NEW TO THIS EDITION: Discussion of the philosophy of science as the underlying foundation of methodological thinking includes naturalism and constructionism. Expanded focus on research ethics and the importance of samples in social research helps researchers produce higher quality research that adheres to common standards. Explicit attention is given to both designing research and evaluating the research of others. KEY FEATURES: An interdisciplinary approach with examples in criminology/criminal justice, sociology, political science/international relations, and social work gives readers a range of ways to comprehend the material. A balanced account of theoretical perspectives provides students with an unbiased and informed presentation of the material. An emphasis on conveying the logic and general principles of social research design is reflected in minimal technical details for maximum clarity.

Research Questions

Research is detective work, and every case begins with a mystery, a question about social life. Just as good detective work depends upon a well-defined mystery, appropriate and clear questions are necessary for high-quality research. Research questions are critically important to research because characteristics of questions shape other design decisions, such as the types of data (content, origin, form) that will be necessary, as well as what types of data generation techniques (surveys, interviews and so on) will be appropriate. Important skills in methodological thinking include understanding the characteristics of questions capable of directing quality research, learning how to identify and evaluate questions in research done by others, and learning how to develop high-quality and realistic questions for research you want to ...

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