How to Keep your Doctorate on Track
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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Chapter 43: Challenges in writing up qualitative findings

Victor Oyaro Gekara

Abstract

The nature of qualitative research means doctoral students often collect large amounts of data, and it can be difficult to make sense of such a deep pool of views, opinions, interpretations, accounts and records. Moreover, it isn’t unusual to collect qualitative data using a mix of approaches, such as oral interviews, focus groups, informal conversations, observations and documentary reports. For these reasons, students often struggle with the sheer volume of data and find it difficult to write up their findings in a way they feel does justice to the wide range of arguments and perspectives involved, while developing and maintaining a coherent narrative that responds to their research question. In this chapter, the author shares some insights on how to make writing up qualitative findings less challenging. Specifically, he offers a four-step drafting process that involves the techniques of mind mapping, outlining, illustrating the narrative and integrating the evidence.

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