Theses and Dissertations: A Guide to Planning, Research, and Writing

By R. Murray Thomas; Dale L. Brubaker | Go to book overview

STAGE III-B
ORGANIZING INFORMATION

In every research project, the data you collect need to be arranged in a form that facilitates the interpretation of what those data mean from the perspective of your project. Ways of organizing data are described in the two chapters that comprise Stage III-B.

Organizing data usually involves two opposite, complementary operations-- classifying and summarizing.

Classifying consists of separating the contents of a mass of information into categories so the contents can be easily compared and contrasted. This operation is the focus of Chapter 10: Classification Patterns.

Summarizing--the reverse of classifying--consists of combining a conglomeration of information so the essence and implications of the material can be readily understood. Chapter 11 (Summarizing Information Verbally, Numerically, and Graphically) illustrates popular ways of abstracting and condensing data.

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