Narrative Research

Narrative research is a form of qualitative research that is used when a researcher wants to share the stories of individuals. There are many everyday examples that employ narrative design including autobiographies, biographies, narrative interviews, oral histories, and personal accounts. In this post, we will examine several characteristics of narrative design including the following…

  • Focus on chronological experiences
  • Restorying
  • Coding of themes
  • Collaboration with participants

Focus on Chronological Experiences

Narrative research places the data in chronological order. This is one main characteristic that makes narrative research different from other forms of research. The sequencing of events helps in creating a picture for the reader to appreciate the experience of the individual.


Restorying is taking the words of the person providing the information and rewording the text in the words of the researcher. Restorying allows the researcher to develop a sequence of events while establishing cause and effect.

This analysis is for rewriting the experience in a comprehensible manner. The researcher needs to be sensitive to the interaction of characters in the narrative, the continuity of the text, and the setting of the experience. Improving the readability of the text for the future audience is important with restorying.

Coding of Themes

As most qualitative research, narrative research involves coding. The themes can be addressed within the narrative or after sharing the person’s story through a reflective approach. One benefit of coding is that it is one way in which to summarize information and make it understandable to the readers.

Collaboration with Participants

In narrative research, collaboration involves including the participants in the interpretation and results of the project. There an s active discussion about the presentation and meaning of the data. It also can serve as a form of validity as the participant can check the accuracy of the findings.


Narrative research is one way of documenting the experiences of individual people. However, presenting this information means understanding the characteristics of this approach. Through keeping in mind these traits, it can help you to communicate the experiences of others clearly.

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