Winner of the 2011 Special Career Award in Qualitative Inquiry from the International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry! 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. The book will appeal to graduate students in education, psychology, sociology, social work, management, and nursing; qualitative researchers and evaluators. It will also serve as a core book in doctoral-level courses such as qualitative methods and qualitative dissertation/proposal writing, and as a supplemental text in graduate-level research design courses.