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.


This book shows you how to design empirical research. Simply. Coherently. It gives you a clear model that you can apply to any research project. You may be interested in the natural world. You may be interested in people’s individual behavior. Or you may want to know more about the forces that structure our society. No matter what your topic, the research process is the same. For any project, you have to complete six basic steps:

  • Develop a good research question. This is different from a research topic. A topic is broad, but a question is narrow. A question identifies the exact part of the topic that you want to explore.
  • Choose a logical structure for your research. This tells you how to organize your research ...
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