Research is the systematic process of planning, investigating, and understanding a phenomenon in order to find answers to specific questions. This book describes and explains the essential foundations of the research process in the social sciences. It is guided by the notion that there is no such thing as one general "best" method, but that the choice of method depends upon the research problem and the purpose of the research. Key features of the book include: -- setting the stage from a philosophy of science perspective that emphasizes the need to choose the appropriate frame of reference for a given research problem -- describing the mindset that is necessary to work in a scientific way and the rules that apply, regardless of whether the researcher is a first year student or writing a Ph.D -- explaining the importance of theories, models, and methods for a systematic approach to literature reviews, use of secondary data, and empirical investigations -- introducing the fundamental characteristics of qualitative and quantitative methods and their implications for data collection and analysis -- clarifying the issues of verification and reflection in the evaluation of research studies
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