Analytic Memo Strategies and Reflection

This webinar examines memo writing as a core generative tool for all qualitative researchers. We will discuss how memos;

  • are used analytically and present different types of memos that are generated during the research process, both from a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) perspective as well as from a more generic methodological approach,
  • can be used to move from “storying” a code, concept, or category towards more abstract conceptualizing
  • writing invites researchers to think holistically about interviews as well as home in on specific text segments to make sense of the parts in relation to the whole.
Different memo types will be presented, including document reflection memos, key quotation memos, and comparison memos. Together these give us a systematic way to approach data from both a wide-angle lens and a close-up view of data excerpts.

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About the Presenters

Elaine Keane is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), Sociology of Education and Research Methods, and Director of Doctoral Studies in the School of Education at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research and publications center of widening participation in higher education, including in teacher education, with a particular focus on social class, ethnicity, and intercultural education. She is lead editor of a book about diversifying the teaching profession (Routledge, 2022). Elaine serves on the Editorial Board of Teaching in Higher Education. Her research interests also include research methodology, especially constructivist grounded theory, on which she has collaborated and published with Professors Kathy Charmaz and Robert Thornberg, and taught workshops internationally.

Paul Mihas is the Assistant Director of Education and Qualitative Research at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches qualitative methods at the Global School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM) at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, the BI Norwegian Business School, and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He also serves as faculty at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research and the annual Qualitative Research Summer Intensive. Recent publications include chapters on qualitative data analysis in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods in Education (2019) and in Research Design and Methods: An Applied Guide for the Scholar-Practitioner (SAGE, 2019).

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