10 Rules That Can Help to Make Successful Narrative Inquiry

by Alex Hales
Narrative Inquiry

In narrative inquiry, the thoughts and feelings of a person or selected groups of people are explored in interviews that are then collected and chronologically organized. These experiences and viewpoints are frequently documented as an autobiography, early life experiences, or oral history, especially for classical narrative gatherings.

Characteristics Of Narrative Inquiry:

Some main characteristics of narrative inquiry are given below:

1. Personal Experiences:

Embracing a person’s previous events to describe how those memories have affected them.

2. Mentioning Experiences’ Timeline:

A timeline of incidents makes the study easier to grasp.

3. Compiling unique tales:

Gathering tales in a variety of ways and illustrating them.

4. Retelling:

Compiling experiences, examining them, and reconstructing the story is called modifying.

5. Programming Themes:

The information can be classified into codes and themes.

6. Situation or Background:

The setting of the story is explained in great depth.

7. Working Together with Clients:

The client and the researcher collaborate in narrative inquiry.

Rules To Make a Successful Narrative Inquiry:

A few rules are abiding by which you can conduct a successful narrative inquiry. These rules are given below:

1. Self-Analysis:

To engage in narrative inquiry, you must first examine your own life closely and consider your own autobiography. This is a crucial step in the process since it can help you be more receptive to participants’ stories in your study. This approach relies so largely on collaboration between the participant and the researcher. Given that it is a relational sort of research, if you would prefer to exclude yourself from the study, this is not the research approach for you. Hiring coursework writing services is the best option to get self-analysis done perfectly.

2. Observing the Potential Of Your Participants:

Another rule is to look at the possible research methodology. Participants in the narrative inquiry have the option of acting out their stories and messages as part of a storytelling activity. With first Nations participants, this aspect of the narrative model works exceptionally well because their history and traditions are quite firmly ingrained in the oral storytelling tradition.

However, if your participants are not comfortable or open enough, you should respect this and should not force them into narrative research.

3. Entry and Exit Conversation:

In the narrative interviews with your study subjects, there are techniques for spotting plot pauses. It is advised to look for “entry and exit discourse”. You might get speech patterns from your people involved when they start and complete a narrative.

There won’t necessarily be beautiful, tidy plot blocks in stories. Individuals might digress and take unrelated turns. You should be a good enough listener to detect these pauses and their meanings. Additionally, you can compile a story that is dispersed across an inquiry by employing coding.

4. Transcribing the Story:

Manually transcribing the story of the participants is widely suggested for narrative inquiry. And the person conducting the inquiry must transcribe the story himself. This is because he knows the entrances and exits of the narrative. Also, he is aware of the pauses and the meaning behind them.

5. Process of Modifying:

One guideline is to avoid using this approach if your narrative or time is limited. It is impossible to hasten the necessity for the researcher to have perfect insight into the participant’s life. The researcher takes on a proactive role and will engage in the modifying process. Modifying is a technique used by academics to restructure the narratives into an overarching framework that is simple to comprehend.

The procedure of gathering substantial data on a single participant is time-consuming and labour-intensive. It will undoubtedly affect the story’s quality and how it is retold if it is not done effectively. Therefore, be sure to give the modifying stage of your narrative inquiry your whole time and attention.

6. Story Structure:

Keep the main storyline in mind when you divide your sections of narration. Examine each single-story structure component in turn while reading your narration sections overall. Pay heed to how a life experience’s narrative framework characteristics link to one another.

7. Patterson’s Codes:

Using Patterson’s codes of story structure is a remarkable approach. The codes Patterson utilized for his story’s organization are listed below:

Main Idea: The main idea of the narrative, in brief

Direction: Characters, setting, circumstances, and chronology

The complexity of Acts: Storyline, the timeline of incidents

Analysis: The narrator’s interpretation of the content

Settlement: The story’s conclusion

Coda: The conclusion of the narrative

8. Similarities and Divergence:

After completing your narrative inquiry, study the stories of all your participants. Note down the stages where the stories relate and diverge. Then study the factors that caused these divergences or differences. These factors can be early life incidents or some specific instincts. Also, observe the storytelling style of each individual and their comfort level. This will help you study a variety of aspects of the same experience or the same kind of participants.

9. Retelling the Story:

You must be cautious in how you retell your participant’s tale. The narrative research enables the participant to participate with the researcher in the overall recording of the tale and experiences. Both the participant and the researcher will shape the meaning of the stories together. The relationship that is developed and maintained between these two parties is a central theme of narrative inquiry.

Due to the collaborative nature of this approach, it is recommended to stay faithful to the participant’s original account rather than trying to fit it into a certain model or answer to a question that you have constructed.

10. Checking for Validity:

Because narrative research relies on participant accounts, the reliability of participants’ stories can have a significant influence on the results. Participants may intentionally embellish the truth or create a “fake tale” due to some trauma. As a result, narrative research should be critically evaluated and carefully reviewed by researchers.


Narrative inquiry is a very interesting yet complex and time taking method of research. However, if it is conducted while following the rules given above, you will surely come up with a successful narrative inquiry.

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