The purpose of this book is to share, in rich detail, an understanding of how it feels and what it means to do qualitative research, and to provide support for doctoral students who choose this form of inquiry for their dissertation research.
"A fine update and expansion of the original volume….All inquirers struggle with common questions. What am I writing? Who am I writing for? How am I supposed to write this? Why should I do it anyhow? This book reveals the experiences of novice researchers as they grapple with these questions on their journeys through particular inquiries….In this second edition novices' concerns are conceptual as well as logistical. Meloy demonstrates how research is political, social, cultural, and personal, as well as theoretical and practical. Her participants provide insights into both the challenges and the satisfactions of qualitative inquiry….In addition to being an empathetic representation of novice inquiry, it is also a fine instructional guide. Its organization and focus convey the crucial decision points in research with examples of how people have made those decisions. It is a fine supplement to those textbooks that discuss decision alternatives but offer less guidance to threading a way through them."
University of Georgia
"For graduate students seeking advice on the art and science of preparing a dissertation, this book offers a medley of testimonials to the process as part rite of passage, part finding one's voice, part bildungs roman, part socio-political act, part intellectual adventure."
—Thomas A. Schwandt
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Contents: Foreword. Understanding by Finishing: The End Is the Beginning. Understanding by Beginning: What Does a Qualitative Dissertation Look Like? Understanding at the Beginning: Selecting and Working With a Committee and Advisor. Understanding by Proposing: Preparing and Defending. Supporting Understanding: Maximizing Resources. Understanding by Focusing: Ownership, Autobiography, Ethics. Understanding by Writing: Voice, "Emotional Journey," Journals. Understanding by Doing: Methodology, Analysis, and So Forth. Understanding by Finishing: Defining "The End." Understanding by Ending: Beginning With Endings. Appendices: About the Research Correspondents. Sample Tables of Contents. Barbara's Letter, Continued.