Introduction to Research Methods 5th Edition: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project

Introduction to Research Methods 5th Edition: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project

by Dr. Catherine Dawson


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Introduction to Research Methods contains everything from developing an initial idea into a proposal, through to analysing data and reporting results. Whether you have to undertake a project as part of your coursework, or as part of your employment, or simply because you are fascinated by something you have observed and want to find out more, this book offers you advice on how to turn your ideas into a workable project. Specifically it will show you how to:

*Choose your research methods
*Choose your participants
*Prepare a research proposal
*Construct questionnaires
*Conduct interviews and focus groups
*Analyse your data
*Report your findings
*Be an ethical researcher

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408711057
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

DR CATHERINE DAWSON has worked as a researcher since the mid-1980s and has taught on research methods courses at university. She has also written extensively for academic journals on a wide range of subjects including research methodology. In this book she explains complicated issues in a way that can be understood by anyone who is interested in their topic.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 How to Define Your Project 1

Asking questions 1

Thinking about your project 3

Understanding the five 'Ws' 4

Summarising your research 7

Summary 10

Useful websites 11

2 How to Decide Upon a Methodology 12

Recognising qualitative and quantitative research 12

Understanding the methodological debate 13

Choosing a methodology 13

Summary 19

Further reading 19

3 How to Choose Your Research Methods 22

Using interviews 22

Conducting focus groups 24

Using questionnaires 25

Undertaking participant observation 26

Conducting experiments 27

Choosing your methods 28

Summary 31

Further reading 32

4 How to Conduct Background Research 33

Conducting primary and secondary research 33

Using websites 34

Using interlibrary loans 36

Keeping records 36

Summary 38

Further reading 38

5 How to Choose Your Participants 39

Understanding sampling techniques 39

Choosing your sample size 44

Summary 45

Further reading 45

6 How to Prepare a Research Proposal 46

Understanding the format 46

The contents of a proposal 46

What makes a good proposal? 51

Reasons why research proposals fail 52

Summary 53

Further reading 53

7 How to Conduct Interviews 54

Methods of recording 54

Developing an interview schedule 57

Establishing rapport 59

Asking questions and probing for information 60

Completing the interview 62

Summary 62

Further reading 64

8 How to Conduct Focus Groups 65

The role of the moderator 65

Recording equipment 67

Choosing a venue 69

Recruiting your participants 70

Summary 71

Further reading 73

9 How to Construct Questionnaires 74

Deciding which questionnaire to use 74

Wording and structure of questions 76

Length and ordering of questions 80

Piloting the questionnaire 81

Obtaining a high response 83

Summary 85

Further reading 86

10 How to Carry Out Participant Observation 87

Places of study 87

Gaining access 88

Acting ethically 88

Collecting and analysing information 90

Withdrawing from the field 91

Summary 92

Further reading 93

11 How to Conduct Experiments 94

Understanding the scientific method 94

Developing and running experiments 95

Avoiding mistakes in experiments 96

Ensuring validity and reliability 96

Experimenting ethically 98

Summary 99

Further reading 100

12 How to Analyse Your Data 101

Deciding which approach to use 101

Analysing qualitative data 102

Analysing quantitative data 109

Measuring data 113

Summary 115

Further reading 116

13 How to Report Your Findings 117

Writing reports 117

Structuring reports 119

Writing journal articles 124

Producing oral presentations 125

Summary 127

Further reading 128

14 How to be an Ethical Researcher 129

Treating participants with respect 129

Recognising overt and covert research 130

Producing a code of ethics 132

Summary 134

Further reading 136

Useful addresses 137

Index 143

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