Resources for thematic analysis

Wondering where to get started on your reading, or unsure of how to tell if something’s a good or a poor example of thematic analysis? We have developed an extensive reading list, organised into sections, to help guide you through the diversity of approaches and practices around TA. We have organised our resources into sections – and for some readings, we provide a succinct summary of what it offers. This reading list is intended as a starting- rather than end-point! We also encourage you to visit our page of resources showcasing a range of resources related to qualitative research thinking and practice that we particularly like and find useful. And to visit our page of talks related to TA, from ourselves, and others.

Check out Victoria’s YouTube – there is a wide range of TA and other qualitative talks hosted there.

Follow Victoria on Twitter for super informative qualitative research related tweets and threads.

Check out Ginny’s YouTube – there is a wide range of TA and other qualitative talks hosted there.

Follow Ginny on Twitter for great retweets of Victoria’s tweets (and a bit more).

Practical guidance and commentary on Braun and Clarke’s reflexive approach to TA, written by us and various collaborators

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2022). Thematic analysis: A practical guide. Sage.

  • The most comprehensive guide to and discussion of our approach to date! Supplemented by an extensive open-access companion website, including an additional online-only chapter Teaching, Supervising and Examining for Quality TA.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). Thematic analysis. In E. Lyons, A. Coyle & C. Walton (Eds.), Analysing qualitative data in psychology (3rd ed., pp. 128-147). Sage.

  • A revised and updated general introduction to TA including a worked example of coding and theme development using qualitative survey data from the study of gay men’s sense-making around their clothing and appearance practices.

Terry, G., Braun, V., Jayamaha, S., & Madden, H. (2021). Report 1: Choice, awareness, complicity and resistance in younger women’s accounts of body hair removal: A reflective account of a thematic analysis study. In E. Lyons & A. Coyle, (Eds.), Analysing qualitative data in psychology (3rd ed., pp. 365-379). Sage.

  • A condensed version of a paper originally published in Feminism & Psychology (2017) with reflective commentary written by the first author addressing various aspects of the research process and the written report.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). Thematic analysis. In J.-F. Morin, C. Olsson & E. O. Atikcan (Eds.), Research methods in social sciences: An A-Z of key concepts (pp. 283-288). Open University Press.

  • A short definition and discussion of the TA family of methods and a brief introduction to concepts and processes of reflexive TA for social scientists.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). Conceptual and design thinking for thematic analysis. Qualitative Psychology. Advance online publication.

  • A paper written to support researchers with the conceptual and design thinking that is necessary to undertake a coherent TA study. This paper maps out the key conceptual differences between the various branches of the TA family tree, and outlines the conceptual underpinnings, assumptions and values of reflexive TA. It provides guidance on designing a coherent TA study, and ends with a discussion of reporting standards for reflexive TA.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). To saturate or not to saturate? Questioning data saturation as a useful concept for thematic analysis and sample-size rationales. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health, 13(2), 201-216.

  • This paper explains why saturation – conceptualised as information redundancy – is not a useful or coherent concept for determining the size of datasets/participant groups, and when to stop data collection, in reflexive TA. We focus in particular on a number of papers that have sought to determine ‘how many’ interviews or focus groups are necessary to achieve saturation – variously conceptualised as data, code, theme and meaning saturation – in TA research. We highlight numerous problems with these how many ‘experiments’ and argue that because they use coding reliability and codebook types of TA, they make assumptions about TA and qualitative research which means their claims about saturation do not translate to reflexive TA.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). Can I use TA? Should I use TA? Should I not use TA? Comparing reflexive thematic analysis and other pattern‐based qualitative analytic approaches. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 21(1), 37-47.

  • This paper helps researchers determine whether they should use reflexive TA, another type of TA, or another pattern-based method – qualitative content analysis, IPA, grounded theory, or discourse analysis – for their research. We discuss key differences and similarities in the conceptualisation and procedures of TA and these other method/ologies.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). One size fits all? What counts as quality practice in (reflexive) thematic analysis? Qualitative Research in Psychology, 18(3), 328-352.

  • This paper considers quality in TA through identifying and discussing 10 common problems in published TA research. The paper also introduces our tool for editors and reviewers evaluating TA manuscripts for publication.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health, 11(4), 589-597.

  • In this paper we reflect on some of the assumptions we made when we first articulated our approach to TA and discuss our reasons for now demarcating our approach as reflexive TA.

Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Hayfield, N. (2019). “A starting point for your journey, not a map”: Nikki Hayfield in conversation with Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke about thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology. Advance online publication.

  • In this interview with frequent TA collaborator Nikki Hayfield we reflect on the context for writing our original 2006 paper, how TA, and our understanding of TA, has evolved since then, common myths and misconceptions of TA, the importance of interpretation and our key messages for editors and reviewers.

Lainson, K., Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Being both narrative practitioner and academic researcher: A reflection on what thematic analysis has to offer narratively informed research. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 4, 86-98.

  • In an interview with narrative practitioner and researcher Kristina Lainson, we reflect on the thinking, heritages and intentions that underpinned the development of our approach to TA. Kristina shares her journey from being a practitioner to a practitioner-researcher and the role TA played in that. The paper ends with a discussion of key points of congruence between TA and narrative practice principles.

Clarke, V., Braun, V., Terry, G., & Hayfield N. (2019). Thematic analysis. In Liamputtong, P. (Ed.), Handbook of research methods in health and social sciences (pp. 843-860). Springer.

  • This chapter discusses the differences between the three main types of TA (coding reliability, codebook and reflexive), and the different conceptualisations of a theme in TA (topic/domain summary versus pattern of shared meaning underpinned by a central concept), as well as practical guidance on implementing our approach.

Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2018). Using thematic analysis in counselling and psychotherapy research: A critical reflection. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal, 18(2), 107-110.

  • A commentary on the use of our approach in counselling and psychotherapy research including a discussion of common problems in published research.

Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Commentary: Thematic analysis. Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(3), 297-298.

  • A very brief introduction to TA for researchers in the field of positive psychology.

Terry, G., Hayfield, N., Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Thematic analysis. In C. Willig & W. Stainton-Rogers (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research in psychology (2nd ed., pp. 17-37). Sage.

  • A general introduction to TA that includes a discussion of the history and development of TA and maps the terrain of TA (as we see it), also includes a detailed worked example using interview data from a study of women’s experiences of being childfree

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2016). (Mis)conceptualising themes, thematic analysis, and other problems with Fugard and Potts’ (2015) sample-size tool for thematic analysis. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 19(6), 739-743.

  • A commentary on Fugard and Potts’ (2015) paper proposing a power analysis tool for determining ‘sample’ size in TA research. We identify various problematic assumptions underpinning this tool, and Fugard and Potts’ conceptualisation of TA and themes, and explain why the tool is not appropriate for use in our reflexive approach to TA.

Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Weate, P. (2016). Using thematic analysis in sport and exercise research. In B. Smith & A. C. Sparkes (Eds.), International handbook on qualitative research in sport and exercise (pp. 191-218). Routledge.

  • This chapter discusses the use of TA in the context of sport and exercise research and provides a worked example of coding and theme development using focus group data from a broadly experiential study of women’s perspectives on, and experiences of, exercise.

Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2016). Thematic analysis. In E. Lyons & A. Coyle, (Eds.), Analysing qualitative data in psychology (2nd ed., pp. 84-103). Sage.

  • A general introduction to TA including a worked example of coding and theme development using qualitative survey data from the study of gay men’s sense-making around their clothing and appearance practices.

Huxley, C., Clarke, V., & Halliwell, E. (2016). Report 2: Are lesbian and bisexual women ‘protected’ from sociocultural pressure to be thin? A reflective account of a thematic analysis study. In E. Lyons & A. Coyle, (Eds.), Analysing qualitative data in psychology (2nd ed., pp. 306-321). Sage.

  • A condensed version of a paper originally published in the Journal of Health Psychology (2014) with reflective commentary written by the first author addressing various aspects of the research process and the written report.

Clarke, V., Braun, V., & Hayfield, N. (2015). Thematic analysis. In J. A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (3rd ed.) (pp. 222-248). Sage.

  • A general introduction to TA including a worked example of coding and theme development using qualitative interview data from a study of bisexual women’s visual identities.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2014). Guest editorial: What can ‘thematic analysis’ offer health and well-being researchers? International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 9, 26152.

  • A very brief introduction to TA for researchers in the field of health and well-being research.

Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Rance, N. (2014). How to use thematic analysis with interview data. In Vossler, A. & Moller, N. (Eds.), The counselling and psychotherapy research handbook (pp. 183-197). Sage.

  • An introduction to TA for researchers in the field of counselling and psychotherapy research, with a worked example of a TA of interview data from a study of lived experiences of treatment/therapy for anorexia.

Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Terry, G. (2014). Thematic analysis. In P. Rohleder & A. Lyons (Eds.), Qualitative research in clinical and health psychology (pp. 95-113). Palgrave MacMillan.

  • An introduction to TA for researchers in clinical and health psychology, and featuring worked examples of coding and theme development from an interview study of sexual health professionals’ views on impediments to sexual health in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2014). Thematic analysis. In T. Teo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of critical psychology (pp. 1947-1952). Springer.

  • A brief discussion of TA for critical psychologists, including a consideration of the potential of TA as a method for critical psychology.

Clarke, V. & Braun, V. (2014). Thematic analysis. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of quality of life and well-being research (pp. 6626-6628). Springer.

  • A very brief introduction to TA for quality of life and well-being research.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. Sage.

  • Our qualitative textbook, which includes our most detailed account of TA (outside our new book), including a worked example of TA using a focus group discussion on the ‘so-called’ obesity crisis. The companion website includes various data sets that can be used in teaching TA.

Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2013). Teaching thematic analysis: Overcoming challenges and developing strategies for effective learning. The Psychologist, 26(2), 120-123.

  • A paper that considers some of the challenges of teaching TA to psychology undergraduates and outlines some strategies for maximising the often-limited curriculum time dedicated to the teaching of qualitative methods in psychology.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2012). Thematic analysis. In H. Cooper, P. M. Camic, D. L. Long, A. T. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. J. Sher (Eds.), APA handbook of research methods in psychology, Vol. 2: Research designs: Quantitative, qualitative, neuropsychological, and biological (pp. 57-71). American Psychological Association.

  • A general introduction to TA, including a detailed worked example using interview data from a study exploring gay student’s experiences of university life.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2), 77-101.

 

Practical guidance on Braun and Clarke’s reflexive approach, written by Nikki Hayfield & Gareth Terry

Terry, G., & Hayfield, N. (2021). Essentials of thematic analysis. American Psychological Association.

  • An introductory text to reflexive TA, illustrated with worked examples from a number of qualitative projects with different kinds of data sources (interviews, qualitative surveys, story completion).

Terry, G., & Hayfield, N. (2020). Reflexive thematic analysis. In M. Ward & S. Delamont (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research in education (2nd ed., pp. 428-439). Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

  • A general introduction to TA that explores some of the differences between reflexive TA and other theming methods (content analysis, other forms of TA). Includes a worked example using data from a LGBTQ+ student experience project conducted at UWE.

Terry, G. (2021). Doing thematic analysis. In E. Lyons & A. Coyle (Eds.), Analysing qualitative data in psychology (3rd ed., pp. 148-161). Sage.

  • A revised and updated chapter-length worked example of TA using the interview accounts of two men who had transitioned from the army to civilian life.

Terry, G. (2016). Doing thematic analysis. In E. Lyons & A. Coyle, (Eds.), Analysing qualitative data in psychology (2nd ed., pp. 104-118). Sage.

  • A chapter-length worked example of TA using the interview accounts of two men who had transitioned from the army to civilian life.
Practical guidance on Braun and Clarke’s reflexive approach, written by other authors

Herzog, C., Handke, C., & Hitters, E. (2019). Thematic analysis of policy data. In H. Van den Bulck, M. Puppis, K. Donders & L. Van Audenhove (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of methods for media policy research. Palgrave Macmillan.

Howitt, D. (2012). Introduction to qualitative methods in psychology (3rd ed.). (Chapter 7: Thematic analysis). Pearson Education.

Howitt, D. & Cramer, D. (2007). Research methods in psychology (5th ed.). (Chapter 21: Thematic analysis). Pearson Education.

Kiger, M. E., & Varpio, L. (2020). Thematic analysis of qualitative data: AMEE Guide No. 131. Medical Teacher, 42(8), 846-854.

Stainton Rogers, W. (2011). Social psychology (2nd ed.) (Chapter 5: Qualitative research in social psychology). Open University Press.

Whittaker, A. (2009). Research skills for social work (Chapter 7: Analysing your data). Learning Matters.

Willig, C. (2013). Introducing qualitative research in psychology (3rd ed.). (Chapter 6: Thematic analysis). Open University Press.

Practical guidance on Braun and Clarke’s reflexive approach – forthcoming publications written by us and various collaborators

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2022). Thematic analysis. In H. Cooper, P. M. Camic, D. L. Long, A. T. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. J. Sher (Eds.), APA handbook of research methods in psychology, Vol. 2: Research designs: Quantitative, qualitative, neuropsychological, and biological (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2022). Thematic analysis. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research (2nd ed.). Springer.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (forthcoming). Thematic analysis. In N. Denzin, Y. Lincoln, G. Cannella & M. Giardina (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative inquiry (6th ed.). Sage.

Useful papers on (reflexive) thematic analysis by other authors

Connelly, L. M. & Peltzer, J. N. (2016). Underdeveloped themes in qualitative research: Relationships with interviews and analysis. Clinical Nurse Specialist, January/February, 51-57.

  • We highly recommend this paper – the discussion of the limitations of ‘domain summaries’ compared to fully realised themes is particularly useful.

DeSantis, L. & Ugarriza, D. N. (2000). The concept of theme as used in qualitative nursing research. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 22(3), 351-372.

  • A useful definition of the concept of the ‘theme’; helpful if you are struggling to make sense of the difference between topic/domain summaries and fully realised themes.

Ho, K. H., Chiang, V. C., & Leung, D. (2017). Hermeneutic phenomenological analysis: The possibility beyond actuality in thematic analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(7), 17571766.

  • A wonderful, reflexive account of the first author’s deep and prolonged engagement with their data from a study of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, and questioning of their taken-for-granted assumptions, to produce and rich and complex analysis that moved beyond the surface meanings of the data.

Morse, J. M. (1997). “Perfectly healthy, but dead”: The myth of inter-rater reliability. Qualitative Health Research, 7(4), 445-447.

  • A brief discussion of some of the problems with the use of inter-coder/rater reliability in qualitative analysis.

Sandleowski, M. & Leeman, J. (2012). Writing usable qualitative health research findings. Qualitative Health Research, 22(10), 1404-1413.

  • A useful discussion of the limitations of topic/domain-summaries and the importance of developing full realised themes in order to produce ‘actionable outcomes’ in applied research.

Trainor, L. R., & Bundon, A. (2020). Developing the craft: Reflexive accounts of doing reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. Advance online publication.

Resources on thematic analysis in languages other than English

This Prezi presentation offers a general introduction to Braun and Clarke’s approach to TA in German.

There are Marathi and Hindi translations of our textbook Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners.

Safal Gunaatmak Anusandhaan: Naye shodhkartaon ke liye vyaavharik Margdarshan (Hindi Translation of Successful Qualitative Research, 2018)

Yashasvi Gunatmak Sanshodhan: Navshikya Vidyarthyansathi Vyavharik Margdarshan (Marathi, 2017)

Our original 2006 paper has been translated into Turkish and translated/adapted into Brazilian Portuguese.

 

 

Other approaches to thematic analysis

Approaches to TA that advocate the use of coding frames and inter-coder reliability scores (‘small q’ or ‘coding reliability’ TA)

Boyatzis, R. E. (1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. Sage.

Guest, G., MacQueen, K. M., & Namey, E. E. (2012). Applied thematic analysis. Sage.

Joffe, H. (2011). Thematic analysis. In D. Harper & A. R. Thompson (Eds), Qualitative methods in mental health and psychotherapy: A guide for students and practitioners (pp. 209-223). Wiley.

Joffe, H., & Yardley, L. (2004). Content and thematic analysis. In D. F. Marks & L. Yardley (Eds), Research methods for clinical and health psychology (pp. 56-68). Sage.

OConnor, C., & Joffe, H. (2020). Intercoder reliability in qualitative research: Debates and practical guidelines. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. Advance online publication.

 

Approaches to TA based on the use of a codebook or coding frame

Template analysis

Nigel King’s Template Analysis website.

Brooks, J., McCluskey, S., Turley, E., & King, N. (2015). The utility of template analysis in qualitative psychology research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 12(2), 202-222.

King, N. (2012). Doing template analysis. In G. Symon & C. Cassell (Eds.), Qualitative organisation research: Core methods and current challenges (pp. 426-450). Sage.

King, N. (2008). What will hatch? A constructivist autobiographical account of writing poetry. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 21, 274-287.

King, N. (2004). Using templates in the qualitative analysis of text. In G. Cassell & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential guide to qualitative methods in organisational research (pp. 256-270). Sage.

King, N. (1998). Template analysis. In G. Symon & C. Cassell (Eds.), Qualitative methods and analysis in organizational research (pp. 118-134). London: Sage.

King, N., & Brooks, J. M. (2017). Template analysis for business and management students. Sage.

King, N., & Brooks, J. (2017). Thematic analysis in organisational research. In C. Cassell, A. L. Cunliffe & G. Grandy (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative business and management research methods (pp. 219-236). Sage.

Framework analysis

Gale, N. K., Heath, G., Cameron, E., Rashid, S., & Redwood, S. (2013). Using the framework method for the analysis of qualitative data in multi-disciplinary health research. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 13, 117.

Leal, I., Engebretson, J., Cohen, L., Rodriguez, A., Wangyai, T., Lopez, G., & Chaoul, A. (2015). Experiences of paradox: A qualitative analysis of living with cancer using a framework approach. Psycho-Oncology, 24, 138-146.

Parkinson, S., Eatough, V., Holes, J., Stapley, E., & Midgley, N. (2016). Framework analysis: A worked example of a study exploring young people’s experiences of depression. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 13(2), 109-129.

Spencer, L., Ritchie, J., Ormston, R., O’Connor, W., & Barnard, M. (2013). Analysis: Principles and Processes. In Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., & Ormston, R. (Eds.), Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers (pp. 269-294). Sage.

Spencer, L., Ritchie, J., O’Connor, W., Morrell, G., & Ormston, R., (2013). Analysis in Practice. In Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., & Ormston, R. (Eds.), Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers (pp. 295-346). Sage.

Smith, J., & Firth, J. (2011). Qualitative data analysis: Application of the framework approach. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 52-62.

Srivastava, A., & Thomson, S. B. (2009). Framework analysis: A qualitative methodology for applied policy research. Journal of Administration & Governance, 4, 72-79.

Swallow, V. Newton, J., & Van Lottum, C. (2003). How to manage and display qualitative data using ‘framework’ and Microsoft Excel. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 12, 610-612.

Ward, D. J., Furber, C., Tierney, S., & Swallow, V. (2013). Using framework analysis in nursing research: A worked example. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(11), 2423-2431.

Other codebook approaches

Cassell, C., & Nadin, S. (2004). Using data matrices. In C. Cassell & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research (pp. 271287). Sage.

Crabtree, B. F., & Miller, W. L. (1999). Using codes and code manuals: A template organizing style of interpretation. In B. F. Crabtree & W. L. Miller (Eds.), Doing qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 163178). Sage.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Sage.

Pope, C., Ziebland, S., & Mays, N. (2007). Analysing qualitative data. In C. Pope & N. Mays (Eds.), Qualitative research in health care (pp. 63-81). Blackwell.

 

Other approaches to TA

Aguinaldo, J.P. (2012). Qualitative analysis in gay men’s health research: Comparing thematic, critical discourse, and conversation analysis. Journal of Homosexuality, 59(6), 765-787.

Aronson, J. (1994). A pragmatic view of thematic analysis. The Qualitative Report, 2(1).

Attride-Stirling, J. (2001). Thematic networks: An analytic tool for qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 1(3), 385-405.

Ayres, L. (2008). Thematic coding and analysis. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (pp. 876868). Sage.

Barbour, R. (2008). Introducing qualitative research: A student guide to the craft of doing qualitative research (Chapter 9: Analysis groundwork – storing, coding and retrieving data and Chapter 10: Interrogating your data – identifying patterns). Sage.

Barbour, R. (2013). Introducing qualitative research: A student guide to the craft of doing qualitative research (2nd ed.) (Chapter 11: Analysis: Processing, coding, and interrogating data). Sage.

Buetow, S. (2010). Thematic analysis and its reconceptualization as ‘saliency analysis’. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 15(2), 123-225.

Crowe, M., Inder, M., & Porter, R. (2015). Conducting qualitative research in mental health: Thematic and content analyses. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(7), 616623.

Daly, J. Kellehear, A. & Gliksman, M. (1997). The public health researcher: A methodological guide (Chapter 9: Secondary analysis). Oxford University Press.

Fereday, J., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006). Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: A hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(1), 1-11.

Flick, U. (2018). An introduction to qualitative research (6th ed.) (Chapter 26: Thematic coding and content analysis). Sage.

Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research (5th ed.). Sage.

Flick, U. (2009). An introduction to qualitative research (4th ed.) (Chapter 23: Coding and categorising). Sage.

Floersch, J., Longhofer, J. L., Kranke, D., & Townsend, L. (2010). Integrating thematic, grounded theory and narrative analysis: A case study of adolescent psychotropic treatment. Qualitative Social Work, 9(3), 407-425.

Freeman, L., & Sullivan, C. (2018). Thematic analysis. In Sullivan, C. & Forrester, M. A. (Eds.), Doing qualitative research in psychology: A practical guide (2nd ed.). Sage.

Fugard, A., & Potts, H. W. W. (2020). Thematic analysis. In P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, A. Cernat, J. W. Sakshaug & R. A. Williams (Eds.), SAGE research methods foundations.  Sage.

Gibson, W. J., & Brown, A. (2009). Working with qualitative data (Chapter 8: Identifying themes, codes and hypotheses). Sage.

Gleeson, K. (2011). Polytextual thematic analysis for visual data: Pinning down the analytic. In P. Reavey (Ed.), Visual methods in psychology (pp. 314329). Routledge.

Gleeson, K. (2020). Polytextual thematic analysis for visual data: Analysing visual images. In P. Reavey (Ed.), A handbook of visual methods in psychology: Using and interpreting images in qualitative research (pp. 536554). Routledge.

Green, J. (2013). The use of focus groups in research into health. In M. Saks & J. Allsop (Eds.), Researching health: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods (pp 128-147). Sage.

Green, J., & Thorogood, N. (2018). Qualitative methods for health research (4th ed.). (Chapter 10: Beginning Data Analysis). Sage.

Hayes, N. (2000). Doing psychological research: Gathering and analyzing data. Open University Press.

Hayes, N. (1997). Theory-led thematic analysis: Social identification in small companies. In N. Hayes (Ed.), Doing qualitative analysis in psychology. Psychology Press.

Langdridge, D. (2004). Introduction to research methods and data analysis in psychology (Chapter 14: Transcribing, coding and organising textual data). Pearson.

Langdridge, D., & Hagger-Johnson, G. (2013). Introduction to research methods and data analysis in psychology (3rd ed.). (Chapter 18: Transcribing, coding and organising textual data). Pearson.

Lochmiller, C. R. (2021). Conducting thematic analysis with qualitative data. The Qualitative Report, 26(6), 2029-2044.

Luborsky, M. (1994). The identification and analysis of themes and patterns. In J. F. Gubrium & A. Sankar (Eds.), Qualitative methods in aging research (pp. 189-210). Sage.

MacQueen, K. M., McLellan, E., Kay, K., & Milstein, B. (1998). Codebook development for team-based qualitative analysis. CAM Journal, 10(2), 3136.

Malterud, K. (2013). Systematic text condensation: A strategy for qualitative analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 40, 795-805.

Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. B. (2021). Designing qualitative research (7th ed.). (Chapter 8: Managing, analysing and interpreting data). Sage.

Nowell, L. S., Norris, J. M., White, D. E., & Moules, N. J. (2017). Thematic analysis: Striving to meet the trustworthiness criteria. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1), 113.

Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.) (Chapter 8: Qualitative analysis and interpretation). Sage.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (Chapter 8: Qualitative analysis and interpretation). Sage.

Peterson, B. L. (2017). Thematic analysis/interpretive thematic analysis. In J. Matthes, C. S. Davis & R. F. Potter (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of communication research methods (pp. 19). Wiley-Blackwell.

Rivas, C. (2018). Finding themes in qualitative data. In C. Seale (Ed.), Researching society and culture (4th ed., pp. 429–453). Sage.

Robinson, O. C. (2021). Conducting thematic analysis on brief texts: The structured tabular approach. Qualitative Psychology. Advance online publication.

Ryan, G. W., & Bernard, H. R. (2003). Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods, 15(1), 85109.

Saldaña, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd ed.). Sage.

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). Sage.

Singer, D., & Hunter, M. (1999). The experience of premature menopause: A thematic discourse analysis. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 17(1), 63-81.

Spiers, J., & Riley, R. (2019). Analysing one dataset with two qualitative methods: The distress of general practitioners, a thematic and interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(2), 276290.

Stenner, P. (1993). Discoursing jealousy. In E. Burman & I. Parker (Eds.), Discourse analytic research: Repertoires and readings of texts in action (pp. 94-132). Routledge.

Swain, J. (2018). A hybrid approach to thematic analysis in qualitative research: Using a practical example. SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Taylor, G. W., & Ussher, J. M. (2001). Making sense of S&M: A discourse analytic account. Sexualities, 4(3), 293-314.

Tesch, R. (1990) Qualitative research: Analysis types and software tools. Falmer Press.

Tuckett, A. G. (2005). Applying thematic analysis theory to practice: A researcher’s experience. Contemporary Nurse, 19(1-2), 75-87.

Vaismoradi, M., Turunen, H., & Bondas, H. (2013). Content analysis and thematic analysis: Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nursing & Health Sciences, 15(3), 398-405.

Vaismoradi, M., Jones, J., Turunen, H., & Snelgrove, S. (2016). Theme development in qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(5), 100110.

Xu, W., & Zammit, K. (2020). Applying thematic analysis to education: A hybrid approach to interpreting data in practitioner research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, online first, April 14.

 

Related approaches

Hsieh, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

 

Early examples of TA

Benner, P. (1985). Quality of life: A phenomenological perspective on explanation, prediction, and understanding in nursing science. Advances in Nursing Science, 8(1), 1-14.

Christ, T. (1970). A thematic analysis of the American business creed. Social Forces, 49(2), 239-245.

Dapkus, M. A. (1985). A thematic analysis of the experience of time. Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 49(2), 408-419.

Examples of more descriptive/semantic TA

Anderson, S., & Clarke, V. (2019). Disgust, shame and the psychosocial impact of skin picking: Evidence from an online support forum. Journal of Health Psychology, 24(13), 1773-1784.

Davey, L., Clarke, V., & Jenkinson, E. (2019). Living with alopecia areata: An online qualitative survey study. British Journal of Dermatology, 180(6), 1377-1389.

Douglas, H., Hamilton, R., & Grubs, R. (2009). The effect of BRCA gene testing on family relationships: A thematic analysis of qualitative interviews. Journal of Genetic Counselling, 18(5), 418-435.

Graham, R., & Clarke, V. (2021). Staying strong: Exploring experiences of managing emotional distress for African Caribbean women living in the UK. Feminism & Psychology, 31(1), 140-159.

Kushner, B., Neville, S., & Adams, J. (2013). Perceptions of ageing as an older gay man: a qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(23-24), 3388-3395.

Malik, S. H., & Coulson, N. (2008). The male experience of infertility: A thematic analysis of an online fertility support group bulletin board. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 26(1), 18-30.

Rance, N. M., Clarke, V., & Moller, N. P. (2014). ‘If I see somebody… I’ll immediately scope them out’: Anorexia Nervosa clients’ perceptions of their therapists’ body. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 22(2), 111-120.

Sezier, A. E. I., Saywell, N., Terry, G., Taylor, D., & Kayes, N. (2019). Working-age adults’ perspectives on living with persistent postural-perceptual dizziness: A qualitative exploratory study. BMJ Open, 9, e024326.

Examples of more conceptual/latent TA

Beres, M. A., & Farvid, P. (2010). Sexual ethics and young womens accounts of heterosexual casual sex. Sexualities, 13(3), 377-393.

Braun, V. (2008). ”She’ll be right”? National identity explanations for poor sexual health statistics in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Social Science & Medicine, 67(11), 1817-1825.

Farvid, P., Braun, V., & Rowney, C. (2017). ‘No girl wants to be called a slut!’: Women, heterosexual casual sex and the sexual double standard. Journal of Gender Studies, 26(5), 544-560.

Li, A. Y., & Braun, V. (2016). Pubic hair and its removal: A practice beyond the personal. Feminism & Psychology, 27(3), 336-356.

Terry, G., Braun, V., Jayamaha, S., & Madden, H. (2018). Negotiating the hairless ideal in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Choice, awareness, complicity, and resistance in younger women’s accounts of body hair removal. Feminism & Psychology, 28(2), 272-291.

Vandenburg, T., & Braun, V. (2017). ‘Basically, it’s sorcery for your vagina’: Unpacking Western representations of vaginal steaming. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 19(4), 470-485.

Examples of essentialist/(critical) realist TA

Malik, S. H., & Coulson, N. (2008). The male experience of infertility: A thematic analysis of an online fertility support group bulletin board. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 26(1), 18-30.

Everson-Hock, E. S., Taylor, A. H., Ussher, M., & Faulkner, G. (2010). A qualitative perspective on multiple health behaviour change: Views of smoking cessation advisors who promote physical activity. The Journal of Smoking Cessation, 5(1), 7-14.

Moller, N. P., Timms, J., & Alilovic, K. (2009). Risky business or safety net? Trainee perceptions of personal therapy: A qualitative thematic analysis. European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 11(4), 369-384.

Terry, G., & Kayes, N. (2020). Person-centred care in neurorehabilitation: A secondary analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 46, 2334-2343.

Examples of critical/constructionist TA/thematic discourse analysis

Braun, V. (2008). ”She’ll be right”? National identity explanations for poor sexual health statistics in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Social Science & Medicine, 67(11), 1817-1825.

Clarke, V., & Smith, M. (2015). “Not hiding, not shouting, just me”: Gay men negotiate their visual identities. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(1), 4-32.

Clarke, V., & Spence, K. (2013). ‘I am who I am’: Navigating norms and the importance of authenticity in lesbian and bisexual women’s accounts of their appearance practices. Psychology & Sexuality, 4(1), 25-33.

Clarke, V., & Kitzinger, C. (2004). Lesbian and gay parents on talk shows: Resistance or collusion in heterosexism. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1(3), 195-217.

Clarke, V., Burgoyne, C., & Burns, M. (2007). Romance, rights, recognition, responsibilities and radicalism: Same-sex couples’ views on civil partnership and marriage. In V. Clarke & E. Peel (Eds.), Out in Psychology: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer perspectives (pp. 173-193). Chichester: Wiley.

Farvid, P., & Braun, V. (2017). Unpacking the “Pleasures” and “Pains” of Heterosexual Casual Sex: Beyond Singular Understandings. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(1), 73-90.

Hayfield, N., & Wood, M. (2019). Looking heteronormatively good! Combining story completion tasks with Bitstrips to explore understandings of sexuality and appearance. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(1), 115-135.

Examples of TA using interview data

Braun, V., Terry, G., Gavey, N., & Fenaughty, J. (2009). ‘Risk’ and sexual coercion among gay and bisexual men in Aotearoa/New Zealand-key informant accounts. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 11(2), 111-124.

Cowie, L., & Braun, V. (2021). Between social and biomedical explanation: queer and gender diverse young people’s explanations of psychological distress. Psychology & Sexuality, 1-12.

Douglas, H., Hamilton, R., & Grubs, R. (2009). The effect of BRCA gene testing on family relationships: A thematic analysis of qualitative interviews. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 18(5), 418-435.

Hayfield, N., Campbell, C., & Reed, L. (2018). Misrecognition and managing marginalisation: Bisexual people’s experiences of bisexuality and relationships. Psychology and Sexuality, 9(3), 221-236.

Hayfield, N., Terry, G., Clarke, V., & Ellis, S. (2019). “Never say never?” Heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women’s accounts of being childfree. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 43(4), 526–538.

Li, A. Y., & Braun, V. (2016). Pubic hair and its removal: A practice beyond the personal. Feminism & Psychology, 27(3), 336-356.

Pickens, C., & Braun, V. (2018). “Stroppy bitches who just need to learn how to settle”? Young single women and norms of femininity and heterosexuality. Sex Roles, 79(7-8), 431–448.

Wong, W. K. T., & Ussher, J. (2009). Bereaved informal cancer carers making sense of their palliative care experiences at home. Health & Social Care in the Community, 17(3), 274-282.

Examples of TA using focus group data

Braun, V. (2008). ”She’ll be right”? National identity explanations for poor sexual health statistics in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Social Science & Medicine, 67(11), 1817-1825.

Graham, R., & Clarke, V. (2021). Staying strong: Exploring experiences of managing emotional distress for African Caribbean women living in the UK. Feminism & Psychology, 31(1), 140-159.

King, M., & Ussher, J. M. (2013). It’s not all bad: Women’s construction and lived experience of positive premenstrual change. Feminism & Psychology, 23(3), 399-417.

Nicolson, P., Kopp, Z., Chapple, C. R., & Kelleher, C. (2008). ‘It’s just the worry about not being able to control it!’: A qualitative study of living with overactive bladder. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13(2), 343-359.

Examples of TA using qualitative survey/questionnaire data

Braun, V., Tricklebank, G., & Clarke, V. (2013). ‘It shouldn’t stick out from your bikini at the beach’: Meaning, gender, and the hairy/hairless body. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(4), 478-493.

Clarke, V., & Smith, M. (2015). “Not hiding, not shouting, just me”: Gay men negotiate their visual identities. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(1), 4-32.

Frith, H., & Gleeson, K. (2008). Dressing the body: The role of clothing in sustaining body pride and managing body distress. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 5(4), 249-264.

Hayfield, N., & Křížová, K. (2021). It’s like bisexuality, but it isn’t: Pansexual and panromantic people’s understandings of their identities and experiences of becoming educated about gender and sexuality. Advance online publication. Journal of Bisexuality.

Jowett, A., & Peel, E. (2009). Chronic Illness in Non-heterosexual Contexts: An online survey of experiences. Feminism & Psychology, 19(4), 454–474.

Moller, N. P., Timms, J., & Alilovic, K. (2009). Risky business or safety net? Trainee perceptions of personal therapy: A qualitative thematic analysis. European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 11(4), 369-384.

Terry, G., & Braun, V. (2016). “I think gorilla-like back effusions of hair are rather a turn-off”: Mandatory ‘grooming’ and body hair removal among male New Zealanders. Body Image, 17, 14-24.

Terry, G., Braun, V., Jayamaha, S., & Madden, H. (2018). Negotiating the hairless ideal in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Choice, awareness, complicity, and resistance in younger women’s accounts of body hair removal. Feminism & Psychology, 28(2), 272-291.

Winter-Gray, T., & Hayfield, N. (2021). “Can I be a kinky ace?”: How asexual people negotiate their experiences of kinks and fetishes. Psychology and Sexuality, 12(3), 163-179.

If you’re now curious about the method of qualitative surveys, we encourage you to read both our brief blog on online qualitative surveys for International Journal of Social Research Methodology, and the full paper it’s based on.

Examples of TA using story completion data

Clarke, V., Braun, V., & Wooles, K. (2015). Thou shalt not covet another man? Exploring constructions of same-sex and different-sex infidelity using story completion. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 25(2), 153-166.

Hayfield, N., & Wood, M. (2019). Looking heteronormatively good! Combining story completion tasks with Bitstrips to explore understandings of sexuality and appearance. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(1), 115-135.

Jennings, E., Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Breaking gendered boundaries? Exploring constructions of counter-normative body hair practices in Aotearoa/New Zealand using story completion. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(1), 74-95.

Shah-Beckley, I., & Clarke, V. (2021). Exploring constructions of sexual refusal in heterosexual relationships: A qualitative story completion study. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research. Advance online publication.

Shah-Beckley, I., Clarke, V., & Thomas, Z. (2020). Therapists’ and non-therapists’ constructions of heterosex: A qualitative story completion study. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 93(2), 189-206.

Examples of TA using secondary sources for data

Braun, V., & Carruthers, S. (2020). Working at self and wellness: A critical analysis of vegan vlogs. In D. Lupton & Z. Feldman (Eds.), Digital Food Cultures (pp. 82-96). Routledge.

Farvid, P., & Braun, V. (2006). ‘Most of us guys are raring to go anytime, anyplace, anywhere’: Male and female sexuality in Cleo and Cosmo. Sex Roles, 55(5), 295-310.

Vandenburg, T., & Braun, V. (2017). ‘Basically, it’s sorcery for your vagina’: Unpacking Western representations of vaginal steaming. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 19(4), 470-485.

Examples of TA using diary data

Malinen, K., Rönkä, A., & Sevón, E. (2010). Good moments in parents’ spousal relationships: A daily relational maintenance perspective. Family Science, 1(3-4), 230-241.

Sillence, E., Briggs, P., Harris, P.R., & Fishwick, L. (2007). How do patients evaluate and make use of online health information? Social Science & Medicine, 64(9), 1853-1862.

Examples of TA using ‘naturalistic’ data

Peel E. (2009). Intergroup relations in action: Questions asked about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues in diversity training. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 19(4), 271-285.

Examples of TA in case study research

Cedervall, Y., & Åberg, A. C. (2010). Physical activity and implications on well-being in mild Alzheimer’s disease: A qualitative case study on two men with dementia and their spouses. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 26(4), 226–239.

Gadberry, A. L. (2014). Cross-cultural perspective: A thematic analysis of a music therapist’s experience providing treatment in a foreign country. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 25, 66–80.

Manago, A. M. (2013). Negotiating a sexy masculinity on social networking sites. Feminism & Psychology, 23(4), 478–497.

Examples of mash-ups of TA and narrative analysis

Palomäki, J., Laakasuo, M., & Salmela, M. (2013). “This is just so unfair!”: A qualitative analysis of loss-induced emotions and tilting in on-line poker. International Gambling Studies, 13(2), 255–270.

Ronkainen, N. J., Watkins, I., & Ryba, T. V. (2016). What can gender tell us about the pre-retirement experiences of elite distance runners in Finland? A thematic narrative analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22, 37–45.

Examples of TA used in combination with discursive analytic approaches
Examples of feminist TA