Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressuresmost lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with themoften lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writers block. Sociologist Howard S. Becker has written the classic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago, Writing for Social Scientists has become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Beckers message is clear: in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat. It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its publish or perish atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a the way in which when a simple how will doall these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impedimentsor at the very least, putting them aside for a few hourswe can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the literature.In this new edition, Becker takes account of major changes in the computer tools available to writers today, and also substantially expands his analysis of how academic institutions create problems for them. As competition in academia grows increasingly heated, Writing for Social Scientists will provide solace to a new generation of frazzled, would-be writers.
'This book can provide an excellent framework for bolstering what is often an experiential process - doing a literature review. It is best seen alongside the supervisor, as a guide, through the multidimensional sea of academic literature' - British Educational Research Journal Reviewing the literature for a research project can seem a daunting, even overwhelming task. New researchers, in particular, wonder: Where do I start? What do I do? How do I do it? This text offers students across the social sciences and humanities a practical and comprehensive guide to writing a literature review. Chris Hart offers invaluable advice on how to: search out existing knowledge on a topic; analyse arguments and ideas; map ideas, arguments and perspectives; produce a literature review; and construct a case for investigating a topic. Doing a Literature Review contains examples of how to cite references, structure a research proposal and present a Master's thesis. It is published as a Set Book for The Open University Postgraduate Foundation Module (D820) The Challenge of the Social Sciences. `I have been waiting for this book for five years. It sets out a number of important dimensions involved in the process of literature review and by clear signposting, diagrams, and examples will help the student to carry out her or his review more systematically. Learning how to carry out a literature review has always entailed the experiential. While this is a the best way of learning, it is only so providing that learning actually takes place during the experience (or by reflection afterwards). This book makes explicit those dimensions which could remain implicit or even missed by the student as they wade through all those books, papers, articles, and print-outs' - Kevin Maguire, Nottingham Trent University SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills website for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!
To help researchers and students make the transition from the classroom and laboratory to research in the `real world', the authors reveal the pitfalls and suggest strategies to overcome problems in the design and planning of applied research. With a focus on how to refine research questions as real world events force deviations from the original research plan, they discuss how to study and monitor programme implementation and statistical power analysis. They also explore how to assess the human and material resources that will be needed at different times while conducting an applied research design to facilitate the management of data collection, analysis and interpretation.
A straightforward, comprehensive, and approachable guide to research as practiced by social scientists, the Fourteenth Edition of this "gold-standard" book gives readers the tools they need to apply research concepts practically, as both a researcher and a consumer. The author emphasizes the process by showing readers how to design and construct projects, introducing the various observation modes in use today, and answering critical questions about research methods-such as how to conduct online surveys and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data.
This acclaimed text offers a comprehensive, systematic treatment of the scientific approach to research within the context of the social sciences. It leads students through seven major, interrelated stages of research methods: definition of the research problem, statement of hypothesis, research design, measurement, data collection, data analysis, and generalization.
The leading program evaluation reference, updated with the latest tools and techniques The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation provides tools for managers and evaluators to address questions about the performance of public and nonprofit programs. Neatly integrating authoritative, high-level information with practicality and readability, this guide gives you the tools and processes you need to analyze your program's operations and outcomes more accurately. This new fourth edition has been thoroughly updated and revised, with new coverage of the latest evaluation methods, including: Culturally responsive evaluation Adopting designs and tools to evaluate multi-service community change programs Using role playing to collect data Using cognitive interviewing to pre-test surveys Coding qualitative data You'll discover robust analysis methods that produce a more accurate picture of program results, and learn how to trace causality back to the source to see how much of the outcome can be directly attributed to the program. Written by award-winning experts at the top of the field, this book also contains contributions from the leading evaluation authorities among academics and practitioners to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date reference on the topic. Valid and reliable data constitute the bedrock of accurate analysis, and since funding relies more heavily on program analysis than ever before, you cannot afford to rely on weak or outdated methods. This book gives you expert insight and leading edge tools that help you paint a more accurate picture of your program's processes and results, including: Obtaining valid, reliable, and credible performance data Engaging and working with stakeholders to design valuable evaluations and performance monitoring systems Assessing program outcomes and tracing desired outcomes to program activities Providing robust analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data Governmental bodies, foundations, individual donors, and other funding bodies are increasingly demanding information on the use of program funds and program results. The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation shows you how to collect and present valid and reliable data about programs.
Multimethod Research offers an explanation of how a planned synthesis of various research techniques (fieldwork, surveys, experiments, and nonreactive studies) can be purposely used to improve social science knowledge. The authors discuss the many aspects of the multimethod research approach, including the formulation of research problems, data collection, sampling and generalization, measurement, reliability and validity, hyposthesis testing and causal analysis, and writing and publicizing results. The book is a must-read for beginning to intermediate students and professionals who need to gain a better conceptual understanding of how to do social and behavioural science research more effectively. `This is a book I wish I had written. Although nearly every page contains an interesting methodological insight, it's the synthesizing nature of the multimethod perspective that I find most satisfying. Instead of a patchwork of precepts and procedures, Professors Brewer and Hunter present a coherent synthesis of the principal quantitative and qualitative research styles' - Kenneth O Doyle, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities `This is a superb resource for anyone undertaking research in the social sciences. Going beyond simple descriptions of how to use each of the individual methods, Brewer and Hunter provide compelling arguments for systematically synthesizing different research styles at each stage of the research process. In doing so, they help us to see social science research as both an art and a science. By focusing our attention on how a multimethod approach can enhance each stage of the research, they avoid the simplistic dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research and provide us with a much more sophisticated way of looking at the multimethod approach' - Sue R Faerman, University at Albany-SUNY
Although the growth of longitudinal data archives is one of the most dramatic developments in the behavioural sciences, there has been a barrier to the effective use of these files due to a lack of understanding of the relation between research questions and archival data - until now. The authors of this volume illustrate how to use the model-fitting process to select and fit the right data set to a particular research problem. Beginning with an introduction to the general issues in working with archival data, the book takes the reader through steps in the recasting of data and question, using substantive examples from the life course, such as temporal patterns of physical and emotional health as well as pathways to retirement.
The effective use of contextual analysis - the study of the role of group context on actions and attitudes of individuals - often involves overcoming a number of issues such as group boundaries, the mobility of individuals within a group, overlapping groups, missing individual data and the choice of statistical models. This straightforward volume offers researchers a guide for selecting the best model to use, and discusses such topics as contextual analysis with absolute effects, with relative effects and the choice between regression coefficients as fixed parameters or as random variables.
This volume introduces the theory, method, and applications of one type of conjoint analysis technique -- techniques which are used to study individual judgement and decision processes. Based upon Information Integration Theory, metric conjoint analysis allows for evaluation of multi-attribute alternatives based on interval level data. The model, which justifies use of metric conjoint methods, and the statistical techniques drawn from it, are the core of this monograph. Also described are applications of the model in marketing, psychology, economics, sociology, planning and other disciplines, all of which relate to forecasting the decision-making behaviour of individuals.
Survey Questions is a highly readable guide to the principles of writing survey questions. The authors review recent research on survey questions, consider the lore of professional experience and finally present those findings which have the strongest implications on writing survey questions.
This book provides a systematic introduction to models, methods and applications of event history analysis. Yamaguchi emphasizes 'hands on' information, including the use and misuse of samples, models and covariates in applications, the structural arrangement of input data, the specification of various models in such computer programs as SAS-LOGIST and SPSSX-LOGLINEAR, and the interpretation of parameters estimated from models. The book also explores such significant topics as missing data, hazard rate, Cox's partial likelihood model, survivor function, and discrete-time logit models.
Providing readers with an accessible, in-depth look at how to synthesize research literature, Conducting Research Literature Reviews is perfect for students, researchers, marketers, planners, and policymakers who design and manage public and private agencies, conduct research studies, and prepare strategic plans and grant proposals. Bestselling author Arlene Fink shows readers how to explain the need for and significance of research, as well as how to explain a study's findings. Offering a step-by-step approach to conducting literature reviews, the Fourth Edition features updated examples and covers: how to select databases and evaluate their quality; selecting and organizing key words and other terms in order to effectively search databases and the Web; setting standards for evaluating the quality of research and other literature; extracting and recording information from articles and studies; synthesizing what the reader finds either descriptively or via a meta-analysis; recording and storing the results in a virtual file cabinet; and how to use bibliographic software.
The Fifth Edition of Arlene Fink's best-selling How to Conduct Surveys guides readers through the process of developing their own rigorous surveys and evaluating the credibility of surveys created by others. Offering practical, step-by-step advice and written in the same clear and accessible style as her other works, author Arlene Fink centers her guidance on choosing the appropriate type of survey, writing survey questions and responses, formatting the survey, deciding on the characteristics and numbers of respondents to include, determining the frequency of surveying respondents, and analyzing and reporting the results. The Fifth Edition pays particular attention to the internet and online surveys, considering best practices and techniques for developing a thorough and effective survey.
Providing a complete portal to the world of case study research, the Fifth Edition of Robert K. Yin's bestselling text offers comprehensive coverage of the design and use of the case study method as a valid research tool. The book offers a clear definition of the case study method as well as discussion of design and analysis techniques. The Fifth Edition has been updated with nine new case studies, three new appendices, seven tutorials presented at the end of relevant chapters, increased coverage of values and ethics, expanded discussion on logic models, a brief glossary, and completely updated citations. This book includes exemplary case studies drawn from a wide variety of academic fields.