Code Memos

You can write a memo for each code. Code memos can be used, for example, to retain the definition of a category, including anchor examples that illustrate the meaning of the category using original quotations. If you work according to the research style of Grounded Theory, you can record all thoughts about the concept or category in a code memo.

There are several options for creating a new memo in the “Code System”:

  • Right-click on a code and select Memo from the context menu.
  • Alternatively, you can create a memo for the currently selected code using the keyboard shortcut Alt+⇧+M (Windows) or ⌥ (option)+⇧+M (mac OS).
  • The fastest way to create a new memo is to double-click in the memo column to the left of the code frequencies.
Creating a code memo

The appearing memo window is exactly the same as for other memos. As title, the new memo uses the code name, which can be changed at any time by clicking on the title.

Please note: If you change the name of a code in the “Code System”, MAXQDA will automatically change the memo title if you have not already entered a different title than the code name.

After closing the memo, you will see a yellow memo symbol next to the code in the “Code System”, making it easy to recognize that this code has a memo attached to it.

Tip: For code memos, you will often want to insert an example quote from the data to illustrate for which parts of the data the code should be used. To insert parts of a text opened in the “Document Browser” in a memo, simply highlight the desired text, then drag and drop it into the memo with the left mouse button.

Code summaries

Code memos offer an additional text field at the bottom, titled “Code summary”. While the upper memo text is typically used for a definition and rules for the use of the code, you can record important contents of the associated coded segments in the lower code summary.

Write code summary in a code memo

If you have created case overview tables with thematic summaries using the Analysis > Summary Tables function, you can use the code summaries in the memos for an integrative summary of the respective topic or aspect. For this purpose, the summaries of a code are combined across cases and in condensed form in the code summary.

Example: For 10 interviewees, you have written summaries capturing their typical workday. In the code summary, you can integrate and consolidate the information in these summaries, into one text – write a summary of the summaries, so to speak.

For more information on working with summary features in MAXQDA, refer to the chapter Summarizing.

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