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"

Survey Research

In this chapter:

Design issues

  • Descriptive and explanatory surveys
  • Cause and association
  • Experimental designs

Methods of data collection

  • Interview schedules: advantages and disadvantages
  • Telephone interviews and CAPI
  • Self-completion surveys: advantages and disadvantages
  • Internet research

Quality in quantity

  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Non-response
  • Data analysis: some preliminary thoughts

People have very different ideas about surveys. On one hand, there are plenty of people, very often in non-social science professions, who seem to think that designing and conducting a survey is easy. On the other hand, university social science students faced with this task for the first time often think they have picked the wrong degree. As with so many of these things, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Surveys come in different varieties. Relatively simple descriptive surveys can be undertaken after just a minimal amount of training, but there is ...

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