Applied Research Methods II

Workshop 4: CW1 support (with answers)

Below you will find a list of the different sections and subsections that you need to include in your qualitative practical report (CW1). Working in pairs or small groups, add some notes under each of the headings and sub-headings, summarising what needs to be included. Prepare to feedback your answers to the class. By the end of this activity, you should have something that you can use as an outline, or template, for your report.

First, remember to give your report an informative title rather than calling it ‘Coursework One’ or ‘Qualitative Report’

Abstract (150 words)

This should give a concise overview of the background, methods, findings, and implications of the study. It should be presented as a single paragraph.

Introduction (400 words)

Some specific things to include (in this approximate order) might be:

  • What is Stop and Search? A definition/explanation of the practice could be provided.
  • Why is Stop and Search controversial? You might include some official statistics to support your argument here.
  • Existing research and theory. For example, the work by Professor John Drury linking Stop and Search to rioting and poor police-community relations and the research conducted by Viki et al. could both be discussed. Pettigrew’s Contact Hypothesis would be a relevant theory to include.
  • Rationale for the current study. Why is a detailed qualitative investigation focusing on the Stop and Search experiences of young black men useful? What might it add to the existing quantitative research?
  • Research question. This section of the report should conclude with a clearly stated research question that is worded in an appropriate form for qualitative investigation (see the table from Braun and Clarke provided in your lecture slides and in previous workshop handouts).

Method (200 words)

General advice: Only use the three subheadings provided below. Some specific things to include have been listed under each subheading.

Design and participants

  • The study adopted a qualitative research design in which secondary interview data were analysed using Thematic Analysis (including justification for the philosophical approach taken).
  • The participants were six, young black men who had been purposively sampled due to their direct experiences of at-least one Stop and Search event.
  • In the BBC Newsnight videos, five of the participants give their age and state how many times they have been stopped by the police. This information should be summarised, perhaps using a table with one row per participant (this won’t be included in the word count). You do not have this information for the sixth participant whose interview is from a different source. You will simply need to state this.

Data gathering and ethics

  • Secondary interview data were gathered from two separate sources. During the interviews the participants discuss their experiences of being stopped by the police using Stop and Search powers.
  • Five of the interviews were given as part of a BBC Newsnight programme and had previously been broadcast on BBC television. An edited video package of the five interviews was located using an online search and accessed via YouTube. A sixth interview was also located using an online search and accessed via YouTube.
  • We did not have access to the Interview Schedule so only the participants’ words were transcribed.
  • Ethics. Participants had volunteered to give the video recorded interviews and the video recordings were already in the public domain. Furthermore, five of the six participants had already given their real names on camera. Despite this, we would suggest using pseudonyms for the participants in your transcripts and reports. We would also suggest that you redact any sections of the transcript that name other people or refer to specific places, e.g., one of the interviewees refers to Brixton. The Method section should state that these precautions were taken.

Data analysis procedure

  • Data analysis was conducted in-line with Braun and Clarke’s (2006) guidelines for TA.
  • One or two additional details might be added. For example, what type of transcription was used? Was coding done by hand or using the ‘Comment’ function in Word?

Results (400 words)

General advice: Given the relatively small amount of data that you have to work with and the constraints of the word limit, we are advising you to report a maximum of two themes for the analysis. It is important to keep the research question in mind here. What really counts is how well the themes are described, justified with extracts from the data, and related back to the research question.  

Some specific things to include:

  • Begin this section with a brief overview (a single, short paragraph) of the analysis which states how many themes were identified, what those themes are, and how they relate to one another (i.e., are there any sub-themes). You may choose to support this with a Table or a Thematic Map.
  • You should then describe the theme(s) in detail using the ‘Set-up, Quote, Comment’ (SQC) approach described in the Thematic Analysis lecture. I would expect to see an initial set-up for each theme followed by 3-4 quotes, each with their own comment (i.e., set-up, quote 1, comment 1, quote 2, comment 2 etc.); though a block of quotes followed by a comment is also acceptable. The quotes are not included in the word count.

Discussion (350 words)

General advice: Use the ‘reverse funnel’ structure here, i.e., begin with some quite specific, narrow interpretation of the findings and gradually broaden the discussion, relating the findings to the research question, the research and theory presented in the Introduction and, finally, the applied context of police-community relationships.

Some specific things to include (in this approximate order) might be:

  • A brief summary of the analysis focused on giving an answer to the research question.
  • Consideration of how the qualitative analysis supports/confirms observations from previous quantitative research and theoretical perspectives such as the Contact Hypothesis.
  • A description of how the qualitative interviews may add depth to, extend, or even challenge some of the findings obtained in previous quantitative research.
  • The applied implications of the findings for understanding police-community relations and the potential consequences of Stop and Search.
  • Study limitations and directions for future research.

References

Follow APA7 formatting. As noted above, the interviews can be referenced as online sources.

Appendix

You should create six separate transcripts (one for each participant). We would like you to include a single A4 page selected from any one of your transcripts for inclusion in the Appendix. The transcribed page should include some examples of your descriptive coding. Codes may be written by hand and the page scanned. Alternatively, coding can be completed using the ‘Comment’ function in Word, or you can type the codes using a different color font or highlighting – it is up to you.