The 4 Stages: AN Overview
The Four Stages of Research is a way of thinking through a qualitative research project using MAXQDA. It is not the only way to approach research, but one that I find useful and easy to teach to new users of the software.
MAXQDA is a tool. It does not do the research for you. But it can make the research process much easier, if you approach it in a systematic way and develop a conceptual framework
This stage isn’t about MAXQDA, it is about conducting research
Stage 2 - Workflow
Create your MAXQDA project, and setup a process to organize your work.
Identify your data (documents), import them into MAXQDA
Organize data into Document groups and sets
Create and import document variables
Begin to explore your data, doing some initial paraphrasing
Stage 3 - The Content Analysis
Stage 3 is where the bulk of the work occurs :content analyzing your documents:
Develop a coding system
using paraphrases, smart coding tool, creative coding
import deductively driven codes from spreadsheet
Content analyzing your documents
Creating memos and comments
Use lexical searches to auto-code
Examine code usage with code maps
Stage 4 - The Art of Data Analysis
Summarize, identify patterns, quantify findings and examples. Write results.
The Art of Data analysis is a multi-step process, in which you have numerous options and tools.
It is often not linear in that you simply go from step A to B to C. Everyone has a different approach and I view Stage 4 as highly personal and subject to your own skills, needs, and ways of tackling a project.
MAXQDA offers a wide variety of tools that can be used to accomplish this. The tutorials provide ideas and examples of how to effectively use the software.
An earlier version of the Four Stages of Research was presented at the 2019 MQIC.
You can view a YouTube video of the presentation here.