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 and organize your documents into groups or sets
- Begin to build a code system.
- In some projects you might have a clear idea of the codes you want to content analyze from your work in Stage 1, but this is often not likely to be complete.
- Use MAXQDA paraphrasing to summarize documents in your own words, and then develop codes from that work.
Stage 3 - The Content Analysis
Stage 3 is where the bulk of the work occurs :content analyzing your documents:
- Refining the code system
- Content analyzing your documents
- Creating memos and comments
- Identifying patterns and relationships
- Summarizing your data
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.