Qual research presentation of interview data



I'm at just about first draft stage of a qualitative interview data rich PhD and am re-reading my data findings chapter and much as it certainly tells the reader what participants said.. and then i follow their quotes with my interpretation... it does feel like a lot of cut and paste from the transcription.

i feel a bit like a fraud, not that I am :-) , but i wonder .. how do others present interview data and what's the balance between participant voice and your voice ?

as a rough guide ... what proportion of your data findings chapter are direct quotes ? and how do you present them so it doesn't feel too much like a cut and paste from transcripts ? or should it feel like a cut and paste .. so confused

thanks in advance. Chuff


Hi Chuff

I don't have a qual phd, but i did do a qual study for my masters dissertation. I also found the results section quite hard to right.

but i think you should have lots of quotes in there, and so a large degree of it is cut and paste from transcripts. I would say it should maybe be about 60-40 in favour of quotes and then your interpretation. I think as long as all the quotes you include, you do interpret and go into further detail, and they all add something.

but i do understand it feels weird, it's really the only type of research where we can copy and paste stuff! but i think generally what is important here is that you show you can select the most relevant and illustrative quotes for use, and that your interpretation can be seen as coming from the quote and aids and deepens the readers understanding of the issue.

hope that helps, good luck with it


Thanks for your reply Purplecat, 

I think i have maybe edging towards 70-30 although not counted, just feels that way.  must check.

did feel like a cheat though,  much as interview and self-transcription is no cheat (sprout)   its a tortuous experience isn't it.

anyone else have a view?


======= Date Modified 23 Sep 2010 23:12:49 =======
I can't chip in with experience, but I'm watching this with interest: my last piece of research was based on a couple of factorial experiments, whereas this time, it's going to be mostly interview data. Your thread has flagged up the blunt reality of what lies ahead.


Hi Chuff,

I have done a qualitative study. The quotes makes the study interesting and provides insight in what really has been said. It more or less invites the reader to draw their own conclusion. Therefore I think the more quotes the better, so would aim at least for 50 - 50.

However, in publications there is usually a limited word count, so if you want to publish it, you will need to reduce the size of the text, often this only goes by cutting quotes.

Hope this helps.:-)


======= Date Modified 24 Sep 2010 09:49:02 =======
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***Edited my mods- advertising***


Quote From rick:

the more quotes the better

Thanks Rick... i love my quotes, they bring it to life ( as far as you can without the nuances of unspoken communication, especially the raised eyebrow , i love the raised eyebrow ;-) )

i will check out the proportion though, and of course i await the dreaded sup feedback - not dreaded really, i love my sup too :-)

be great to hear more opinions... especially those that agree with the more quotes the better mode :p



======= Date Modified 24 Sep 2010 19:26:29 =======
Oh dear .. no wonder it feels like a cut and paste, it is a cut and paste = does 70% sound way too high to you ?

appreciate your opinions ? it does to me and i'm looking like this :-( now... (turkey)