The Understanding Research series focuses on the process of writing up social research. The series is broken down into three categories: Understanding Statistics, Understanding Measurement, and Understanding Qualitative Research. The books provide researchers with guides to understanding, writing, and evaluating social research. Each volume demonstrates how research should be represented, including how to write up the methodology as well as the research findings. Each volume also reviews how to appropriately evaluate published research.
Focus Group Discussions addresses the challenges associated with conducting and writing focus group research. It provides detailed guidance on the practical and theoretical considerations in conducting focus group discussions including: designing the discussion guide, recruiting participants, training a field team, moderating techniques and ethical considerations. Monique Hennink describes how a methodology section is read and evaluated by others, such as journal reviewers or thesis advisors. She provides readers with guidance on specific aspects of presenting research findings, such structuring narrative accounts, developing an argument, using quotations, reporting focus group interaction, visual presentation formats, and strategies for grounding study results. She describes the challenges in assessing focus groups and details practical strategies for assessing scientific rigor. The book includes case study examples of field research across a range of disciplines and international contexts. Hennink concludes the volume with an overview of current debates relating to the evaluation of qualitative research, suggesting ways to critique the research design, methodology and results of focus group research.