Introduction to Research Methods

by Catherine Dawson

ISBN: 978-1845283674

This practical, down-to-earth guide is for researchers, students, community groups, charities or employees - in fact anyone who needs to put together research projects quickly and effectively. It contains everything from developing your idea into a proposal, through to analysing data and reporting results.

Whether you have to undertake a project as part of your coursework, or as part of your employment, or simply because you are fascinated by something you have observed and want to find out more, this book offers you advice on how to turn your ideas into a workable project.

Practical information includes sample personal profile forms, sample interview summary forms, research budgets, survey timetables, sample focus group summary forms and a useful Code of Ethics.

 

table of contents (click to expand)

Introduction to Research Methods - Table of Contents

 

CHAPTER 1: HOW TO DEFINE YOUR PROJECT

  1. Asking questions
  2. Thinking about your project
  3. Understanding the five ‘W’s
  4. Summarising your research
  5. Summary
  6. Useful websites

CHAPTER 2: HOW TO DECIDE UPON A METHODOLOGY

  1. Recognising qualitative and quantitative research
  2. Understanding the methodological debate
  3. Choosing a methodology
  4. Summary
  5. Further reading

CHAPTER 3: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR RESEARCH METHODS

  1. Using interviews
  2. Conducting focus groups
  3. Using questionnaires
  4. Undertaking participant observation
  5. Choosing your methods
  6. Summary
  7. Further reading

CHAPTER 4: HOW TO CONDUCT BACKGROUND RESEARCH

  1. Conducting primary and secondary research
  2. Using websites
  3. Using interlibrary loans
  4. Keeping records
  5. Summary
  6. Further reading

CHAPTER 5: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PARTICIPANTS

  1. Understanding sampling techniques
  2. Choosing your sample size
  3. Summary
  4. Further reading

CHAPTER 6: HOW TO PREPARE A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

  1. Understanding the format
  2. The content of a proposal
  3. What makes a good proposal?
  4. Reasons why research proposals fail.
  5. Summary
  6. Further reading

CHAPTER 7: HOW TO CONDUCT INTERVIEWS

  1. Methods of recording
  2. Developing an interview schedule
  3. Establishing rapport
  4. Asking questions and probing for information
  5. Completing the interview
  6. Summary
  7. Further reading

CHAPTER 8: HOW TO CONDUCT FOCUS GROUPS

  1. The role of the moderator
  2. Recording equipment
  3. Choosing a venue
  4. Recruiting your participants
  5. Summary
  6. Further reading

CHAPTER 9: HOW TO CONSTRUCT QUESTIONNAIRES

  1. Deciding which questionnaire to use
  2. Wording and structure of questions
  3. Length and ordering of questions
  4. Piloting the questionnaire
  5. Obtaining a high response
  6. Summary
  7. Further reading

CHAPTER 10: HOW TO CARRY OUT PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION

  1. Places of study
  2. Gaining access
  3. Acting ethically
  4. Collecting and analysing information
  5. Withdrawing from the field
  6. Summary
  7. Further reading

CHAPTER 11: HOW TO ANALYSE YOUR DATA

  1. Deciding which approach to use
  2. Analysing qualitative data
  3. Analysing quantitative data
  4. Measuring data
  5. Summary
  6. Further reading

CHAPTER 12: HOW TO REPORT YOUR FINDINGS

  1. Writing reports
  2. Structuring reports
  3. Writing journal articles
  4. Producing oral presentations
  5. Summary
  6. Further reading

CHAPTER 13: HOW TO BE AN ETHICAL RESEARCHER

  1. Treating participants with respect
  2. Recognising overt and covert research
  3. Producing a code of ethics
  4. Summary
  5. Further reading

 

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