Sheffield Hallam University, Charles Street Building (City Campus), 12.6.02-Level 6


07 Feb 2024


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Qualitative Story Completion

This workshop is open to all ESRC and non-ESRC funded PhD and MA Social Research students within the WRDTP’s seven partner universities.

Story completion is a novel method that offers a uniquely different and fun approach to generate qualitative data. The method involves providing participants with an opening to a story – the story stem – and asking them to write what happens next. In contrast to more traditional qualitative methods, the data created via story completion is imaginative data that captures sociocultural discourses and dominant meaning making around a topic. The purpose of this workshop is to explore what story completion has to offer qualitative researchers. We will begin by examining the development of story completion as a qualitative tool and potential opportunities and challenges of engaging in this type of research. In small groups, we will then consider how to design a ‘good’ story stem and put creativity into action as we experiment in creating and responding to stems. Lastly, we will review the analytical techniques available to interpret story completion data and the methodological and practical implications of different approaches. Overall, this workshop aims to encourage people to include story completion within their methodological toolkit to create more engaging research and collect qualitative data in new and exciting ways.

Learning outcomes from this workshop will be:

  • To examine the development of story completion from an essentialist to social constructionist methodology
  • To critically appraise strengths and limitations of qualitative story completion as a method
  • To engage in story stem design and analysis


Clarke, V., Braun, V., Frith, H., & Moller, N. (2019). Editorial introduction to the special issue: Using story completion methods in qualitative research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(1), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2018.1536378

Williams, T. L., Lozano-Sufrategui, L., & Tomasone, J. R. (2022). Stories of physical activity and disability: Exploring sport and exercise students’ narrative imagination through story completion. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 14(5), 687-705. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2021.2001031

Story completion website by Professor Virginia Braun and colleagues


This training session will be delivered face-to-face at the Sheffield Hallam University. This event will be recorded.