Designing research can be daunting and disorienting for novices. After experiencing this first hand, author Douglas Woodwell has written Research Foundations: How Do We Know What We Know?,a book that shows how to mentally frame research in a way that is understandable and approachable while also discussing some of the more specific issues that will aid the reader in understanding the options available. Stressing the link between research and theory-building, this concise book shows students how new knowledge is discovered through the process of research. The author presents a model that ties together research processes across the various traditions and shows how different types of research interrelate.
The book is sophisticated in its presentation, but uses plain language to provide an explanation of higher-level concepts in an engaging manner. Throughout the book, the author treats research methodologies as a blueprint for answering a wide range of interesting questions, rather than simply a set of tools to be applied. The book is an excellent guide for students who will be consumers of research and who need to understand how theory and research interrelate.
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About the Author
Douglas Woodwell is an associate professor of international relations in the Department of History and Political Science at the University of Indianapolis. He received his BA in International Studies at American University, his MA in German and European Studies at Georgetown University, and his Ph D in Political Science at Yale University. His earlier works include articles written for international relations journals and the World Bank as well as the book Nationalism in International Relations.
Table of Contents
Part I. Overview1. Visualizing ResearchPart II: Getting to Causal Theory2. Finding and Organizing Information3. Causal TheoryPart III. Verifying Theory4. Preparing to Test Hypotheses5. Testing HypothesesPart IV. Using Theory6. Applying Theory and Evaluating the "Real World "