Doing Your Own Research

Doing Your Own Research


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New, completely revised second edition.

If you want to do research and aspire to academic ability, this book is for you - it will guide and challenge you, and keep you on the straight and narrow path of academic integrity.

Doing Your Own Research is an essential reference tool for the student researcher. A complete A to Z of research, it explains all stages of a research project; from developing the basic idea to collecting the information and producing the final paper.

In a method unique to this book, the author shows how to convert an idea for research into a researchable statement and from that into a guide to the data to be collected. The technique can be applied to a wide range of descriptive research projects spanning academic, business, community, voluntary and personal interests.

Knowing how to get information is a source of power in modern society. One of the primary aims of the book is to enable individuals and community groups with no previous experience to do their own research in a professional and satisfying way.

"This book should have a wide appeal."?Times Educational Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780714530437
Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 03/01/2001
Edition description: REVISED
Pages: 385
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Part I.Before You Begin
1The Book, the People, the Places3
Who Should Use This Book4
About the Book5
About the People and the Places in the Book7
2Social Research: the Big Debate12
How Do We Know About the World?14
Is Social Science a Science?21
Where Does Theory Fit In?23
Part II.Getting Ready to Do Research
3What Will You Study?31
Finding Your Research Idea32
Clarifying the Goals and Purpose of Your Research33
Choosing Your Perspective35
4Do You Want to Describe Something?44
Etic Approach44
Developing a Rough Research Idea and Refining It45
Creating a Research Statement or Hypothesis46
Identifying the Sub-topics for Study48
Putting the Outline in Perspective53
Making Decisions About Sources of Information57
Making Decisions About Information-Gathering Techniques59
Emic Approach60
5Do You Want to Explain or Predict Something?68
Cause and Effect Studies69
Experimental Designs71
Choosing Your Experimental Design87
Analytical Survey Designs88
6Who Will be in Your Study?94
Probability Sampling95
Non-probability Sampling99
Sample Size102
Sampling and Non-sampling Errors103
Part III.Techniques and Strategies
7Choosing your techniques and strategies107
Your Research Strategy107
Your Research Techniques111
Working With 'Insiders' and Learning From Their Knowledge124
8Getting Help From the Library and the Internet128
The Library130
The Internet132
9Giving a Survey149
Surveys and Questionnaires150
Mini Surveys154
Postal Surveys and Drop-off Surveys176
Telephone Surveys179
Special Considerations for Non-Western Cultural Groups180
Looking Back at Our Interview180
10Using Measures, Scales, and Indices183
Using Scales and Indices183
Some Warnings185
Types of Scales187
11Interviewing People198
Introduction to Qualitative Techniques198
Unstructured or Informal Interviewing199
Cultural Bias208
12Using Case Studies and Participant Observation215
Case Studies215
Participant Observation217
13Trying Some Other Qualitative Approaches228
Story Completion or Sentence Completion Devices228
Traditional Stories231
Role-play and Figures232
Content Analysis232
14Doing Participatory Research236
Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Learning and Action237
Uses of RRA and PLA239
Comparisons With Conventional Methods239
Stages in an RRA Project240
Stages in a PLA Project243
Analyzing RRA and PLA findings243
A Sample PLA Project243
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Dangers of RRA and PLA265
The Philosophical and Ideological Foundations of RRA and PLA266
How You Can Use RRA and PRA as Part of a Larger Study267
PLA Sources and Contacts267
15Organizing Your Qualitative Information270
Written Notes270
Tape Recording281
Video Recording281
Part IV.Making Sense of Your Results
16Analyzing Your Qualitative Information287
Ways to Look at Your Material288
Stages of Data Analysis290
Computer Programs for Qualitative Analysis308
What Next?308
17Quantitative Analysis311
Univariate Analysis: Frequency Distributions313
Bivariate Analysis: Association and Correlation323
Using Descriptive Statistics333
Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data335
18Sharing Your Findings338
Report, Talk, or Workshop?339
Balancing the Emphases in the Report340
Circulating the Study349
Using the Results351
AppendixGrid for Assessing a Problem354

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