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PAPER OF

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
NARATIVE INQUIRY
By
Meri Lestari

a story or a collection of stories.


Doing narrative inquiry involves eliciting and documenting these
narratives. Unfortunately, researchers often do not move beyond
telling a story (Josselson & Lieblich, 1999), which has led critics to
ask, How can a story be research? A story can be research when it
is interpreted in view of the literature of a field, and this process
yields implications for practice, future research or theory building.
Narrative inquiry is based on the premise that we understand or
make sense of our lives through narrative (Bruner, 1990).
What is
Narrative
Inquiry??

Why use narrative inquiry in applied


linguistics research?
Life history research can also help us
to understand learners beliefs and
assumptions
about
learning.
As
language educators working with
learners from other cultures, we all
know how important it is to be aware
of cultural differences and their
expression
in
the
learning
environment.

COLLECTING THE DATA

Develop Research
Design

Prepare Interview
Questions

Conduct a Pilot
Study

Select the Participants

Establish a Rapport
with the Participant

Conduct and
Transcribe the
Interview

Carry out a cross-story


Analysis

Note themes as they


emerge from the stories

Send the Story to the


Participants for their comments
Configure the Participants
story from the interview data
Look for Connections
Between Codes and Start to
Group Codes Into Categories
Code the Interview
Transcripts

Organizing and Interpreting the Data

Presenting findings
a. A brief introduction in which I attempt to attract readers attention.
b. Provide a rationale for addressing this topic.
c. Relate this explanation to the research literature in my field of
study.
d. careful to provide definitions for the terms and concepts that I will
be using.
After provided the background information, then introduce the
participants. referring to several stories in the report, present
information on the participants in table form name (pseudonym),
age, occupation, level of language proficiency, and one piece of
information germane to the study (for example, their reason for
learning English).

Improving the quality of narrative


inquiry
While there are many benefits to narrative inquiry, it also
has its limitations. Narrative inquiry in all its various forms is
very time consuming and abor intensive. For these reasons, it
is difficult to have a large number of participants.
Another limitation, according to critics, is the
trustworthiness of the information the participants provide
(for a discussion, see Doyle, 1997; Kouritzin, 2000;
Riessman, 2008). Life history researchers readily admit that
the truth the participants tell can be different from the
historical truth (Measor & Sikes, 1992). Life stories change
over time (Bruner, 1996; Linde, 1993; Polkinghorne, 1988).

Final Thoughts
Narrative inquiry is about
letting the participants
voice be heard.

Never lose sight of whose


story is being told
(Pavlenko, 2002).

When you ask someone to tell you


their story, you are asking them to
open up their personal lives to a
stranger and to scrutiny.