Types of Research Methods and Sources of Information
The two activities inspected in this chapter are those of identifying (a) popular research methods and (b) ways of gathering information for answering research questions. The chapter is divided into three sections. The first section introduces guide questions for four hypothetical studies that graduate students might plan. The second section--by far the longest--describes diverse methods of collecting information to answer research questions. The final section tells which of those methods we think might be suitable for answering the guide questions posed for the four studies in Section 1.The chapter's structure, in effect, offers you the same experience researchers may have when they are deciding which methods of data collection are best suited for answering their focal questions. Therefore, you may wish to read the chapter in this manner: (a) in Section 1, note the guide questions for the four envisioned studies, (b) keep those questions in mind as you survey the methods in Section 2, so as to estimate which approach would likely produce convincing answers to which question, and (c) in Section 3 compare your decisions about suitable methods with the ones we suggest for the four studies.
"It's not clear whether I should get all my information out of the published literature or else conduct an opinion survey or maybe do an experiment."
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