Data Collection Methods

Semi-Structured Interviews and Focus Groups

by Margaret C. Harrell, Melissa A. Bradley

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The authors developed an introductory short course on qualitative research methods. This document provides an annotated version of the course material, which includes an overview of semi-structured interviews and focus groups, two techniques that are commonly used in policy research and applicable to many research questions.

The research described in this report was prepared for the U.S. Government. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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