Friendly and accessible, this text includes a number of accompanying support materials to aid students further. Closely integrated sets of end-of-chapter tasks covering all aspects of research projects from design to completion, as well as lists of suggested further reading, enhance each chapter.
PART I: Making preparations:.
Project planning checklist.
As a student on a course.
If you are by yourself.
If you are doing this as part of your job.
Making it worthwhile.
Considering your audience(s).
Individual or group research?.
Types of group research.
Working together successfully.
The structure of the book.
Chapter 1 tasks.
2 Approaches to research.
A concern for truth.
Different purposes of research.
The qualitative/quantitative divide.
Fixed and flexible designs.
Overview of some different research traditions.
Grounded theory studies.
A note on feminist research.
Choosing an approach.
Chapter 2 tasks.
3 Developing your ideas.
Selecting a topic.
From a topic to research questions.
From research questions to a research design.
Do I really need research questions?.
Developing the design.
Finding and using sources.
Planning the search for sources.
Asking the author.
Dealing with the sources.
Avoiding the unethical.
Confirming your choices.
Chapter 3 tasks.
4 Selecting the method(s) of collecting data.
Trustworthiness and credibility.
Data collection methods.
Fully structured interviews.
Using interviews in your project.
Questionnaires and diaries.
Using questionnaires or diaries in your project.
Tests and scales.
Using tests or scales in your project.
Observation – structured and participant.
Using observation in your project.
Using documents and other secondary sources.
Using documents in your project.
Using multiple methods.
Chapter 4 tasks.
PART II: Doing it:.
5 Practicalities of data collection.
Sampling and sample sizes.
Gaining access for field research.
Formal and informal contracts.
Getting on and getting out.
Collecting the data.
What to do if you run into difficulties or out of time.
Chapter 5 tasks.
PART III: Making something of it:.
6 Analysing and interpreting your findings.
What this chapter tries to do.
Preparing for analysis.
Quantitative (numerical) data.
Ordered categorical variables.
Summarizing and displaying categorical data.
Calculating summary statistics with continuous variables.
Displaying continuous variables.
Statistical tests and statistical significance.
What test do I use?.
Data reduction and organization.
An example – the grounded theory approach to analysis.
Using specialist computer packages for qualitative data analysis.
Summary of qualitative data analysis.
Interpretation - what is going on here?.
Chapter 6 tasks.
7 Writing the report.
Planning and drafting.
Reasons and evidence.
Considering your audience(s) again.
Abstracts and executive summaries.
The first full draft.
Revising and polishing.
The final version.
Other forms of presentation.
A final word.
Chapter 7 tasks.
References and author index.