Narrative research: A comparison of two restorying data analysis approaches

jo Anne Ollerenshaw, John W. Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

273 Scopus citations


People telling stories about their life experiences has rapidly gained legitimacy in educational research. This article presents seven elements of narrative research that represent the aspects of a narrative study and the criteria that might be used to assess the quality of a narrative project. The article focuses on one phase in narrative data analysis: ”restorying” or “retelling.” By highlighting restorying narrative, researchers can see how an illustrative data set, a science story told by fourth graders about their experiences in their elementary classroom, was applied to two analysis approaches. A comparison of the two narrative approaches, problem-solution and three-dimensional space, shows several common features and distinctions. As narrative researchers decide which approach to use, they might consider whether the story they wish to report is a broader wholistic sketch of the three-dimensional approach or a narrower linear structure of the problem-solution approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-347
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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