The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research

Synopsis

With more than 400,000 copies now in print,The Craft of Researchis the unrivaled resource for researchers at every level, from first-year undergraduates to research reporters at corporations and government offices. Seasoned researchers and educators Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams present an updated third edition of their classic handbook, whose first and second editions were written in collaboration with the late Wayne C. Booth. The Craft of Researchexplains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, "So what?" The third edition includes an expanded discussion of the essential early stages of a research task: planning and drafting a paper. The authors have revised and fully updated their section on electronic research, emphasizing the need to distinguish between trustworthy sources (such as those found in libraries) and less reliable sources found with a quick Web search. A chapter on warrants has also been thoroughly reviewed to make this difficult subject easier for researchers Throughout, the authors have preserved the amiable tone, the reliable voice, and the sense of directness that have made this book indispensable for anyone undertaking a research project.

Excerpt

When you think of a researcher, what do you imagine? Someone in a lab coat peering into a microscope? A white- bearded professor taking notes in a silent library? That's what most people think. But you might also have pictured Oprah, Yahoo creator Jerry Yang, or the manager of every major league baseball, football, and basketball team in the world. Like just about every successful person, they are not only experts in doing research, but in using the research of others. In fact, that's part of what makes them successful. In an aptly named “age of information” (or, too often, mis information), every one of them has learned not only how to find information, but how to evaluate it, then to report it clearly and accurately. More than ever, those skills are essential to anyone who wants to succeed in just about any profession you can think of.

You may not yet be one of those practicing professionals, but learning to do research now will help you today and prepare you for what's to come. First, it will help you understand what you read as nothing else will. You can accurately judge the research of others only after you've done your own and can understand the messy reality behind what is so smoothly and confidently presented in your textbooks or by experts on TV. The Internet and cable TV flood us with “facts” about government, the economy, the environment, the products we buy. Some are sound; most are not. That's why, as you . . .

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