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Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods

Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods Integrating Theory and Practice

  • Michael Quinn Patton - Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Saint Paul, MN
  • Description

Drawing on more than 40 years of experience conducting applied social science research and program evaluation, author Michael Quinn Patton has crafted the most comprehensive and systematic book on qualitative research and evaluation methods, inquiry frameworks, and analysis options available today. Now offering more balance between applied research and evaluation, t his Fourth Edition illuminates all aspects of qualitative inquiry through new examples, stories, and cartoons; more than a hundred new summarizing and synthesizing exhibits; and a wide range of new highlight sections/sidebars that elaborate on important and emergent issues . For the first time, full case studies are included to illustrate extended research and evaluation examples. In addition, each chapter features an extended "rumination," written in a voice and style more emphatic and engaging than traditional textbook style, about a core issue of persistent debate and controversy.

See what’s new to this edition by selecting the Features tab on this page. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email [email protected] . Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html .

For assistance with your order: Please email us at [email protected] or connect with your SAGE representative.

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"Very thoughtful and thorough coverage of qualitative design and study."

  “The content itself, based in years of thinking, reading, doing, conversing, is a huge strength. Reading the chapters is like sitting at the feet of one of the masters.”  

“I can’t emphasize enough the quality, detail, and depth of the presentation of research design and methods… Students and experienced researchers will appreciate the depth of presentation of potential qualitative paradigms, theoretical orientations and frameworks as well as special methodological applications that are often not covered in other qualitative texts.”

“It is refreshing to see a text that engages the multiple philosophical and historical trajectories within a qualitative research tradition while integrating this discussion so well with the practice of research design, fieldwork strategies, and data analysis.”

I have used Patton for this course historically; I will continue to use him for this course. I have used previous editions as well.

Great book - not currently teaching a course in evaluation - will definitely consider this text when I do next teach such a course.

Mae’r llyfr yma yn wych, yn enwedig y bennod ar fframweithiau damcaniaethol ac athroniaeth. Rwyf wedi ei argymell i nifer o fyfyrwyr ôl-radd sydd wrthi’n cynllunio traethodau hir - trwy gwrs ‘Yr ymchwilydd ansoddol’ y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC) a hefyd myfyrwyr Bangor (Cymraeg a Saesneg ei hiaith). Rwyf hefyd wedi gofyn i’r llyfrgellydd gwyddorau cymdeithasol archebu un neu ddau o gopïau i’r llyfrgell.

Adopted Creswell 3rd ed (Sage)

Good resource for students looking to develop their qualitative research skills.

Will use as a secondary text in the Qualitative Research Methods course I teach


  • A new organization that creatively groups content into individual modules within nine chapters offers instructors the ability to easily customize course content and readers the ability to quickly navigate and reference specific topics by choosing across a range of over 80 modules.
  • New examples of the contributions of qualitative inquiry to our understanding of patterns in the world have been added, including advances in theory, practice, and both classic and innovative methods.
  • New and major in-depth discussions explore systems thinking , complexity theory , pragmatic framing , and generic qualitative inquiry.
  • More than half of this edition consists of new, extended research and evaluation examples with full case studies as exemplars.
  • The number of qualitative (purposeful) sampling options has been expanded from 16 to 40 to provide readers with the most innovative and comprehensive case selection framework ever assembled and explained.
  • The book offers the most comprehensive, rigorous, and assertive discussion of methods and analysis techniques for drawing causal inferences available today.
  • Techniques for high-quality observational fieldwork and in-depth interviewing are covered, along with emergent approaches and alternative frameworks for inquiry .
  • Principles-focused qualitative evaluation is premiered in this edition.
  • Detailed analysis guidelines and diverse examples include innovative approaches to data visualization.
  • The number of qualitative frameworks for judging quality has been expanded from five to seven.
  • Over a hundred new exhibits —essential for teaching—summarize and synthesize key information.
  • New sidebars throughout the text elaborate on important and emergent issues.
  • Hundreds of new references make the book up to date and comprehensive.
  • New cartoons and graphic comics specially commissioned and created for this edition illustrate key concepts in a unique and memorable way.
  • An Instructor Resource and Student Study Site filled with helpful supplemental resources, including access to carefully selected SAGE journal articles, are available at no additional charge.


  • Qualitative inquiry’s seven major contributions to understanding the world are presented.
  • Twelve primary strategic themes of qualitative inquiry illuminate the unique niche of qualitative inquiry in research and evaluation studies.
  • Seven distinct, criteria-based frameworks for presenting and judging qualitative findings are provided.
  • Sixteen different theoretical and philosophical approaches to qualitative inquiry are identified, compared, contrasted, and discussed.
  • Variations in observational methods are covered, including historical perspectives, case studies and their layers, and cross-case analysis.
  • Alternative interviewing strategies and approaches are linked to theoretical and methodological traditions, including innovative and emergent methods, such as using social media and data visualization.
  • Key strategies are included to unravel the complexities of and controversies about causal analysis , generalizations , and triangulation .
  • Comprehensive references provide the scholarly foundations for qualitative theory and practice.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

For instructors

Select a purchasing option.

Shipped Options:

BUNDLE: Patton: Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods 4e + Schwandt: The SAGE Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry 4e

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  1. Lecture 49: Qualitative Resarch


  1. Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods

    Drawing on more than 40 years of experience conducting applied social science research and program evaluation, author Michael Quinn Patton has crafted the most comprehensive and systematic book on qualitative research and evaluation methods, inquiry frameworks, and analysis options available today. Now offering more balance between applied ...