This book provides invaluable guidance for thinking through and planning a qualitative study. Rather than offering recipes for specific techniques, master storyteller Robert Stake stimulates readers to discover "how things work" in organizations, programs, communities, and other systems. Topics range from identifying a research question to selecting methods, gathering data, interpreting and analyzing the results, and producing a well-thought-through written report. In-depth examples from actual studies emphasize the role of the researcher as instrument and interpreter, while boxed vignettes and learning projects encourage self-reflection and critical thinking. Other useful pedagogical features include quick-reference tables and charts, sample project management forms, and an end-of-book glossary. After reading this book, doctoral students and novice qualitative researchers will be able to plan a study from beginning to end.