Challenges of Learning to Write Qualitative Research: Students’ Voices

Fei Wang


Writing qualitative research is a complex activity. Yet there is relatively little research about novices’ experiences in learning to write this genre. The purpose of this multiple case study is to explore the challenges students face when they first encounter the qualitative research paradigm. Drawing upon interviews with students, think-aloud protocols, class observations, and students’ written artifacts, this article reveals that major problems new students have include: understanding the qualitative research paradigm, especially the concepts of validity and subjectivity, determining how to carry out a systematic data analysis, becoming familiar with genre knowledge of presenting qualitative findings, and meanwhile, expanding their disciplinary knowledge. Pedagogical implications are also discussed to help student researchers learn better.

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