Many texts are available to help graduate students and researchers design studies, understand statistical methods, and conduct analyses using standard software, but little exists that helps with the creation of data sets. Microsoft Excel has evolved into a remarkably sophisticated data entry and statistical analysis system, with an extensive toolkit that can make these processes efficient and accurate. This is a practical step-by-step guide to using Excel in the data preparation process. The book includes plentiful screenshots, text boxes summarizing important points, examples from across the social sciences, and questions at the end of each chapter. In addition, a sample dataset will be available online for students to download and use for all the examples and exercises throughout the text. This brief book is intended to familiarize students, teachers, and researchers with the Excel toolkit, and provide strategies that ease the task of data creation and analysis.

Why this Book?

There are plenty of books that will help you become a better researcher. There are entire books about how to conduct a literature review (e.g., Fink, 2010); about how to design studies (e.g., Creswell, 2009); about how to collect data on the Internet (Fraley, 2004); about how to analyze data (e.g., Urdan, 2010); about the logic of data analysis (e.g., McGrath, 2011); and about writing research manuscripts (Cargill & O'Connor, 2013). So I wouldn't blame you if you think there are books covering every aspect of the research process. Except you would be wrong. There is one very important piece of the research process, one that is essential to just about every study, on which the literature is surprisingly silent. It's ...

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