Study Note Guide

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FIELDNOTES: A GUIDE FOR RESEARCHERS

Fieldnotes: "The observations written by a researcher at a research site, during an interview, and throughout the data collection process" (FW, 501).

|I. REQUIREMENTS[1] |

Much of the hard work of ethnography happens in the observations and fieldnotes. At times, you’ll feel as though it’s tedious to take fieldnotes; however, taking detailed notes gives you a set of data from which to look for patterns and ideas. In order to complete your field notes successfully, you will need to:

General Requirements ? Spend at least one hour a week observing your community; ? While you’re observing, write substantial (3+ pages of observation weekly) field notes. ? Take time after you’ve observed to write meaningful, thoughtful questions and reflections on the “analysis” side of your double-entry field notes (explained in “Strategies” below). ? Date each entry, and number each page (This is vital! If you fail to date and number each page of your fieldnotes, you will be lost when it comes time to write up your research and prepare your Research Portfolio for the Celebration of Student Writing) ? Write legibly enough that someone else could read them. ? Keep them organized (in your Research Portfolio, among your artifacts and other fieldwork)

Taking good fieldnotes requires that to divide the process into two phases: (1) notes you take while you are in the field (Observational/Descriptive fieldnotes) and (2) notes you take after you return from the field (Expanded/Reflective/Analytical fieldnotes.

Requirements for Observations (while you are in the field)

Each week’s Observational/Descriptive fieldnotes should include the following: ? The date, time, and…...

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