Qualitative Research: Top Reading Recommendations

When it comes to qualitative research, navigating the abundance of information and approaches can be a daunting task. Whether you’re just starting out or seeking to enhance your skills, having the right resources at your fingertips is crucial. In this post, I share my top recommendations for qualitative research resources that have proven invaluable to me.

Qualitative research

Braun and Clarke (2013). Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners. – This is an excellent comprehensive introduction to qualitative research. It included what is good qualitative research and practice tips on how to conduct qualitative studies! It also highlights different methods and methodologies in qualitative research, so if you are not sure where to look first – go here!

Kara (2022). Qualitative research for quantitative researchers. – A recent recommendation to me from Helen Kara herself. This book is excellent at explaining complex ideas around qualitative research. If you are from a quantitative background I would highly recommend this book, but also for qualitative researchers too!

Reflexive thematic analysis

Braun and Clarke (2021). Thematic Analysis: A Practical Guide. – Building on their earlier work, this book focuses on reflexive thematic analysis. This resource is a must-read for anyone venturing into thematic analysis territory. It provides clear guidance, step-by-step instructions, and practical examples, making it an essential read for conducting effective thematic analysis.

Braun and Clarke (2023). Is thematic analysis used well in health psychology? A critical review of published research, with recommendations for quality practice and reporting. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2022.2161594. This paper provides recommendations for authors (and reviewers) on conducting and reporting high-quality thematic analysis research! A must-read and excellent resource for writing up!

The Thematic Analysis website has many links and resources including exemplary examples of published papers: https://www.thematicanalysis.net/

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)

For those interested in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), an in-depth qualitative analysis methodology, the book by Smith, Flowers, and Larkin is a go-to reference.

Smith, Flowers and Larkin (2021). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research (2nd Ed.) -This second edition offers comprehensive insights into IPA theory, methodology, and research techniques. Whether you’re a novice or an IPA enthusiast, this book guides you through IPA for researching participants’ lived experiences.

For my own experiences of doing IPA, check out my blog post which details the steps of my own IPA journey with pictures of how I did it.

This video from Smith and Nizza gives an overview of IPA including discussing the new terminology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YM8Xxs8ucA&ab_channel=AmericanPsychologicalAssociation

Comparing qualitative approaches

SQIP Virtual Salon: What’s the Difference? A Conversation Comparing Approaches to Qualitative Analysis https://vimeo.com/656276272 – This is a really good video from the experts in qualitative research methods talking about the different approaches, including grounded theory, IPA and reflexive thematic analysis.

Embarking on a qualitative research journey is very exciting, but it can also be challenging to get your head around. These top resources will give you a great overview of qualitative methodologies and techniques. Having an open mind is key to successful qualitative research, as well as theoretical understanding, practical application, and a passion for understanding human experiences.

No doubt I have missed some key resources, so if you would recommend anything to me or think something should be included, please comment below or get in touch!

Happy researching!

Note: The resources in this blog post are based on resources available up to May 2024. Be sure to check for any updates or newer editions of the recommended resources.

Disclaimer: I do not get a commission for these recommendations. I am sharing because I often recommend these to people interested in qualitative research.

1 thought on “Qualitative Research: Top Reading Recommendations”

  1. Wow! Wish I’d had this when starting out on my research methodologies chapter. BUT! This useful reading will certainly add more depth to my thesis as I finish writing it up 😊 thank you LW!

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