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30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher

30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher

First Edition
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August 2015 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher fills a gap in introductory literature on qualitative inquiry by providing practical "how-to" information for beginning researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Author John W. Creswell draws on years of teaching, writing, and conducting his own projects to offer effective techniques and procedures with many applied examples from research design, qualitative inquiry, and mixed methods. Creswell defines what a skill is, and acknowledges that while there may be more than 30 that an individual will use and perfect, the skills presented in this book are crucial for a new qualitative researcher starting a qualitative project.

Learn more about John Creswell's qualitative and mixed methods research titles as well as his 2017 mixed methods workshops



Organization of the book

Wriitng features


About the Author
Part I Understanding the Landscape of Qualitative Research
1 Thinking Like a Qualitative Researcher
2 Building on Quantitative Research Knowledge to Implement Qualitative Research
3 Making Your Qualitative Project Rigorous and Conceptually Interesting
4 Managing Difficult Emotions That Come Up During Research
5 Working With Research Advisers and Committees
Part II Considering Preliminary Elements
6 Using Philosophy and Theory In Qualitative Research
7 Anticipating Ethical Issues
8 Developing a Literature Map
9 Viewing the Structure of a Thesis or Dissertation for a Qualitative Study
Part III Introducing a Qualitative Study
10 Writing a Good Qualitative Title and Abstract
11 Writing a Good Introduction and Opening Sentence to a Study
12 Scripting a Qualitative Purpose Statement and Research Questions
Part IV Collecting Data
13 Understanding the Process of Qualitative Data Collection
14 Conducting a Good Observation
15 Designing and Administering an Interview Protocol
16 Collecting Data With Marginalized Populations
17 Being Culturally Aware in Global Qualitative Research
Part V Analyzing and Validating Data
18 Coding Text Data
19 Coding Images and Pictures
20 Developing Theme Passages
21 Using a Computer Software Program for Data Analysis
22 Implementing Validity Checks
23 Conducting Intercoder Agreement
Part VI Writing and Publishing Qualitative Research
24 Writing In a Scholarly Way
25 Writing In a Qualitative Way
26 Writing Reflexively
27 Writing a Good Conclusion Section
28 Publishing a Qualitative Journal Article
Part VII Evaluating a Study and Using Qualitative Designs
29 Selecting Quality Criteria for a Qualitative Study
30 Introducing Qualitative Designs
Glossary of Terms


Instructor Resource Site

Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for John W. Creswell's 30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, module-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • An Instructor's Manual, comprised of lecture notes and discussion questions for each module, align with PowerPoint slides to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Exercises for each module can be used in class to reinforce active learning. 
  • Suggested short-term and long-term assignments include notes about which qualitative research skills they engage
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each module. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. 
Student Study Site
Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course!

Our Student Study Site at is completely open-access and includes the following:

  • Mobile-friendly web quizzes for each module allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the module.

Key features


  • A consistent format for each chapter includes a definition of the skill to be developed, reasoning for why that skill is important, suggestions for developing the skill, the author’s personal approach to using this skill in his own research, and activities for practicing the skill.
  • The unique structure of the book gives readers the freedom to skip to any chapters they wish to read or use without having to read the preceding material, allowing them to customize their approach to learning.
  • A conversational tone makes the material accessible to readers to ensure easy comprehension.
  • Minimal references and short, digestible chapters reduce the number of interruptions and allow readers to focus on the topics presented.
  • Discussion of innovative topics includes thinking like a qualitative researcher, managing the emotional aspects of conducting qualitative research, engaging in intercoder agreement checks, coding pictures, writing conclusions, and more, giving readers access to information not traditionally addressed in other qualitative research methods books.

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