Reading and Understanding Research

Reading and Understanding Research

by Lawrence F. Locke, Stephen Silverman, Waneen W. (Wyrick) Spirduso, Waneen Wyrick Spirduso
     
 

ISBN-10: 0761903062

ISBN-13: 9780761903062

Pub. Date: 01/27/1998

Publisher: SAGE Publications

Ideal for students, novice researchers, or professionals, this indispensible resource serves as a road map for readers who need to analyze and apply research findings. It helps them think critically about the credibility of what they are reading by showing them how to identify problems and develop constructive questions.

Key Features

Assumes no prior knowledge

Overview

Ideal for students, novice researchers, or professionals, this indispensible resource serves as a road map for readers who need to analyze and apply research findings. It helps them think critically about the credibility of what they are reading by showing them how to identify problems and develop constructive questions.

Key Features

Assumes no prior knowledge of research procedures

Provides readers with a step-by-step format for decoding the complex language and formats used in reports and reviews

Includes the most common formats for both quantitative and qualitative inquiry

Offers both illustrative examples and powerful training exercises

Gives specific attention to strategies for critically appraising reported research

Presents completely updated references as well as an annotated bibliography

Intended Audience

This text is appropriate for both upper-level undergraduate and graduate students across the social sciences enrolled in introductory research courses as well as students in professional preparation programs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761903062
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
01/27/1998
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

About the Authors xix

Part I The Nature and Uses of Research Reports 1

1 The Research Report 3

Finding Valuables in Research Reports 3

Reading Reports: When to Do It 3

Reading Research: When to Consider Using Alternative Sources 5

Reading Research: What Can You Find Besides Findings? 7

What Is a Research Report? 15

Research Reports: A Middle-Ground Definition 16

What Fits Under the Umbrella? 16

About Publications 17

Criterial Characteristics: What Has to Be in a Report? 19

2 When to Believe What You Read: The Sources of Credibility 23

Who Does Research, and Where Do They Do It? 25

Who Does Research? 26

Where Do Researchers Do Their Work? 27

Believing What You Read in Research: The Foundations of Trust 32

The Review Process for Presenting and Publishing Research 32

Journal Selectivity 35

Reputation of the Author(s) 38

Source of Funding 39

Sponsorship by a Research or Professional Organization 39

Reasons to Suspend Trust in a Research Report 40

Technical Problems 41

Sampling 43

Lack of Replication 45

Conflicts 46

Carelessness 48

Errors and Poor Scholarship 48

Summary 50

Can Any Research Report Be Perfect? 51

3 How to Select and Read Research Reports 53

Getting Started: Selecting Research Reports 54

Looking for the Right Read 54

Reading Research Cooperatively 57

How to Read Research Reports 58

Researchers as Writers: Style and Substance 59

Researchers as Workers: The Matter of Respect 60

The Reader as Consumer: Burdens to Leave Behind 61

Reading Research as Puzzle Solving 62

Communication in Reports: It Takes Two to Tango 63

Graphic Tools: MostTravelers Need a Map 64

On Getting Hung Up: Do Not Get Stuck on the Wrong Things 67

The Limits of Respect: Healthy Skepticism 69

4 The Use, Misuse, and Misunderstanding of Research 71

Problems With Reports 73

Problems With Research 74

Summary 77

Note 78

5 Types of Research: An Overview of Variety 79

Generic Issues in Research 81

Types of Research 86

Part II Quantitative Research 89

6 Quantitative Research Designs 91

Statistics in Quantitative Research 92

Types of Quantitative Research 94

Descriptive Research 96

Correlational Research 96

Quasi-experimental/Experimental Research 101

Single-Subject Research 104

Meta-analysis 106

7 Staying Organized When Reading a Quantitative Report 109

Reading and Recording From Quantitative Research Reports 109

Doing the 12-Step 114

Example of a Completed Quantitative 12-Step Form With Flowcharts 125

8 Explaining as a Tool for Learning to Read Reports 131

Teaching Is the Best Way to Learn 131

How to Give an Explanation: Rules of the Game 133

Formats for the Explanation: Pairs, Teams, and Solos 134

How to Give an Explanation: Handy Hints From Hard Experience 136

The Bad Explanation: Five Fatal Flaws 137

The Purpose of Explaining 138

9 Reading Reports of Quantitative Research-Critically: Things to Notice and Questions to Ask 141

Introduction: The Five Basic Questions 144

What Is the Report About? 146

How Does the Study Fit Into What Is Already Known? 152

How Was the Study Done? 159

What Was Found? 170

What Do the Results Mean? 174

Summary 177

Part III Qualitative Research 179

10 The Paradigms for Qualitative Research 181

Interpretive Research 184

Generic Studies 185

Phenomenological Studies 187

Ethnographic Studies 189

Grounded Theory Studies 191

Critical Research 194

Mixed Methods Research 199

Concluding Comments About Types of Research 202

11 Staying Organized When Reading a Qualitative Report 203

Identifying Qualitative Research Reports 205

A 12-Step Guide for Understanding Qualitative Research Reports 209

Example of a Completed Qualitative 12-Step Form With Flowcharts 219

12 Reading Reports of Qualitative Research-Critically: Things the Reader Should Expect 225

Expectations for Qualitative Reports: The Generic and General Standards 229

Expectations for Qualitative Reports: The Specific and Individual Standards 232

Expectations for Qualitative Studies: A Critical Look Behind the Report 236

The Machinery of Time 236

The Machinery of Subjectivity 237

The Machinery of What Does Not Fit 238

The Machinery of Relationships 239

The Machinery of Context 239

Part IV Reading Research Reviews 241

13 Staying Organized When Reading Research Reviews 243

A 12-Step Map for Reading Reviews 245

Navigating Through Reviews With Your 12-Step Map 249

Example of a Completed 12-Step Form for Reading Research Reviews 249

Concluding Remarks 253

Appendix A Annotated Bibliography of Supplementary References 255

Appendix B Statistics: A Beginner's Guide 267

Descriptive Statistics 269

Statistical Probability 270

Differences Between Means 272

Association Statistics and Correlation 275

Closing Comments 278

References 279

Name Index 285

Subject Index 287

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