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Research Methodology : A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners,9780761962144

Research Methodology : A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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ISBN13:

9780761962144

ISBN10:
076196214X
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/1999
Publisher(s):
Sage Publications Ltd
List Price: $44.95
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Summary

This immensely practical book is designed for anyone new to research and planning to undertake a research project. The textbook is organized around eight operational steps that constitute the research process: formulating a research problem; conceptualizing a research design; constructing an instrument for data collection; selecting a sample; writing a research proposal; collecting data; processing data; and writing a research report.Ranjit Kumar has drawn on 20 years of teaching experience to demystify the research process and give students a helpful and informative guide.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Tables
xiii
Figures
xiv
Research: a way of thinking
1(13)
Research: a way of thinking
2(2)
Applications of research
4(1)
Definitions of research
4(3)
Characteristics of research
7(1)
Types of research
8(4)
Application
8(1)
Objectives
9(1)
Type of information sought
10(2)
Paradigms of research
12(1)
Summary
13(1)
The research process: a quick glance
14(9)
The research process: an eight-step model
15(6)
Step I: formulating a research problem
15(1)
Step II: conceptualising a research design
16(1)
Step III: constructing an instrument for data collection
16(3)
Step IV: selecting a sample
19(1)
Step V: writing a research proposal
19(1)
Step VI: collecting data
20(1)
Step VII: processing data
20(1)
Step VIII: writing a research report
21(1)
Summary
21(2)
Step I Formulating a research problem 23(48)
Reviewing the literature
25(9)
Reasons for reviewing the literature
26(1)
Bring clarity and focus to your research problem
26(1)
Improve your methodology
26(1)
Broaden your knowledge base in your research area
26(1)
Procedure for reviewing the literature
27(5)
Search for existing literature
27(3)
Review the literature selected
30(1)
Develop a theoretical framework
30(2)
Develop a conceptual framework
32(1)
Writing up the literature reviewed
32(1)
Summary
33(1)
Formulating a research problem
34(12)
The research problem
35(1)
The importance of formulating a research problem
35(1)
Sources of research problems
36(1)
Considerations in selecting a research problem
37(1)
Steps in the formulation of a research problem
38(2)
The formulation of objectives
40(1)
Establishing operational definitions
41(4)
Summary
45(1)
Identifying variables
46(17)
The definition of a variable
47(1)
The different between a concept and a variable
48(1)
Concepts, indicators and variables
49(3)
Types of variable
52(6)
From the viewpoint of causation
52(3)
From the viewpoint of the study design
55(1)
From the viewpoint of the unit of measurement
56(2)
Types of measurement scales
58(4)
The nominal or classificatory scale
59(1)
The ordinal or ranking scale
59(1)
The interval scale
60(2)
The ratio scale
62(1)
Summary
62(1)
Constructing hypotheses
63(8)
The definition of a hypothesis
64(2)
The functions of a hypothesis
66(1)
The characteristics of a hypothesis
66(1)
Types of hypothesis
67(2)
Errors in testing a hypothesis
69(1)
Summary
70(1)
Step II Conceptualising a research design 71(30)
The research design
73(7)
The definition of a research design
74(1)
The functions of as research design
74(5)
Summary
79(1)
Selecting a study design
80(21)
The number of contacts
81(5)
The cross-sectional study design
81(2)
The before-and-after study design
83(2)
The longitudinal study design
85(1)
The reference period
86(2)
The retrospective study design
86(1)
The prospective study design
87(1)
The retrospective-prospective study design
87(1)
The nature of the investigation
88(11)
The experimental study design
89(7)
Some other commonly used designs
96(3)
Summary
99(2)
Step III Constructing an Instrument for data collection 101(44)
Selecting a method of data collection
103(24)
Collecting data using primary sources
105(19)
Observation
105(4)
The interview
109(1)
The questionnaire
110(14)
Collecting data using secondary sources
124(1)
Problems with using data from secondary sources
124(1)
Summary
125(2)
Collecting data using attitudinal scales
127(9)
Functions of attitudinal scales
128(1)
Difficulties in developing an attitudinal scale
129(1)
Types of attitudinal scale
129(6)
The summated rating or Likert scale
129(4)
The equal-appearing-interval or Thurstone scale
133(1)
The cumulative or Guttman scale
134(1)
The relationship between attitudinal and measurement scales
135(1)
Summary
135(1)
Establishing the validity and reliability of a research Instrument
136(9)
The concept of validity
137(3)
Types of Validity
138(2)
The concept of reliability
140(3)
Factors affecting the reliability of a research instrument
140(1)
Methods of determining the reliability of an instrument
141(2)
Summary
143(2)
Step IV Selecting a sample 145(22)
Sampling
147(20)
The concept of sampling
148(1)
Sampling terminology
149(1)
Principles of sampling
149(2)
Factors affecting the inferences drawn from a sample
151(1)
Aims in selecting a sample
152(1)
Types of sampling
152(12)
Random/probability sampling designs
154(6)
Non-random/probability sampling designs
160(2)
The `mixed' sampling design
162(2)
The calculation of sample size
164(2)
Summary
166(1)
Step V Writing a research proposal 167(20)
Writing a research proposal
169(18)
The research proposal
170(1)
The preamble/introduction
171(2)
The problem
173(1)
The objectives of the study
173(3)
The hypotheses to be tested
176(1)
The study design
177(1)
The setting
178(1)
Measurement procedures
179(1)
Sampling
179(1)
Analysis of data
180(2)
Structure of the report
182(1)
Problems and limitations
183(1)
Work schedule
184(1)
Appendix
184(1)
Summary
184(3)
Step VI Collecting data 187(10)
Considering ethical issues in data collection
189(8)
Ethics
190(1)
Stakeholders in research
191(1)
Ethical considerations concerning research participants
192(2)
Collecting information
192(1)
Seeking consent
192(1)
Providing incentives
193(1)
Seeking sensitive information
193(1)
The possibility of causing harm to participants
193(1)
Maintaining confidentiality
194(1)
Ethical issues relating to the researcher
194(1)
Avoiding bias
194(1)
Provision or deprivation of a treatment
194(1)
Using appropriate research methodology
195(1)
Correct reporting
195(1)
Using information
195(1)
Ethical considerations regarding the sponsoring organisation
195(1)
Restrictions imposed by the sponsoring organisation
195(1)
The use of information
196(1)
Summary
196(1)
Step VII Processing data 197(44)
Processing
199(26)
Editing data
200(2)
Coding data
202(17)
Developing a code book
203(11)
Pre-testing a code book
214(1)
Coding the data
214(5)
Verifying of coded data
219(1)
Developing a frame of analysis
219(2)
Frequency distributions
219(1)
Cross tabulations
220(1)
Constructing the main concepts
221(1)
Statistical procedures
221(1)
Analysing data
221(1)
The role of computers in research
222(1)
The role of statistics is research
223(1)
Summary
224(1)
Displaying data
225(16)
Tables
226(4)
Structure
226(2)
Types of tables
228(1)
Types of percentages
229(1)
Graphs
230(10)
The histogram
231(2)
The bar chart
233(1)
The stacked bar chart
233(1)
The 100 per cent bar chart
233(1)
The frequency polygon
234(2)
The cumulative frequency polygon
236(1)
The stem-and-leaf display
237(1)
The pie chart
237(1)
The line diagram or trend curve
238(1)
The area chart
238(1)
The scattergram
239(1)
Summary
240(1)
Step VIII Writing a research report 241(10)
Writing a research report
243(8)
Research writing in general
244(1)
Referencing
244(1)
Writing a bibliography
245(1)
Developing an outline
245(2)
Writing about a variable
247(2)
Summary
249(2)
Appendix 251(18)
References 269(4)
Index 273


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