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Interpreting and writing up your qualitative findings

Interpreting and writing up your qualitative findings
How to write up your research findings for optimal clarity and impact.


What can qualitative research tell us? This more advanced course covers the transition from interpretive analysis to writing up qualitative findings, showing how key themes can be extrapolated to form the structure of a written piece. It reviews different styles of writing, for different audiences, and includes examples from both academic and applied research. It is essential that participants are already familiar with the principles and practice of thematic analysis, including data management and categorisation, or have attended the SRA qualitative analysis course. Without this foundation, participants will not get the full benefit of the day.

Focusing on developing explanations, drawing conclusions and writing up qualitative research findings, the course includes:

  • explanation in qualitative research
  • distillation of key themes and conclusions
  • the challenge of qualitative reporting
  • displaying qualitative evidence
  • reviewing examples of qualitative writing.




  • to build on participants existing experience of analyzing qualitative data
  • to show how main themes can be identified and conclusions drawn
  • to demonstrate different ways of making and illustrating qualitative arguments
  • to examine and review different styles and conventions in the presentation of qualitative findings


Please note:  this course is for general learning about writing up findings; it does not cover specialised techniques (eg. those needed to make submissions to peer-reviewed journals).


Course tutor


Karen O'Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University, and an affiliate of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 20 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano; at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and at universities in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Her experience also includes being a Member of the Advisory Board of the NCRM biannual Research Methods Festival 2011-2012; and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2012 – 2016.

Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books on ethnography: Ethnographic Methods(Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography(Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in a number of universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.


  This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

1/31/2020 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
GMT Standard Time
Grand Connaught Rooms 61-65 Great Queen Street LONDON WC2B 5DA UNITED KINGDOM

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