I’m editing my Methods section today. This will probably be a very boring post unless you’re interested in the constant comparative method. Probably no pictures, either.
Okay, so let’s get to it. This is a typical editing scenario for me. I’m very algorithmically driven, so I like to compare things in a systematic way. First, I’ll compare my Methods section to Glaser’s article (1969). Next, I’ll compare my Methods section to the Method chapter in Creswell’s (2009) book. I’ll note things I need to improve. Next, on to Krippendorf. And then, a comparison to the cool examples I found . And then, I should have enough ideas for improvement. Sound good? BTW, this might end up being two posts. Or four.
I have in my hand a copy of my Methods section and a copy of Glaser’s The Constant Comparative Method of Qualitative Analysis, written in 1969. You can find it in the journal Social Problems. It’s not a long article, but it is difficult reading because it is so information-dense. I’m going to re-read the article and make sure my methods section has everything it needs. So, here I go:
- I didn’t mention the constant comparative method explicitly in my methods section. I mentioned emergent categories, but I didn’t discuss the process at length.
- I didn’t mention the memos I took as I worked with the emergent categories. I need to add these–probably to the appendix section of the entire document. Then, I can just refer to them in the text of the methods section.
- I need to delimit the theory, or mention how I knew I was done with the analysis. I need to mention theoretical saturation. I know I reached it in my analysis, but I don’t think I did a very good job of telling about it in my methods section.
Okay, now for Creswell. There is a nice checklist on page 174, table 9.1. So, here is a list of the things recommended by Creswell’s table, but absent in my methods section:
- Are the basic characteristics of qualitative studies mentioned? I didn’t do an overview because I went right into content analysis, so I can do some editing to add this.
- I should probably mention some history of content analysis.
- It looks like ethical considerations and validation checks belong here, so I’ll move them from the first chapter.
- I might mention more about the coding of the data
- I can probably elaborate on what kind of information we can find from content analysis
From other articles:
- It’s pretty clear that a better description of the process is needed. I need more specifics, like, “the documents were read as a whole…blah blah blah.” I need to be more descriptive of the actual steps I took to do this. It’s all in my brain, but I need to get it down on paper.
- I used a data analysis method almost exactly like Thompson. I need to detail it better and cite him as a source.
- It’s possible my genre stuff should go into method
Okay, so that’s it. I have a lot of updating to do.