Category Archives: data

playing about with data

Not everything we do in our research has to have a definite end point. Sometimes it’s good to set aside all those anxieties about ‘getting through and getting done’. We might even like to take some time to simply play … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, data, data analysis, play | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

a festive gift from patter – a checklist for revising methods chapters

PhDers sometimes find writing the thesis methods chapter a pretty tedious business. But the methods chapter is a key part of the examination process – it shows that the researcher knows how to research. You see, examiners make their decision … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, data, data analysis, methodology, methods, methods chapter, research methods, revision, revision strategy, thesis revision | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

the joys of creative re-description

Working with data is a creative process. Yes I know data word has got to be systematic and thorough. You can’t make up your results. But working with data is also always about interpretation. And interpretation, at some point, is … Continue reading

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beginning data analysis – orienting yourself

This post is a response to a question about how to begin data analysis. When you were little, I bet you played sorting games. You might have organised pencils into colours, or blocks into various shapes. Later on, you may … Continue reading

Posted in data, data analysis, orienting questions, qualitative data, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

play with your data

Data analysis can be pretty scary.  That moment when you realise that making sense of the stuff you’ve so painstakingly generated comes down to you – just you.  Well, relax. It’s not just you that has to leap into the … Continue reading

Posted in data, data analysis, play, qualitative data, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

three things examiners look for in methods chapters

Once upon a time, when I worked in schools, early childhood teachers routinely issued young children with a ‘pen license’. A pen license was much sought after as it meant that a child could ‘advance’ to using a pen instead of … Continue reading

Posted in data, data analysis, examiner, methods, methods chapter, research methods, thesis, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

pack ratting – a common or garden field work practice

Pack rats are nest builders. They use plant material such as branches, twigs, sticks, and other available debris. Getting into everything from attics to car engines, stealing their ‘treasures’, damaging electrical wiring, and creating general noisy havoc can easily cause … Continue reading

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starting the PhD – don’t panic

I was sitting in my office the other day talking with a beginning PhDer. A nearly-finished doctor popped her head around the door. I asked her what advice she would give someone just starting out on their doctorate, and her … Continue reading

Posted in data, doctoral research, literature review, panic, questions, research question, thesis | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

devouring your data

You’ve read hundreds of books. You’ve waded through archival material. You’ve got mountains of surveys, folders full of transcripts, notebooks stuffed with barely legible field notes, and rather more photographs than you initially intended. Now what? How is it going … Continue reading

Posted in analysis, data | Tagged , | 10 Comments

a little Romantic messiness

A post for National Poetry Day. It is pretty common for research methods courses and books to suggest that qualitative researchers read through their data – such as interview transcripts – several times. Reading through happens before you get down … Continue reading

Posted in data, interview transcripts, John Keats, mess, negative capability | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments