning as they apply the ideas to real studies.
  • Enhanced emphasis on integration highlights the intent, procedures, representation, and interpretation of integration within each of the seven designs so readers understand how to design and implement integration within a mixed methods study.
  • A new conclusion pulls together the key elements of the core designs to show readers the entire process of research from beginning to end.


  • The book follows the process of conducting a study, including coverage of the initial assessment, the philosophical assumptions and theoretical stances that guide research, and the steps for developing an introduction, collecting and analyzing data, and writing the proposal and final report for a study.
  • Each step in the design process unfolds within each chapter and is considered from the perspective of the different mixed methods designs.
  • Each chapter concludes with a summary, further readings, and practical activities to make concrete the major points of the chapter.
  • A threaded activity asks readers to incorporate the ideas from the chapter into the development of a mixed methods study that is being actively designed.
  • Examples from diverse fields, such as sociology, psychology, education, management, marketing, social work, family studies, communication studies, leadership, family medicine, mental health, and nursing, augment the discussion of the steps in the design process and provide models for how to write up and report the results.

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