What are the essentials for undergraduates and postgraduates engaged in quantitative and qualitative research? How can the gap between formulating a research question and carrying out research be bridged? This accessible, well-judged text provides students with a matchless introduction to generic research skills. It is uncluttered, direct and unpatronizing. Key features of the book are: - Accessibility - Clarification of key issues and problem solving guidance - Demonstration of the importance of interplay between theory and research - Realism in defining essential research issues and the problems that researchers encounter. `It is not the case that anyone can do social research", most research requires training. Here Malcolm Williams provides such training.. Helpful and often humorous' - Roger Sapsford, University of Teesside"

Designing Research

In this chapter:

  • Resources and research design
  • Literature reviews and desk research
  • Secondary analysis
  • Exploratory research
  • Theory testing and theory building
  • Problem solving and action research
  • Evaluation research
  • Multi-method research and triangulation

At first glance it may seem perverse to present a chapter on strategies for designing research after chapters describing methods of doing it and making sense of it. Yet it is important to have some grasp of relative strengths and weaknesses of particular methods, as well as an understanding of theory and data before embarking upon a study design. In the discussion of quantitative analysis in Chapter 7 you will recall that I pointed out the importance of considering how one will analyse the data before designing the survey. This injunction is just as relevant to interpretivist approaches to research. ...

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