Using Research Instruments: A Guide for Researchers

Using Research Instruments: A Guide for Researchers

Using Research Instruments: A Guide for Researchers

Using Research Instruments: A Guide for Researchers


Clear, accessible and practical, this guide introduces the first-time researcher to the various instruments used in social research. It assesses a broad range of research instruments - from the well-established to the innovative - enabling readers to decide which are particularly well suited to their research.
The book covers:

  • questionnaires
  • interviews
  • content analysis
  • focus groups
  • observation
  • researching the things people say and do.

This book is particularly suitable for work-based and undergraduate researchers in education, social policy and social work, nursing and business administration. It draws numerous examples from actual research projects, which readers can adapt for their own purposes. Written in a fresh and jargon-free style, the book assumes no prior knowledge and is firmly rooted in the authors' own extensive research experience.
Using Research Instrumentsis the ideal companion volume to The Researcher's Toolkit. Together they offer a superb practical introduction to conducting a social research project.


This book is not a life-saver, but it might just save your sanity and your self-confidence. Whether you are registered on a research methods' course, perhaps as an undergraduate or a postgraduate student, or if, once in work you find yourself having to conduct a modest piece of research as part of your job or study programme, learning about research methods is not easy. We believe tutors and textbooks sometimes underestimate how difficult it can be to get to grips with the bewildering array of options and choices open to the budding researcher. Descriptions of different ways of carrying out research can be baffling, and explanations of when and how to employ particular research instruments to get the job done can be less helpful than they might be. And the longer you study, the more confused you find yourself and the harder it can become to find your feet. If you find yourself in this situation, then this is the book for you.

Dispelling the myth and mystery of social research

Social research is not intrinsically a complicated or thorny enterprise, nor one best reserved for a privileged few professionals or academics capable of undertaking such an intellectually taxing endeavour. But you wouldn't necessarily know this from reading some of the books on the subject. Such books, it seems to us, have been written deliberately to perpetuate the myth and mystery of social research, and to baffle and bamboozle the inexperienced researcher - who really ought to know better and leave it to experts in sociological theory and method. Richard Pring (2000:57) believes, as we do, that researchers should apply what he calls 'intelligent common sense'

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