ERIC Number: ED349308
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Qualitative Interviewing and the Art of Questioning: Promises, Possibilities, Problems, and Pitfalls.
Dana, Nancy Fichtman; And Others
This paper summarizes practical strategies that qualitative researchers can employ to improve their interviewing skills. The first section, "The Art of Questioning: Wording Makes a Difference," presents several guidelines: (1) questions should be short and precise; (2) ask only one question at a time; (3) avoid questions in which the answer is either given or implied; (4) be cognizant of interviewees' use of language (i.e., dialects, idioms, jargon, slang) and use language that is understandable and comfortable for your informants; and (5) avoid "why" questions since they tend to put informants on the defensive. The next section, "Another Look at Questioning: It's Not Just the Wording. It May Be the Questions Themselves," outlines strategies which depart from the typical researcher question and facilitate verbal participation of the informant. Some question alternatives are: (1) the declarative statement; (2) the reflective statement; (3) the declaration of perplexity; (4) the invitation to elaborate; and (5) deliberate silence, also called wait time. Four constructed interviews illustrate the practical suggestions offered while simultaneously telling the stories of four researchers and their experiences with qualitative interviewing. (LL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Question and Answer Exercises; Question Types
Note: Paper presented at the Qualitative Research in Education Conference (Athens, GA, January 1992).