How do you turn a really good idea into a really good question, and how do you turn this into successful research? Barbara Fawcett and Rosalie Pockett use their expertise as supervisors and researchers to provide you with the frameworks and the theoretical and practical guidance you need to design, carry out and communicate your research effectively. Using a range of examples that relate research to the real world, they demonstrate: • how to develop research questions • how to select appropriate theoretical frameworks • how to integrate theoretical perspectives with empirical research • how to gather and interpret data • how to ensure that the research undertaken makes a difference. The authors’ user-friendly approach emphasizes the importance of participation, collaboration and inclusivity, and examines worldviews and understandings of knowledge in order to enable greater critical reflection. Chapters provide guidance on achieving impact with your research, and feature reflective questions to enhance your engagement with the issues covered. This text is the ideal companion as you set about transforming your ideas into robust research.

Why do research?

In this chapter we look at the many underlying reasons for carrying out research. We explore different ways of researching and start to map out the connections among ideas, conceptual frameworks, the formulation of research questions and methodology. We also develop and take forward our key themes relating to the importance of world-views or ontological and epistemological frames, inclusivity and participation and how research can inform policy and practice.

Research and researching often acquire a certain mystery. Research activity can be viewed as requiring particular training, elevated skills or a proven academic track record. However, we want to start out by looking at research in its broadest sense in order to both simplify and emphasize ‘doability’. We all can be seen ...

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