Writing the Qualitative Research Report - From Qualitative Research to a Journal Article - Conference Proposals and Article Types

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

Writing the Qualitative Research Report
From Qualitative Research to a Journal Article
Conference Proposals and Article Types

Each qualitative research design has a repertoire of research methodologies and requires a different style of reporting, so writing a scholarly qualitative research article to be published in a reputable journal becomes challenging. Although there are fewer hard rules in writing the research report in qualitative research, the manuscript must follow the journal’s guidelines.

The sections below provide some instructions on writing a publishable qualitative study. Based on the restrictions found in journals, specific practices are described with examples to clarify the procedures. Note that some of the examples that follow are fictitious, so it is inappropriate to cite “real” references. Therefore, in some of the examples the indicator (ref) or (refs) is used to indicate that appropriate references would be cited there. Where names of authors have been used, they are also fictitious. The subheadings in this paper (such as illustrated thus: Literature Review) are used to indicate headings that might be used in the research report.

Most qualitative research studies have a flexible design. Clissett (2008) and Polit and Beck (2014) suggest an outline of the qualitative research, along with caveats about each stage (see Table 8.2).

Table 8.2

Outline of the qualitative research process

Stage of process


Conceptualizing and planning the study

Identify the research problem

At the beginning, the topic of the study is far-reaching but with time it becomes more focused

Write a literature review

The literature review directs the researcher to the prominent issues related to the research problem

Identify, choose and get permission to enter research sites

Sites are identified and selected based on the extent to which they provide researchers with information to address the research problem

Design the study

At the beginning the design tends to be very open in the expectation that it will be narrowed as the study develops. Temporary goals and purposes are typically established, but as the study progresses, they will be reviewed and revised

Attend to ethical issues

Ethical issues need to be considered, because qualitative researchers usually have a personal relationship with the participants

Conducting the study

Collect data

Interviews, artifacts, observations, and conversations are used to collect data

Analyze data

Sometimes data are collected and analyzed at the same time

Disseminate outcomes

Research outcomes are disseminated through publications or presentations

In writing the qualitative research report, it is important to consider five features: (1) emergent design, (2) literature review, (3) sampling strategies, (4) data collection, and (5) data analysis (Clissett, 2008).