Qualitative research requires that one code text (or images, or video, etc.) for themes. Coding is a process whereby you find snippets of text, highlight and/or excerpt it, and tag it with a word or phrase. There are a number of different code types, such as close-text, in vivo, etc. Some can be categories and some can be individual discrete thoughts. In any event, it is through this coding process that themes begin to emerge. These themes are what become the basis of your analysis or the theory you construct.
I used the qualitative research software “Dedoose” for my coding. A handy little feature of the software is the ability to export the codes into a representative word cloud. This cloud includes code categories that I used over the course of my research. It is a bit hard to understand out-of-context, but the words themselves may give you some hints about where my research is heading.
In case you’re wondering what “QQ” means, it’s a little trick I picked up from my dissertation advisor. It stands for “Quotable Quote.” Any time I came across a response from a participant that was particularly “quotable,” I’d use this code so I could more easily come back to it. I also use this code when making notes in the margins of my readings. It’s incredibly helpful.