Qualitative analysis takes place in four steps.

Assess overall tone.  First, prior to analysis, all interviews will be thoroughly read to obtain an understanding of the data.  General concepts will be mentally gathered to form an idea of the overall meaning and tone of the interviews.

Organize data.  Second, to further analyze the data, the interviews will be looked at on a per question basis.  Each participant’s response to question one will be organized together such that each interview question is followed by all participants corresponding response.  The purpose of this step is to organize the data to simplify the coding process and allow for ease of coding on a per question basis.  See the example below for how to format the data.

Thematize responses.  Third, the participants’ responses will be analyzed for commonalities.  Typically the researcher will look for agreement among three participants to consider a response a commonality.  Data will be assessed and reassessed in order to reflect on statements and code data into like categories.  Commonalities that are discovered will be extracted to become themes.  The response from which the theme was extracted will be referred to as an excerpt.  Data will also be examined for irregularities or responses that are unusual.  Any irregularities that are discovered will be presented in the results of the data.

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Assess reliability.  Forth, inter-rater reliability will be assessed for each theme with a kappa coefficient.  Two documents will be created: themes will be listed on one document and a list of the excepts in a second document.  The researcher will secure two novel raters (i.e., raters not involved in the thematizing process).  Each rater will perform a matching task by reading the first except, then endorsing the themes that relate to that excerpt.  This procedure is performed for each except.  When two raters perform this matching task, an inter-rater reliability coefficient—Kappa—can be calculated for each theme.


Interview question one: How many siblings did you grow up with?

Participant 1: I had two brothers and one stepsister.

Participant 2: I grew up with my three sisters.  All of them were older than me.  I was the baby.

Participant 3: Oh man, I had four brothers.  I grew up in a house with six guys, myself, my brothers and my dad.

Participant 4: I had one older sister.  She and I are very close.

Participant 5: Two, one older sister and one younger brother.

Interview question two: What was the relationship between your parents like?

Participant 1: My parents divorced when I was very young and my mom remarried before I even started elementary school.  I think the second time people marry they do it for the right reasons.  They were always very happy together.

Participant 2: You know I really don’t ever remember my parents fighting.  I don’t know if they always managed to keep it behind closed doors or what, but I had a great childhood and I think it was because my parent’s relationship was so loving.  They definitely cared about each other but always put us first.

Participant 3:  My parents didn’t really have much of a relationship.  When I was in elementary school they were always fighting and they got divorced by the time I had finished middle school.  They had five kids so they keep in touch to kept in touch to keep things straight with us kids, but we spent most of the time at dad’s house.  I think it was better for everyone when they got divorced.

Participant 4: Their relationship was fine.  They are still together today.  I’m very happy for them.  They’ve been through a lot together.

Participant 5:  My parents were both very supportive of one another.  My dad went back to school to get his master’s degree when we were still pretty young and my mom supported him emotionally and somewhat financially through that experience.  He was overwhelmed with work, school, and family life so he switched to part time work for two years while he was getting his degree.  Maybe my mom felt like she owed him because she took three years off work after she had my sister.  Anyway, they were always like that, very supportive of one another.  Yeah, they made it work.

Interview Question three: What is your relationship with your spouse like?

Participant 1: etc.


Statistics Solutions. (2013). Data analysis plan: Qualitative . Retrieved from https://www.statisticssolutions.com/academic-solutions/member-resources/member-profile/data-analysis-plan-templates/qualitative/