Thoughts on Maxwell's Qualitative Research Design Chapter 5

Maxwell, J. A. (2005). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


My big take away from this chapter will be the intentionality behind the design aspect of data analysis. In this chapter, Maxwell mentions that we, as researchers, need to be detailed and explicit when we communicate our analysis. We also should be intentional in designing the analysis, an aspect which I had previously unconsidered.In this chapter he critiques the ambiguity that we researchers use when we write the analysis part of our research proposals, saying that we often include vague statements and have no intentionality in them. I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging in Maxwell's exercises in this book. In those exercises, he asks us often to begin to write about our methods. What makes me nervous is the fact that while I am writing about them, I am wondering if I am falling into the ambiguity trap that he describes. I think it would be helpful to have an example in his text of the methods design section so that we might have a better grasp of that to which he is referring. Thinking back to a piece I just wrote and am awaiting to hear about potential publication, I am thinking that I should go back and add more to the data analysis description part, but I wonder when enough is enough. How specific does one need to be? What is the determining point? Is it the audience to whom the piece is intended? Is it the reviewers? Is it the editor? How does one negotiate the balance between page limitations and adequate detail and specificity?