Ground Rules for Good Research: A 10 Point Guide for Social Researchers

Ground Rules for Good Research: A 10 Point Guide for Social Researchers

Ground Rules for Good Research: A 10 Point Guide for Social Researchers

Ground Rules for Good Research: A 10 Point Guide for Social Researchers

Synopsis

Amongst the bewildering array of approaches and beliefs about how social research should be conducted, Ground Rules for Good Research guides the researcher to the 10 core issues. In straightforward terms, it shows why they are so fundamental and it provides clear guidance on how they should be addressed by the researcher. The Ground Rules apply across the range of different types of social research, covering both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Key features of the book include:
• The identification of 10 ground rules for good social research
• Checklists to help researchers evaluate their approach and avoid fundamental errors
• A clear and jargon free style
• Attractive presentation with plenty of useful lists and summaries, text boxes and key points For undergraduate and postgraduate students in social sciences, health studies, business, and education, who need to undertake a research project. Also invaluable for professionals with little or no experience of research.

Excerpt

People who undertake research projects as part of an educational qualification or as part their job do not necessarily regard themselves as 'researchers'. Research is likely to be just one among many tasks they need to complete as part of their course of study or their professional work. Their research project will need to fit in with a host of other competing demands and, though being committed to doing a good job on their project, they will not necessarily have the time or inclination to immerse themselves in the research methodology literature. These are people for whom research is something they do, not something that defines their identity. These are 'project researchers' who, quite reasonably, will prefer to focus on 'the bottom line' when it comes to preparing for their research. They will want clear guidelines about what they can do and what they cannot do if they are to produce a piece of research that is worthwhile.

Such clear guidelines have not been easy to find because social research is a 'contested' area with plenty of controversies and disagreements among the experts. One reason for this is that social research spans a wide range of subjects. It operates as an umbrella term covering research in areas like education, health, business studies, social work, housing and media studies, and it draws on a number of different disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, economics and politics, each with a distinctive way of seeing the social world. What complicates matters more is that the disciplines and subject areas covered by social research include a variety of approaches that have different visions of the nature of the social world and the best ways of investigating it. Within the social sciences there are broad divisions between positivistic approaches and interpretivist . . .

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