chapter  8
18 Pages

Working Data

FINDING PATTERN AMONG THE PIECES Generating new constructions from the data you generate in your study is unquestionably the most painfully diffi cult and yet the most essential element in what constitutes a credible interpretive description. Although it is relatively straightforward to delineate the attributes that characterize a fundamentally fl awed logic or an entirely superfi cial product, the qualities that will distinguish an elegant and convincing analytic process from one that is more mediocre are much more diffi cult to pinpoint with the kind of precision that would help you know if you achieved it. While some of what might diff erentiate a brilliant from merely adequate analysis can be credited to the subjective response of the eventual audience, the expert researcher is one who knows how to make sense of data in a manner that does not simply defer credibility conclusions to the whim of the “theoretical reader,” but strategically engages that reader from the outset. What I mean by this is that the human mind, especially when stimulated by wonderful data, can make marvelous connections and associations.