Qualitative Research Methods

My rating scale:
***** A well-deserved classic in the field, or just so good that it is a must read!
**** One of my favorites. An important book in the field.
*** A worthwhile read.
** Maybe some worthwhile ideas, but overall not so hot.
* Just plain bad.
(actually, if it’s below 3 stars, I probably haven’t bothered to include it)

Becker, H. S. (1998). Tricks of the trade: How to think about your research while you’re doing it: University of Chicago. 232pp.
This book is written in an engaging personal style. Becker relies a lot on his own extensive experience as a qualitative researcher in giving advise. It is not laid out as a how-to book, and does not progress in an orderly logical fashion. However, that matches his attitude toward research–it is not an orderly step-by-step process. (***)

Creswell, J. C. (1994). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches: Sage. 227pp.
Creswell is heavily cited in the literature on research methodology. This book gives a strong overview of the research methods and explains the basics and purposes of each type. (***)

Fetterman, D. M. (1998). Ethnography (Second ed.): Sage.
This book provides an easy introduction to how to do ethnography. Written engagingly with lots of practical advice.(***)

Maxwell, J. A. (2005). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (Second ed. Vol. 41): Sage. 175pp.
Written primarily for those doing academic research, such as doctoral students and university researchers. It is a good introduction to the theory and practice of doing qualitative research. The second half is particularly strong on good practical advice. (***)

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 338pp.
This is one of the bible’s of qualitative research. It is referred to in most other qualitative research texts. It lives up to it’s title and subtitle as a fairly comprehensive sourcebook on the many issues confronting qualitative researchers, in particular the issue of analyzing qualitative data. This is not a book for beginners however. (****)

Mills, G. E. (2003). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher (2nd ed.): Pearson. 235pp.
This is a good basic textbook on how to do qualitative teacher research.(***)

Sagor, R. (1992). How to conduct collaborative research. ASCD. 78pp.
This short pamphlet style book is aimed at the practitioner who wants to use research to make change at their own site. It is a short basic book that is aimed to help one think through the entire process. It is not aimed at research from an academic perspective, but rather, as the title states, doing research collaboratively, and in order to act on that research. (***)

Seidman, I. (1998). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences (Second ed.). Teachers College Press. 141pp.
This book is an excellent how-to book if you plan on using interviewing as your primary or sole form of conducting your research project. (***)

Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (Third ed.). Sage.
This Sage publication is one of the bible’s in the field. It is very practical in terms of how to conduct a qualitative case study, but also an excellent resource in terms of understanding what is a case study and when is it most appropriate.(****)

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