In the end, it is nearly impossible to set out a defined set of rules for conducting qualitative research because there is little agreement among qualitative researchers regarding the key elements of a good qualitative research dissertation. There are however agreed upon principles that qualitative research should have both transparency and systematicity. What exactly that means will depend upon whom you ask, but it is good to keep those principles in mind in terms of what they mean to you.
Davidson, Judith; Dottin, James; Penna, Stacy & Robertson, Stuart (2009). Visual sources and the qualitative research dissertation: Ethics, evidence and the politics of academia—Moving innovation in higher education from the center to the margins. , (27), 1-40.
Qualitative Research Sample Dissertation Critique
This option is for Ed.D. students particularly interested in producing knowledge in response to a research problem from within a disciplinary or theoretical perspective. The quantitative research dissertation may seek to test or generate hypotheses or to establish generalizable propositions. The qualitative research dissertation may seek to explain phenomena or events by exploring the multiple meanings experienced by individuals, to explore and advance theory, or advance an argument. Mixed methods research dissertations involve both collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data to provide a better understanding of a research problem through more comprehensive evidence than if either dataset had been used alone.