Essentials of Research Methods: A Guide to Social Science Research / Edition 1

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Essentials of Research Methods is a concise and accessible introduction to research methods in the social sciences. Written by an expert of research methods teaching, this book takes extraordinary care to focus the reader on experiences in his or her everyday life as a way of understanding and performing research methods. The logic and techniques of research methods can be daunting and not of obvious use to students of social science, and yet this book clearly and coherently defines the terms and requirements of research methods studies for the inexperienced student. Covering ethics, data gathering and analysis, and statistics, Essentials of Research Methods makes the "essentials" relevant to our information-dominated society, while exploring the complexities and values of each. With an engaging, reader-friendly style, discussions that appeal across disciplines, and timely examples that are informative and interesting to read, this book is ideal for any student of research methods. Features include further reading lists, graphs, exercises, study questions, and an annotated list of web resources.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Janet Ruane has written the most lively and lucid introductory methods book I’ve ever read. The book is filled with contemporary examples that will engage the beginning student while providing a thorough and memorable grounding in the conduct of social research.”

Edward J. Hackett, Arizona State University

“Finally a well written, non-intimidating, down-to-earth beginners methods textbook. Ruane truly fills a void in the literature. Her book will delight both teachers and students.”

Sophia P. Tsakraklides, Temple University

Essentials provides a basis for making research methods accessible and, more important, interesting to students. Ruane’s no-nonsense approach, real-life examples, and avoidance of jargon-laden explanations allow students to learn, understand, and appreciate research methods in spite of themselves …Great book!”

Maureen Outlaw, Providence College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631230489
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/13/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet M. Ruane is Associate Professor of Sociology at Montclair State University. She is co-author of Second Thoughts: Seeing Conventional Wisdom Through the Sociological Eye (with Karen Cerulo, third edition, 2004). She has taught research methods to undergraduates for more than fifteen years.

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Table of Contents

1 When should we trust what we know? : why research methods? 1
2 Ethics : it's the right thing to do 16
3 Some perfectly valid points : measurement, internal, and external validity 32
4 Measure by measure : making the abstract concrete 47
5 If it glitters is it gold? : assessing measures 62
6 One thing leads to another : causal analysis 75
7 Designing ideas : research strategies 92
8 An informative few : sampling 104
9 Our inquisitive nature : the questionnaire 123
10 Talking heads : the interview 146
11 Watch and learn : field research 164
12 Getting organized : descriptive statistics 177
13 Beyond description : inferential statistics 198
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