As I embarked on the first major research project of my career as a researcher, I sought a clearly written article that would help me through some common obstacles in qualitative research. This article outlines those problems and offers some solutions from one researcher's perspective. Some of the problems described and discussed include how to use theory and integrate it with data, the issues that arise from being a simultaneous researcher and participant, and how to represent participants with integrity and authenticity. This methodological piece offers suggestions for novice researchers as they embark on their own journeys as qualitative scientists.


I am greatly indebted to the numerous people who have guided me in my research journey: JoBeth Allen and the rest of the LEADS group, who gave me something to talk about; Laurie Hart and my doctoral committee, who guided my dissertation research so expertly; Bettie St. Pierre, who introduced me to the world of qualitative research; Paige Campbell, who helped me think about "resistance" in a new way; my colleagues at Millersville, who have become my new mentors; and Laurel Richardson, whom I have never met, but who has shaped my research journeys in such significant ways.

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