Data Analysis Evaluation of Dissertation

Data Analysis Evaluation of Dissertation

Were the data analysis methods used appropriately for the qualitative tradition or research design (e.g., case study, ethnography, grounded theory, etc.)? Why or why not?

The design of the project conducted by the researcher is a rhetorical assumption of qualitative study via a phenomenological lens. This is to mean that the study in question is based on a research design called phenomenology. Phenomenology is a traditional research design in German philosophy that emphasizes on the essence of an experienced experience. Those involved in a phenomenological study put a lot of emphasis on the meaning of a certain aspect of the experience, assuming that through reflection and dialogue the quintessential meaning of that lived experience will be remembered and reviewed, language is usually viewed as the central symbol system via which meaning is conveyed and constructed. The aims and objectives of a phenomenological study are interpretation, description and critical self- evaluation and reflection into the world as it is. Central are the ideologies of caring and intentionality; the researcher inquires about the importance of such an experience (Holstein & Gubrium, 1994).

Having established that, it is easy to see that the researcher in this case appropriately made use of the research design essential for carrying out a phenomenology study. The reason why the paper makes this conclusion is that the researcher made use of all or almost all of the relevant steps in data analysis of phenomenological data. The researcher identifies the essential statements, created meaning units, clustered themes, and advanced structural and textural designs, in addition to, making a composite description of the structural and textural descriptions into an exhaustive description of the crucial invariant structure. Next, the researcher compared different transcript responses for the purposes of finding themes and pinpointing the essential phrases give an understanding of how the subjects experienced or lived the experience. Next, the researcher coded the responses by assigning them a symbol. Finally, the researcher clustered the similar responses under one category.

This is the most appropriate manner of data analysis when it comes to this kind of study. According to a number of experts on the issue, transcripts are coded into significant details with emphasis shifting forth and back from the main claims of the subjects, to the interpretation of the researcher of the meaning of such claims. The researcher comes up with codes from the collected data. After transcribing this data, the researcher then works intensely and closely with the text annotating or coding it closely for insights into the experiences of the participants. As the analysis develops, the researcher catalogues the codes that have emerged and consequently starts to look for patterns in the codes. These are what are referred to as themes. Some themes will eventually be categorized under larger categories called – ordinate themes (Patton, 1990).

The above paragraph describes what has already been established as the proper design for analyzing data in a phenomenological research. According to the report generated by the researcher, the documented study utilized the appropriate data analysis design.

Were all aspects of the data analysis methods described or justified sufficiently? If not, what could have the author said and why? If sufficient, explain why you think so.

According to Patton (1990), the emphasis of a phenomenological research lies in the descriptions of what the participants experience and how it their experience. The aim is to pin point the importance of shared experience that underlies all the differences in this certain experience. The importance is seen as commonalities in most experiences of humans. According to Patton (1990), the elements of data analysis in a phenomenological study are five. The five is called epoche and it is the stage which the researcher clarifies or eliminates a preconception. The researchers, therefore, have to be aware of prejudices and preconceptions made of the phenomenon in question (Schwandt, 2000). The second step is phenomenological reduction in which the researcher singles out the presuppositions and the world to identify the data in its purest forms, uncontaminated by other intrusions. Bracketing is the third stage, which involves identification of the main phrases, interpretation of the phrases, identifying the participant’s interpretation, inspecting the meaning of their implications and offering a tentative statement or definition. The fourth stage is the textural portrayal of each theme, or the description of the experience. The final and fifth stage involves the establishment of a structural synthesis.

According to the steps narrated above, it is clear that the researcher tried to follow the design and format of data analysis of a phenomenological study but failed to execute all of the essential elements or steps. Though the major steps in analysis were followed and identified in the study, it is also clear that the researcher left out a few. For instance, the research data analysis did not include the first phase of a phenomenological data analysis. The researcher also left out the second step or touched on it lightly. It is evident that the study emphasized more on the third stage and all of its steps. For the research to be more appropriate, the study should have included all of the steps described above.

Do you think the data needed to answer the research questions could have been analyzed as effectively using other data analysis methods? If so, what other methods would you recommend and why? If not, why not/ this includes data analysis methods, as well as, how they were conducted or implemented.

Yes. The study could have been conducted using another more efficient form of data analysis other that the phenomenological approach. One of the most appropriate and effective approaches in studying and interpreting common themes and human behavior is called constant comparative analysis. Many qualitative analysis approaches depend on a general strategy referred to as constant comparative analysis. This strategy involves taking one piece of data and comparing it with other pieces of data that may be different or similar for developing conceptualizations of the possible connections between different kinds of data. For instance, by comparing the experiences or accounts of two individuals who experienced similar situations, a researcher might be able to come up with certain analytical questions that might be helpful in comparing experiences. In most qualitative surveys whose objective is to generate information about similar themes and patterns within human experiences, this approach continues with comparing each new account or interview until all have been compared (Glaser & Straus, 1967). The study could have benefited more with such a thorough approach of data analysis, since a constant comparative analysis approach is a more superior way of comparing similar or different pieces of information generated from a study.


Glaser, G. & Strauss, L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine.

Holstein, A. & Gubrium, F. (1994). Phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and interpretive practice. In N. Denzin & S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Patton, Q. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Schwandt, A. (2000). Three epistemological stances for qualitative inquiry: Interpretivism, hermeneutics, and social construction. In K. Denzin & S. Lincoln, (Eds). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.