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"

From Question to Method

In this chapter:

  • Research questions and theory
  • Grand, middle range and experiential theory
  • Building and testing theories
  • Operationalization in survey research
  • Dependent and independent variables
  • Measures, indicators, values
  • Levels of measurement
  • Realism and social context

All research begins with a question. We want to know what something is like, why it is like it is, how much or how many. The problem is how to go about it. In this chapter I will describe a procedure from the conception of the question to the act of conducting the research. The first part of this chapter describes the relationship between theory and method; the second part how theory can be translated into measurable concepts in survey research. In the following chapter I will consider how research questions might be translated into qualitative ...

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