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Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches
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Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  988 ratings  ·  63 reviews
This text compares and contrasts the five major qualitative traditions: biography, case study, ethnography, grounded theory, and phenomenology. Five actual journal articles are reproduced in the appendix as examples of the different research designs.
Paperback, 395 pages
Published December 20th 2006 by Sage Publications (CA) (first published 1997)
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Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: research, psychology
Research books typically are not enjoyable books to read. Creswell, in Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design, did not break this mold. Yet, this was a very well written book and worth the time to read it. Creswell does a very nice job of providing an overview of the major aspects of qualitative research as well as introducing and comparing five main types of qualitative research: 1) Narrative, 2) Phenomenological, 3) Grounded Theory, 4) Ethnographic, and 5) Case Study. It should be noted, howeve ...more
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dcar, 2011, 2012
assigned for school and i actually really liked it. so much so, that when i realized that it was on the required reading list for a second semester in a row, it made me smile. this book is so well written that i can easily learn from it, use it as a handbook, find new and interesting things in it, read it repeatedly and still learn something new or useful, and want to read it again. i have never bonded with a required text quite the way that i have bonded with this book.
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: research-help
nothing easy here; however a great annotated bibliography for conduction qualitative research will likely prove helpful when the time comes
I was looking for a good introduction to approaches to qualitative research and this book did a great job of providing it. It talks about philosophy assumptions and interpretative framework before getting into the the approaches. This provides more context for the approaches and when and where they should be applied. The book uses a comparative presentation style -- always comparing the five approaches. This really helps appreciate the similarities and differences of approaches. In fact, it help ...more
Bri (
Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design is a textbook that thoroughly compares and contrasts five different qualitative approaches for research: narrative, phenomenology, grounded theory, case study, and ethnography. There are many helpful charts that break down the key components of these approaches so you can digest how they are similar and different from each other. The textbook weaves through how to conceive a research question, consider which of the five approaches can best gather the data yo ...more
Lynne Nunyabidness
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libraryish
I finally finished this bitch!

No, seriously. Those were the first words out of my mouth. This book has been my white whale since the summer. I am not a theoretical gal (my undergraduate degree was a practical one, and my graduate degree focused on the functional concepts of my profession rather than the abstract). If you’re interested in learning about the basics of qualitative research, this is a fabulous book for you. Hence, the four-star review. It’s fairly practical and full of useful tips,
Sara Best
I found Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design surprisingly interesting! Initially I had assumed I would only be interested in the case study approach. However, once I mentally proposed five research ideas, one for each of the five approaches, to the topic I am considering, I found the whole book valuable. At each section I applied the text to my idea for that approach. As a result, I have seriously considered alternative approaches to my initial idea and may end up with a phenomenological appr ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
My book for the qualitative research class I took this semester was informative and a book I will continue to use as a resource as I write my dissertation. For a book on research, Creswell did a great job providing information by using many graphic organizers and tables that helped me understand important qualities of the five main forms of qualitative research. Creswell is the master of qualitative research and every doctorate student needs to read his work.
Oscar Pettersson
How you can prescribe anyone to use transcendental phenomenology because it's metodologically more concrete even thought it's based on an assumption that it's, through bracketing of the researchers preconceptions, is possible to access the "true phenomenon" feels ontologically weak. Would have been nice with a description of hermeneutics phenomenology too. With concrete examples. ...more
Donia Al-Issa
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John W. Creswell did a really great job differentiating and comparing the five approaches and explained each one extensively.
Read for my Qualitative Research course.
Did not read Chapter 11 and Appendix A.
J. J.
Not exactly a page-turner, but that's not the point. Very informative and philosophically self-aware. Creswell is definitive in this space. Just wish I wasn't reading seven books on research methods all at once like this. Brutal. Required reading for one of my doctoral seminars. ...more
Emma Refvem
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phd
A great summary of qualitative research techniques. It does not work well as a kindle book, since it is great for reference. I am, however, not made of money so it will have to live in my kindle for now.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is not the sort of book you read front to back. It’s more of a reference work detailing five different approaches to qualitative research. I found it very helpful. It’s easy to navigate once you understand how it works.
Sean Halpin
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read that thoroughly reviews five methods of qualitative analysis.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good, readable reference book for five qualitative approaches to research.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very clearly written
Mark Griffiths
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the world of qualitative research this book is king.
Louise Sullivan
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
An essential book for those of us writing a qualitative dissertation.
Meh. I supplemented much of the content from online articles.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the more helpful texts about qualitative research that I’ve read. It made methodologies more clear and explained the process of doing research in concise and manageable way.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Needed the book for a grad school class.
Jeanie Phillips
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super helpful! I will refer to this book again and again.
Zoey X
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Leonardo Longo
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An easy to understand approach to qualitative research, but at the same time full of references and guidelines on how to apply the different methods, with prescriptive guides and recommendations, without being extremely technical.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: researchmethods
A good overview of qualitative reserach methods. I almost called it a good introduction to qualitative research methods but really Patton ([]) is a better introduction because he spends more time describing a wider variety of qualitative methods and because he does so in such an obviously qualitative style. Creswell, on the other hand, uses a very linear strategy for comparing and contrasting what he calls five approaches to qualitative research. He talks ...more
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: another student
Recommended to Sue by: required for a PhD class
Shelves: leadership, business
This is the most intense book I have read regarding statistics since I started the Doctorate program. However, Creswell does a fantastic job at providing everything in detail and does quite well for ensuring a statistical book does not turn dry on reading. How he has done this is by keeping the reader interested without going "dry" using long-winded sentences.

Anyone that has difficulty understanding qualitative and quantitative, this is a great book to have on hand as Creswell explains things v
Creswell's overview of the purposes and structures of various approaches to qualitative methodology was very informative for a fledgling methodologist like myself. I utilized this text to guide the composition of an independent project (a case study) that captures the biographical experience of a college professor attempting to implement college-wide grant mandates within a classroom curriculum, structure, and learning. The text strikes a useful balance between the didactic "how-to" and an analy ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me structure my entire thesis proposal, supporting me through the long and convoluted process of defining (and refining!) my research question, choosing the appropriate methodology, understanding the underpinning paradigmatic aspects, and constructing suitable methods. I honestly couldn't have made it through the semester without it! As with Creswell's other work, this book is clear, concise, super readable, well organised, and packed with great examples. I highly recommend it f ...more
This is a great, quick overview of theoretical issues in qualitative research and how-to advice for whichever method you choose. However, it's old enough that software-assisted qualitative data analysis isn't really part of the discussion. I just read and loved Creswell's newest book, Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research, which is much more practical for anyone doing research outside of a university setting and much more up-to-date. ...more
Ryan Giffen
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
An extremely helpful book for those who need an introduction to Qual methods. Creswell does an excellent job in laying the foundation by providing articles on the 5 Qual methods. This allows the reader to gain an understanding of the 5 approaches to Qual Research. Caution, Creswell is more like a secondary source, therefore, if you're writing a dissertation or thesis, you may want to refrain from citing Creswell too much. ...more
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