The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects

The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects

The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects

The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects

Synopsis

As a best-selling introductory book on the basics of social research,The Good Research Guideprovides an accessible yet comprehensive introduction to the main approaches to social research and the methods most commonly used by researchers in the social sciences. This edition has been updated to account for recent developments in the field such as: The emergence of mixed methods approaches Increased use of internet research More frequent use of methods such as triangulation and focus groups Developments in research ethics Written for anyone undertaking a small-scale research project, either as part of an academic course or as part of their professional development, this book provides: A clear, straightforward introduction to data collection methods and data analysis Explanations of the key decisions researchers need to take, with practical advice on how to make appropriate decisions Essential checklists to guide good practice This book is perfect for the first-time researcher looking for guidance on the issues they should consider and traps they should avoid when embarking on a social research project.

Excerpt

Social research is no longer the concern of the small elite of professionals and full-time researchers. It has become the concern of a far greater number of people who are faced with the prospect of undertaking small-scale research projects as part of an academic course or as part of their professional development. It is these people who provide the main audience for this book.

The aim of the book is to present these 'project researchers' with practical guidance and a vision of the key issues involved in social research. It attempts to provide project researchers with vital information that is easily accessible and which gets to the heart of the matter quickly and concisely. In doing this, the book is based on three premises:

1 Most of what needs to be known and done in relation to the production of competent social research can be stated in straightforward language.

2 The foundations of good social research depend on paying attention to certain elementary factors. If such factors are ignored or overlooked, the research will be open to criticism and serious questions may be raised about the quality of the findings. Good research depends on addressing these key points. The answers may vary from topic to topic, researcher to researcher. There may be no one 'right' answer, but the biggest possible guarantee of poor research is to ignore the issues.

3 Project researchers can safeguard against making elementary errors in the design and execution of their research by using a checklist approach, in which they assure themselves that they have attended to the 'minimum' requirements and have not overlooked crucial factors associated with the production of good research.

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