The misconceptions researchers have about thematic analysis lead to various problems, which include publishing papers without mentioning the techniques they used to analyze their data. One reason such problems occur is that thematic analysis has been a poorly demarcated method for many years. Another has to do with the lack of literature on how this method differs from other approaches to research. In this paper, I aim to close this gap by explaining how different versions of thematic analysis vary from each other and discussing the controversies associated with each version. My conclusions are based on an analysis of what leading authors have published about this topic. I used a purposeful sample consisting of publications written by notable authors. I then analyzed this content to write a conceptual paper designed to enhance the understanding of different versions of thematic analysis and to document the controversies associated with each type.


thematic analysis, qualitative inquiry, textual analysis

Author Bio(s)

Hani Morgan is a professor of education at the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned his doctorate in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from Rutgers University. Morgan is the author of The World’s Highest-Scoring Students and the co-editor of The World Leaders in Education. He has also authored numerous journal articles. Much of his research focuses on how various factors related to the learning environment affect students. Please direct correspondence to: University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #5057, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001; Email: hani.morgan@usm.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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