Returning to the Big Tent

As I work backwards, in order to prepare going forward, I’ve been cataloguing and capturing research articles and readings from my first three PhD courses into Zotero. This has been a labour of reflection, since each of the articles brings back images, memories, and thoughts about research processes and products.

Today, I’ve re-read the article by Tracy (2010) titled Qualitative quality: Eight “big-tent” criteria for excellent qualitative research and reviewed my notes. What strikes me about this particular piece of writing was the imagery it produced when I first read it, and the infographic that I started but didn’t finish at the time. Perhaps today is the time to do this work, since I’m also working on sketch-notes from a few other book chapters – sketching them in draft versions before putting them to paper.

I blogged about this article at the time I read it, and when we worked on an activity in class [Reading to Write]. My notes from Tracy’s (2010) work include:

DEFINITON: of quality in quantitative research – chart on pg. 840

  1. Worthy topic – the topic is relevant, timely, significant, interesting
  2. Rich rigor – the study uses sufficient, abundant appropriate, and complex theoretical constructs, data and time in the field, sample(s), context(s), data collection and analysis processes
  3. Sincerity – the study is characterized by self-reflexivity about subjective values, biases, and inclinations of the researcher(s)
  4. Credibility – the research is marked by thick description, concrete detail, explication of tacit (non-textual) knowledge, and showing rather than telling; triangulation or crystallization; multivocality; and member reflections
  5. Resonance – the research influences, affects or moves particular readers or a variety of audiences through aesthetic, evocative representation; naturalistic generalizations; transferable findings
  6. Significant contribution – the research provides a significant contribution conceptually/theoretically, practically morally, methodologically, heuristically
  7. Ethical – the research considers procedural ethics (such as human subjects), situational and culturally specific ethics, relational ethics, and exiting ethics (leaving the scene and sharing the research)
  8. Meaningful coherence – the study achieves what it purports to be about, uses methods and procedures that fit its stated goals, and meaningfully interconnects literature, research questions/foci, findings, and interpretations with each other.

QUOTE: “Indeed, a phronetic approach suggests contextual priorities are integral when developing a project” (p. 840 Tracy, 2007).

This research is resonating more today, since I am doing basic comparison and contrast to quantitative research, with some reading into Quantitative Research in Education: A Primer by Hoy & Adams (2016).


Hoy, W. K., & Adams, C. M. (2016). Quantitative Research in Education: A Primer, 2nd Ed. Washington DC: Sage.

Tracy, S. J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight “big-tent” criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16(10), 837-851. doi:10.1177/1077800410383121