Research Basics: Design to Data Analysis in Six Steps offers a fresh and creative approach to the research process based on author James V. Spickard’s decades of teaching experience. Using an intuitive six–step model, readers learn how to craft a research question and then identify a logical process for answering it. Conversational writing and multi–disciplinary examples illuminate the model’s simplicity and power, effectively connecting the “hows” and “whys” behind social science research. Students using this book will learn how to turn their research questions into results.

Recording Behavior: Acts and Reports of Acts

Type of Data

Recording Behavior

Acts, behavior, or events

Reports of acts, behavior, or events

Data Collection Method

Public and private records


Detached observation


Ethnography (participant observation)



In-depth interviews




Critical incident interviews


Imagine walking down a street in a medium-sized city. You don’t live there. In fact, this is your first visit. What do you see? Buildings, storefronts, cars and trams, and perhaps pedestrian areas with sidewalk cafés. Lots of people strolling? Or just a few? Office workers on lunch break? Or panhandlers on the corner? Upscale or downscale businesses, or perhaps both? Signs saying “For Lease,” or marks of prosperity? You can learn a lot just by observing what’s around you. You see people doing things, and you see the city they’ve built. You just need ...

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