Thematic coding for qualitative research - Tips and Techniques

There are two main types of researches that are used in a college essay or research paper. One is quantitative data and the other is qualitative data.

Qualitative data is characterized as non-numeric and unstructured information. While looking at feedback from customers, qualitative data refers specifically to any word by word or text-based comments including such feedback, open-ended survey results, complaints, chat logs, customer interactions, case notes, and social media comments.

For example, if you're using thematic coding to evaluate customer feedback, you will identify which themes are most common in feedback. It allows you to understand what generates true, implementable service to customers. The thematic analysis is in the process of qualitative research data analysis. This is commonly applied to a series of documents, for example, transcripts for interviews. The analyst thoroughly analyses the data to recognize common themes, concepts, theories, and sense trends that usually come up.

When to use thematic coding?

Thematic analysis is a successful method of research where an essay writer has been seeking to establish out anything from an analysis of qualitative data regarding people's attitudes, beliefs, expertise, perceptions, or values. For instance, interview transcripts, social networking sites, or survey results.

You have to answers such questions while analyzing thematic analysis;

  • How do people perceive customer service agents in a facilitating service?
  • How do people perceive customer service agents in a facilitating service?
  • What are the opinions and ideas of experts over climate change?
  • How are different languages constructed overtime?

You will gather information from a large group of specific participants and then evaluate it to answer every one of those questions. The thematic analysis offers you plenty of flexibility in analyzing the data and helps you to more effectively tackle huge amounts of data by dividing them into specific themes.

This also increases the risk of lacking variations in the data, however. Thematic analysis is also very subjective and relies on the judgment of the researcher, and you'll need to think carefully about your own selections and explanations.

Pay particular attention to small details and make sure you don't pick up on these things that aren't there or over-analyzing the other things that are already there.

Approaches to Thematic analysis

There are different approaches that will fall under the category of thematic analysis;

  • An inductive approach means enabling the themes to be evaluated from the data.
  • A deductive approach includes bringing to the data certain pre-existing concepts that you expect to find represented within which is based on the theory or established information.

Another difference is accounted to this analysis as well, which is;

  • A semantic approach requires an interpretation of the information's clear content.
  • A latent approach requires interpreting the information into the underlying message and its underlying assumptions.

Tips to apply Thematic analysis

When you have already decided that the thematic analysis is the appropriate way to analyze your results, and you’ve been thinking about the approach you’re beginning to follow, you can adopt the six steps that Braun and Clarke have established.

Step 0: Familiarization of your data

The first step you are going to do is to identify your data. Because once you will start to evaluate every item that is essential to provide you a comprehensive description of all of the other information that you have already collected.

This may involve analyzing the audio, interpreting various texts, making various drafts, and collecting the data to understand it more clearly.

Step 1: Coding your data

Now you will code the information. Coding involves highlighting parts of our text that are typically sentences or phrases which will be having short titles or “codes” to identify the text.

A code is indeed an explanation but not a definition. This is a way to get the data sorted into organized categories. For example;

To start with, experts are not sure. They think the climate is changing but they don’t know the reason for how and why. Some people are unsure about the reasons that experts give for the causes of climate change. And some agree that experts' reasons are not totally authentic that is causing the climate to change drastically. Finally, the facts can keep on changing, and that is why it is now known as climate change.

Now if you will try to convert this italicized text into coding, it will count like this;

  • Uncertainty
  • Surety about the change in climate
  • Doubtful opinions
  • Evolving terminology

You would like to be comprehensive at this stage as you're going through all the summary of each and every interview and highlighting something that will be important yet informative. You will consider new different codes as you will keep analyzing the text and also identify all the words and sentences that fit certain codes.

Once you have been through the document, you will gather up all the information together into various groups through code. Such codes enable you to obtain a simple understanding of the current points and various meanings that might get repeated in the information collected.

Step 2: Identifying various themes

Next, you will look through the codes that you have developed, recognize trends within them, and begin the process of writing themes.

Generally, themes are more comprehensive than codes. Almost all of the time, you'll merge multiple codes into one theme. For example, let’s take one part of the above-mentioned example.

If you will talk about the ‘uncertainty’ in the above-mentioned paragraph; basically that particular code was generated on;

  • Unsure about the opinions of the experts
  • Other explanations than the expert’s ones
  • If leaving all onto the opinion of experts

These three led to a basic theme, that is ‘unsure’.

Step 3: Reviewing

Now we'll have to guarantee your concepts are useful and reliable data presentations. There you will go back to the data collection, contrasting your themes to it. Do you miss any of it? Are there really those themes in the information collected? What should you do to enhance the workings of your themes?

Step 4: Defining them

Defining themes includes formulating with each theme exactly what you're trying and finding out the way it helps the reader to assess the data.

The process of naming themes includes a brief name for each theme which is easy to understand.

Step 5: Pen it down!

You will start writing your thematic analysis like the way you commonly do in other research work formats. You will start it with a meaningful introduction, then you will write down the methodology where you will explain the way you collected your information. After that, you will write down the results and analysis and the conclusion in the end.

The above guide will help you write a perfect qualitative research paper or essay. On the other hand, if you are unsure about your writing capabilities, it is better to hire a professional essay writing service at affordable rates.

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