Thematic Analysis

5 Tips For Thematic Analysis – A Must-Read for Time Saving

Do you want to complete your thematic analysis in a short time? Manually conducting a thematic analysis is a time taking and tiring process for analysts and researchers. In this article, we will guide you on conducting a thematic analysis in a short amount of time.

What is a Thematic Analysis?

Thematic analysis is a qualitative data analysis technique. It is usually used to describe a group of texts, such as an interview or transcripts. The researcher carefully examines the data to identify recurring themes, topics, ideas, and meaning patterns.

A Brief Introduction of the Terminologies Used in a Thematic Analysis:

In thematic analysis, you will frequently use codes. A code is a label assigned to a text, and its purpose is to identify and summarise key concepts within a data set, such as an interview transcript.

The Importance of Codes:

Codes are essential because they serve as the foundation for themes. But exactly what is a theme? A theme is a recognisable pattern within a data set. In other words, it is a topic or concept repeatedly appearing in your data. Grouping your codes into themes allows you to summarise sections of your data in a useful way that will help you answer your research questions and achieve your research goals.

What Are The Best Five Tips For Thematic Analysis When You Want To Save Time?

The following five tips will help you conduct a thematic analysis on time:

  1. Familiarise Yourself with the Data
  2. Look For Themes or Patterns In Codes
  3. Review the Themes
  4. Finalise the Themes
  5. Write the Final Report

Let us describe these steps in further detail now.

Familiarise Yourself with the Data

The first step in conducting a thematic analysis is to get a sense of your data and see what general themes emerge. If you’re working with audio data, you’ll do the transcription here, converting audio to text.

In this section of the analysis, you’ll want to brainstorm ideas for what you’ll code, what codes you’ll use for them, and what codes will accurately describe your content. Now consider the focus of your research topic, as well as your goals and objectives.

For example, suppose you’re interested in how people feel about different breeds of dogs. In that case, you can code based on when specific breeds are mentioned (e.g., border collie, Labrador, corgi) and when specific feelings/emotions are expressed.

Quick Tip:

It’s a good idea to keep a reflexivity journal as a general rule. It is where you’ll write down how you coded your data, why you coded it that way, and what the results of this data coding were. Using a reflexive journal from the beginning will greatly benefit you in the final stages of your thematic analysis because you can reflect on the coding process and assess whether you have coded reliably. It will also help you determine whether your codes and themes support your findings.

Look For Themes or Patterns In Codes

You’ll want to search your codes for patterns or themes in this step. The transition from codes to themes is not always straightforward. As you become more familiar with the data, you may discover that you need to assign different codes or themes based on what new elements you discover. For example, if you were analysing a text about wildlife, you might come across the codes “pigeon,” “canary,” and “budgerigar,” which are all related to birds.

As you go through the data, you may notice subthemes and subdivisions of themes that focus on a specific aspect of the theme that is significant or relevant to your research question. For example, if your theme is a university, your subthemes could be faculties or departments within that university.

What to Add to the Reflectivity Journal?

Your reflexivity journal entries should reflect how codes were interpreted and combined to form themes at this analysis stage.

Review the Themes

By now, you should have a good idea of your codes, themes, and possibly subthemes. It’s time to review all the themes you’ve identified.

In this step, you’ll want to make sure that everything you’ve labelled as a theme fits the data, that the themes exist in the data, that no themes are missing, and that you can proceed to the next step confident that you’ve coded all of your themes accurately and thoroughly. If you discover that your themes have become too broad and that there is too much information under one theme, it may be beneficial to divide this into more themes so that you can be more specific with your thematic analysis.

What to Add to the Reflectivity Journal?

It would help if you wrote in your reflexivity journal about how you understood the themes, how they are supported by evidence, and how they fit in with your codes. It would help if you also revisited your research questions to ensure that the data and themes you’ve identified are directly relevant to these questions.

Finalise the Themes

Your analysis will be taking shape by this point. You reviewed and refined your themes in the previous step, and now it’s time to label and finalise them. It’s worth noting that just because you’ve progressed to the next step doesn’t mean you can’t go back and revise or rework your themes. In contrast to the previous step, finalising your themes entails spelling out exactly what the themes are and describing them in detail.

It is critical at this stage to ensure that your themes correspond to your research questions. When you’re finalising your themes, you’re also nearing the end of your analysis, and you should keep in mind that your final report (discussed in the following step) must be consistent with the goals and objectives of your research.

What to Add to the Reflectivity Journal?

In your reflexivity journal, you should write a few sentences describing your themes and how you came up with them. It would help if you also mentioned how the theme will contribute to the outcomes of your research and what it means to your research questions and focus.

Write the Final Report

At this point, you’re almost done! After analysing your data, it’s time to present your findings. A typical thematic analysis report includes the following sections:

  • An Introduction
  • A methodology section
  • Your findings and results
  • A Conclusion

When writing your report, ensure enough information for a reader to assess the rigour of your analysis. In other words, the reader must understand the exact process you used to analyse your data and why.


When you conduct your thematic analysis this way, you can save much time otherwise spent on the complexities of the procedure. Conducting a thematic analysis is not as easy as it may seem at first. Therefore, you should seek professional coursework assistance (af)to help you with such academic tasks.

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