Analysis »

Finding a Focus


During data analysis, you should select a single theme or issue as your focus, which will eventually become a specific research question. A working question or general topic has already guided the research design and interviews. Initial research topics, such as "how immigration affects families," are quite broad. As the research progresses, the topic gradually becomes more refined as themes in the data emerge from early stages of analysis.


Read all the transcripts to find your focus. Follow your own curiosity. What intrigues, surprises or confuses you? Let your interests direct you. If you can not decide, try following your feelings. Do you have any feelings, strong or mild, towards any of the respondents? Reflect on why you feel this way. What questions do your feelings raise? Not only can feelings raise interest, they can sustain you to carry through challenging intellectual projects. So let your feelings direct you.

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