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Template Analysis

Template Analysis. Developed by Nigel King and others.

The term "template analysis" refers to a particular way of thematically analysing qualitative data. The data involved are usually interview transcripts, but may be any kind of textual data. Template analysis involves the development of a coding "template", which summarises themes identified by the researcher(s) as important in a data set, and organises them in a meaningful and useful manner. Hierarchical coding is emphasised; that is to say, broad themes encompass successively narrower, more specific ones. Analysis often, though not always, starts with some a priori codes, which identify themes strongly expected to be relevant to the analysis. However, these codes may be modified or dispensed with altogether if they do not prove to be useful or appropriate to the actual data examined

See e.g.

Book icon King, N (2004) Using templates in the thematic analysis of text, in C.Cassell and G.Symon (Eds.) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research. London: Sage.



Revising the template

Authors of this page:Dawn Clarke and Graham R. Gibbs

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 14th January 2009




Learning outcomes

  1. How you can identify more analytic ways of thinking about the coding.
  2. Ways you can group codes together to reduce their number in the coding frame (template).


Frances made only minor changes to the template (coding frame) to produce the second version of the initial template, but whilst doing this she began to develop her thinking about the codes and the central themes of her research. She renamed some codes to reflect her intention to focus more on the participant's experience of whiplash injury (rather then the objectified, medical stance she started with). She also started to think about combining lots of codes together - for instance under a general heading of pain. This was something she actually did in the final version of the template.

You may find it useful to print out the second version of the initial template that Frances used before watching this video.


Loudspeaker iconiPhone friendly version of the videoIn this 4 minute video, Frances discusses how she thought about revising the initial template:


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