Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements
The first assignment is to produce a research report (max. 3000 words) based on an analysis of qualitative data you will each collect by undertaking an interview.
Your task is to conduct an interview, record it, transcribe a sample of your recordings, undertake some initial analysis of the content of the conversation and reflect on the process of collecting data this way.
The aims of the assignment are:
• to familiarise yourself with the use of a qualitative method (in this case interviewing) for both data production and data analysis
• to develop your research interviewing and transcription skills
• to promote reflection on the process of doing qualitative research.
There are three stages to this assignment:
1) Data production and Method (approx. 1250words):
- Each student is to conduct their own interview with a relevant participant and should consider (through appropriate reading) how to conduct this successfully.
- The report should discuss who you selected (a general description, without identifying the individual); why you selected them and how you set up the interview with them.
- Ethical guidelines are emphasised and you should ensure that you follow these (including for example considering issues of informed consent and confidentiality).
- The interview must be recorded – this must be kept safe and made available to the tutor if requested. You should be able to use your phone, mp3 player, computer or a recorder to complete this task.
- Your report should include an account of the methods used and your methodological approach. Academic references should be used to indicate how your approach was informed by background reading on qualitative interviewing. You should also discuss how and why any themes were chosen to help structure the interview and how the resulting data was analysed.
2) Transcription (approx. 750 words of actual conversation from the interview):
- The assignment must include a transcript of part of the interview; which should demonstrate the use of transcription techniques.
- Students need to familiarise themselves with the ‘script’ of the resulting interview. They should listen to the tape several times to work out which parts of the conversation are most relevant, interesting and able to demonstrate your transcription skills. This extract from the interview should be around 750 words and must include (as a minimum) the exact words as spoken during part of the interview.
- The interview should be conducted in English (even if the interview participants English is not perfect). Your transcript should be of the interview as spoken, and this may include mistakes and unusual sentences. You may however sometimes have to include some explanatory comments in order to make the sense clear to the reader.
- In the extremely unlikely event you are unable to interview in English you would need to make a full transcription in the first language and then a full translation. Your reasons for doing this must be justified and discussed in the method section and it should be noted that this is NOT RECOMMENDED – as it takes much longer to do and is much harder to capture the meaning of the conversations.
- Reflection on research findings and process (approx.. 1000 words):
- Students need to write a short reflection on the interview they conducted.
- This should include a summary of the findings – including a summary of key themes emerging from the interviews and the lessons learnt.
- You might want to discuss the differences between your original expectations of themes for conversation and those discussed in the interview itself.
- You should reflect on the success or otherwise of the interview in addressing the overall original objective of the research.
- You may want to relate this discussion to the known strengths and weaknesses of the technique you chose (giving academic references). Remember this should always relate to a reflection on the process of your interview and its outcomes not a general discussion. The structure of the report should be as follows:
- Method Description and Discussion (approx. 1250 words) – 40% of marks
- Transcript. Presentation of an extract from the interview, a sample transcript with annotations (approx. 750 words) – 30% of marks
- Reflection on the interview findings and approach (approx. 1000 words) – 20% of marks
- References (using Harvard conventions) – demonstrating appropriate wider reading and skills in referencing – 10% of marks