Writing Rites: Working on Your Analysis and Writing

What makes one qualitative study much more compelling than others? How can the writing strategies of professional writers help us improve our work? How do you manage to write when you work in a setting that allows scant time for writing? Would you like to expedite analyzing your data and writing your report? Which strategies help you gain acceptance and admiration from your intended audiences? This class addresses these questions.

Qualitative reportage relies on art and science. Learning how to construct an artful rendering of your work increases the power of your analysis. This class covers both professional writers’ tips and tricks and qualitative analysts’ strategies and shortcuts. It will help you develop a more incisive, creative, and clear narrative. Our approach emphasizes how to construct a creative analysis and to write it for varied audiences. You will gain fresh ideas for proceeding with the analysis, integrating your ideas into a cogent, coherent piece of work, and communicating the significance of your work.

This class covers crafting research stories and writing analytic reports, but the two are not separate endeavors. Thus we show how to bring analytic definition and logic to stories and to build imagery, rhythm, metaphor, and surprise into analytic reports. We also cover strategies for developing arguments, writing literature reviews and theoretical frameworks and integrating your manuscripts. Writing abstracts, titles, and introductions share problems and pitfalls. Our agenda includes learning a few tricks to help you resolve these problems and avoid the pitfalls. The last session focuses on choosing journals and publishing houses, preparing your manuscript for submission, and working with editors and reviewers.

This class best serves participants who are in the midst of a qualitative project or have had some experience with qualitative research and have engaged in qualitative coding and memo writing. Writers of all types of qualitative research are welcome. Researchers who conduct ethnographies, use discourse analysis, engage in narrative inquiry, follow grounded theory strategies, or create personal narratives will all gain ideas and strategies to advance their work.