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Handling Qualitative Data

Handling Qualitative Data
A Practical Guide

Third Edition
Additional resources:

November 2014 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The Third Edition of Lyn Richards' best-selling book is the perfect introduction to qualitative research for students and practitioners. Recognizing that for many new researchers dealing with data is the main point of departure, this book helps them to acquire an understanding of the skills and methodological issues that are central to qualitative research. Author Lyn Richards provides practical guidance on how to handle, reflect on and make sense of rich data, while at the same time showing how a consideration of methods and their philosophical underpinnings informs how we should best handle our data.

Detailed sections cover: the processes of making, meeting, sorting, coding, documenting, and exploring qualitative data; how to see a study as a whole and write it, and making and justifying claims. Each chapter smoothly integrates software use with discussion of the main challenges that software users are likely to encounter. Novice researchers who use this book will be able to achieve valid and useful outcomes from qualitative analysis, and ensure they do justice to their data.
Part I: Setting up
Setting up Your Project
Making Qualitative Data
Data Records
Part II: Working with the Data
Up from the Data
Handling Ideas
Part III: Making Sense of Your Data
What Are You Aiming for?
Searching the Data
Seeing a Whole
Telling It

As a PhD student and lecturer who supervises undergraduate and graduate theses this text is a key resource. Richards provides excellent and easily understandable insights, these are often supported with diagrams which I often share with research students as a way of developing their understanding of the whole research process. The text also acts as an excellent stimuli for the more intermediate level researcher who may be working through minor issues whilst dealing with their data.

Mr Keiron Fletcher
DIT Graduate Business School, Dublin Institute of Technology
November 3, 2015

An invaluable resource for students that addresses critical aspects of qualitative analysis

Dr Pauline Meskell
School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway
August 21, 2015

very well structured, contents and structure transparent 'at a glimpse'

Professor Xenia Zeiler
Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki
January 28, 2016

An excellently reassuring guide to students undertaking a research project / dissertation

Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University
January 26, 2016

Offers a gentle intro to students interested in developing their research project further. A little too advanced for my under grads.

Ms Rachel Michelle Spearing
Portsmouth Business School, Portsmouth University
September 8, 2015

This is an excellent book and I would particularly recommend it to students who are new to research. The diagrams at the front of each chapter enable the reader to track their progress in handling qualitative data.

Dr Gina Sarah Sherwood
School of Education & Continuing Stud, Portsmouth University
June 17, 2015

Students often struggle to carry out robust qualitative research. This book provides very good advice not just about how to collect the data but also how to analyse and interpret it.

Ms Rita Walsh
School of Business, Royal Agricultural College
June 26, 2015

Lyn Richards fills a gap in research literature with this book. It is a practical guide for beginner researchers on how to work with, makes sense of and give 'voice' to collected data

Professor Susan Coetzee
Educational Leadership and Management, University of South Africa
June 13, 2015

This is good general, all around text covering different methods and techniques in handling qualitative data - easy to follow and useful as a reference text.

Mr David Wooff
Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University
September 17, 2015

This book provides a thorough guide to managing qualitative data in an accessible and understandable format

Mrs rhiannon macpherson
Department of Health, Social Care, Glyndwr University
September 4, 2015
Key features
  • A fully updated website with expanded examples of "Methods in Practice" showing students and practitioners what qualitative data analysis looks like in real life; researchers reflect back on their project and what they might have done differently.
  • New critical discussion on the companion website of the contributions of qualitative software and relevance of current software to project tasks. Researchers using different qualitative software packages report how they were used and where there limits were met.
  • Extended coverage within the text of key topics in qualitative research including ethics, reflexivity, and the relationship between research questions and methodological choices.
  • With examples from a wide range of social science disciplines including Education, Media, Sociology, Psychology and Health, this book is the perfect companion for all those starting out qualitative research.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch. 1: Setting up your project