where to put my qualitative data in law thesis


Hi, i am PhD student just started 3rd year and studying finance law.i used interviews in my study which are covering the main three chapters of my thesis. i needs your opinion where to put my interviews findings and quotations. Is it preferable to put them in a separate chapter and those three main chapters to be for analysing the primary and secondary sources and comparing with the position in the US, OR put my interviews quotations in those three main chapters and no need for separate chapter, still confused
i appreciate your opinion
thanks in advance


Hi Chris,

from what you've said.. top of the head stuff.. i would integrate them into the three chapters. I'm assuming they will support your other analysis.

Ultimately though, there is no right way. Its what's right for you, tells your story and allows you to best answer your question. Hope your sup will be able to provide guidance on specifics.

Best. Chuff


I don't think there is an easy or trite answer to this. It depends!

First and foremost you are writing for an unknown audience :-) Some examiners will prefer to see raw data in the appendices and expect a particular treatment of data. Others may not want to see raw data or a separate analysis. There is no way of guessing what they want, but asking your supervisor is advisable because a) they have a hand in finding the examiners, and b) you have recourse if their advice is poor.

It could also depend on your method. If you are using a quantitative method to analyse it may be convention in your discipline to present data and summarised tables in the body, followed by formal (usually statistical) analysis, then discussion, and leave raw data in the appendices. On the other hand, qualitative research tends to draw on the complexity and pepper the thematic discourse with quotations and illustrations.

It could depend on the data - how many interviews you have and how rich the data is. If you have a dozen exhaustive interviews with experts, then it would be better to draw on those throughout the discussion and use the weight of the experts to support the argument. This is especially important if their views are contradictory, where it may be better to contrast and compare these as you go along. On the other hand, if you have numerous interviews with thin and not very probing data, then it is the statistical probability (weight of numbers) that is supporting your argument and you may want to present analysis and discussion separately so as to draw attention to that.

The research logic is a consideration. Data and theory play different roles in different forms of logic, such as deductive, inductive or even philosophical study. Will it be best to present data and analysis on their own, or will this interrupt the flow of your argument?

My suggestion would be to prepare and think through a couple of alternatives carefully, then ask your supervisor for their opinion on your options. They will see you have done some work and are asking for guidance. A half an hour discussion with someone who knows your work well and knows what the typical examiner in that field is expecting should clarify the matter.


You could try putting it somewhere between the front and back cover. (up)


Hi Chuff,
Thanks for your reply, as you said there is no right way, however, should justify whatever i follow.


Many thanks Patrick for your valuable comment. I have 17 interviews, 8 with really experts and officialls people and the rest
with journalists and lawyers.
Thanks again