"A hugely useful resource to navigate through the initial stages of research design, applicable to students and seasoned researchers alike. ... The layout of the book allows the reader to easily select those chapters that are most relevant to their interests, and is facilitated by signposting of additional sources to support the reader. The book is well written and accessible, posing questions throughout to guide the reader through the research process. A useful resource for any researcher." - Kareena McAloney, University of York, UK, in The Psychologist
"A masterful and thorough presentation of 'when to use what.' From beginning to end, it is clear that you are reading the work of very accomplished researchers and educators. The authors use a particularly rich, colorful, and practical set of examples, including classic and contemporary research studies as well as wonderful day-to-day illustrations, such as TV channel surfing to introduce the notion of sampling. Readers can pick and choose individual chapters or read straight through the entire book, depending on their needs. The summary tables are extraordinarily useful and can serve as a quick reference to chapter structure and content." - Karen M. Staller, University of Michigan, USA
"I am recommending this book as the core text for our required methods course at the graduate level. The reader is taken on a tour of the main research designs employed by social scientists, including various quantitative and qualitative, experimental and observational, and primary and secondary data designs. Highlighting how decisions about research design should be influenced by the nature of the research question, the authors also acknowledge when other factors come into play, including financial and ethical considerations. The text helps researchers decide when to use a particular research design; teaches how to choose appropriate methods for sampling, recruiting, and assigning treatments (for experiments); and explores the implications of these decisions. I like how the authors talk about debates in the literature and how they point out typical/common shortcomings of different approaches. Their frank language gives the book the feel of a trusted advisor providing honest advice." - Tracey LaPierre, University of Kansas, USA
"This book is on an essential topic – the questions it tackles are incredibly important in the social sciences. It reads like a field guide to conducting good research. I would recommend it to advanced undergraduates who need a handy reference or to graduate students who want one resource for their basic design, sampling, and ethics questions. It is accessible and easy to read. The authors present the process of research as full of choices that are best tackled by an informed researcher – no choice is universally the best one. The book emphasizes the importance of careful thought and weighing of pros and cons prior to conducting research." - Theresa DiDonato, Loyola University Maryland, USA
"The use of questions as subheads is an effective pedagogical technique. Teaching students to turn a heading into a question and then reading the textbook section to find the answer to the question has a rich history as an instructional strategy." - Susan Kushner Benson, University of Akron, Ohio, USA
"The book is very well written and readable, a real plus! I really like the authors’ premise that the research question determines the choice of method, rather than vice versa." - Rosemary L. Hopcroft, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USAVom Verlag:
Systematic, practical, and accessible, this is the first book to focus on finding the most defensible design for a particular research question. Thoughtful guidelines are provided for weighing the advantages and disadvantages of various methods, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods designs. The book can be read sequentially or readers can dip into chapters on specific stages of research (basic design choices, selecting and sampling participants, addressing ethical issues) or data collection methods (surveys, interviews, experiments, observations, archival studies, and combined methods). Many chapter headings and subheadings are written as questions, helping readers quickly find the answers they need to make informed choices that will affect the later analysis and interpretation of their data. Useful features include:
See also Vogt et al.'s Selecting the Right Analyses for Your Data, which addresses the next steps in coding, analyzing, and interpreting data.
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