How to Do a Research Project

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-01-01
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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In How to do a Research Project, Colin Robson has created an essential tool to guide students through the process of conducting and completing a research project.

Author Biography

Colin Robson is a Professor in the Centres for Applied Childhood Studies and Evaluation Studies at Huddersfield University, and chief consultant to a major international project on the education of children with disabilities, difficulties and disadvantages, OECD, Paris. He is the author of the bestselling Real World Research, (second edition, Blackwell, 2002).

Table of Contents

Making preparations
Project planning checklist
Recognizing realities
As a student on a course
If you are by yourself
If you are doing this as part of your job
To everybody
Making it worthwhile
Considering your audience(s)
Individual or group research?
Types of group research
Support groups
Working together successfully
Project milestones
The structure of the book
End-of-chapter tasks
Further reading
Approaches to research
A concern for truth
Different purposes of research
Research design
The qualitative/quantitative divide
Fixed and flexible designs
Fixed designs
Flexible designs
Overview of some different research traditions
Action research
Case studies
Documentary analysis
Ethnographic research
Evaluation research
Grounded theory studies
A note on feminist research
Choosing an approach
Further reading
Developing your ideas
Selecting a topic
Replication research
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
Internet searching
Library searching
Asking the author
Dealing with the sources
Ethical considerations
Ethics committees
Ethics guidelines
Avoiding the unethical
Confirming your choices
Further reading
Selecting the method(s) of collecting data
Trustworthiness and credibility
Research arguments
Data collection methods
Fully structured interviews
Semi-structured interviews
Unstructured interviews
Group interviews
Telephone 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
Structured observation
Participant observation
Using observation in your project
Using documents and other secondary sources
Library research
Unobtrusive measures
Using documents in your project
Other methods
Using multiple methods
Which method?
Further reading
Doing it
Practicalities of data collection
Sampling and sample sizes
Representative samples
Non-probability samples
Informed consent
Laboratory research
Gaining access for field research
Formal and informal contracts
Getting on and getting out
Insider research
Collecting the data
What to do if you run into difficulties or out of time
Further reading
Making something of it
Analysing and interpreting your findings
What this chapter tries to do
Preparing for analysis
Quantitative (numerical) data
Categorical variables
Ordered categorical variables
Summarizing and displaying categorical data
Continuous variables
Calculating summary statistics with continuous variables
Calculating variability
Displaying continuous variables
Statistical tests and statistical significance
Effect sizes
Clinical significance
What test do I use?
Qualitative data
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?
Further reading
6 tasks
Writing the report
Planning and drafting
Research arguments
Reasons and evidence
Considering your a
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