Not much guidance is provided to researchers and students in the process of developing coding schemes to analyze data in the field of qualitative research. Method books focus on qualitative research methods and designs but rarely explain the concrete steps of developing coding schemes. This paper focuses on how cognitive principles can be used to develop valid, reliable, and objective categories and hierarchies that facilitate the coordination of theory and evidence in the process of scientific inquiry. Eight principles derived from cognitive learning theory in the field of educational psychology provide a foundation for the development and application of coding schemes in qualitative research: (1) Theory and evidence coordination (2) Hierarchical structure, (3) Organizing principles, (4) 7 ± 2 items limitation, (5) Operationalization, (6) M-codes, (7) Grounding of evidence, and (8) Collaboration. The paper provides example coding schemes to illustrate the analysis process, its outcomes, and use of qualitative data analysis software, like Atlas.ti.