Assigning poetry reading as a way of introducing students to qualitative data analysis

Bonnie Raingruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Title. Assigning poetry reading as a way of introducing students to qualitative dataanalysis. Aim. The aim of the paper is to explain how poetry reading can be used to teach interpretive analysis of qualitative data. Background. A number of studies were located in the nursing literature that focused on using poetry to help students develop empathy for patients, to teach students to reflect on their own practice, and to assist them in developing self-understanding. No studies were found that described the use of poetry reading as a way of teaching the skill of interpretive analysis. There are, however, a number of parallels between the principles of poetry reading and qualitative analysis that suggest that this method of teaching would be successful. Data sources. International papers published on PubMed, Medline, and CINAHL were reviewed to identify challenges facing educators and ways of teaching the process of qualitative data analysis using poetry reading. Findings. Using poetry reading to teach skills of qualitative data analysis helps motivate students, cultivates a reflective mindset, and develops the skill of working as a member of an interpretive group. Framing interpretive work as being like reading poetry helps students pick up more quickly on the art that is a major component of the work. This approach also helps students learn the importance of cultural and contextual particulars as they begin analyzing qualitative data. Conclusion. Using poetry reading to introduce students to the complex skill of qualitative data analysis is an effective pedagogical strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1753-1761
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Aesthetics
  • Nurse education
  • Nursing students
  • Phenomenology
  • Poetry reading
  • Qualitative data analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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