HOW TO DO A RESEARCH PROJECT — COLIN ROBSON

Contents

Acknowledegments
Introduction

PART I: Making preparations:

Project planning checklist
1 Preliminaries
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
Chapter 1 tasks

2 Approaches to research

A concern for truth
Different purposes of research
Description
Exploration
Explanation
Emancipation
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
Experiments
Grounded theory studies
Surveys
A note on feminist research
Choosing an approach
Further reading
Chapter 2 tasks

3 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?
Hypotheses
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
Chapter 3 tasks

4 Selecting the method(s) of collecting data

Trustworthiness and credibility
Reliability
Validity
Research arguments
Data collection methods
Interviews
Fully structured interviews
Semi-structured interviews
Unstructured interviews
Group interviews
Telephone interviews
Using interviews in your project
Questionnaires and diaries
Questionnaires
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
Chapter 4 tasks

PART II: Doing it:
5 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
Pilots
Collecting the data
What to do if you run into difficulties or out of time
Further reading
Chapter 5 tasks

PART III: Making something of it:
6 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
Chapter 6 tasks

7 Writing the report

Planning and drafting
Research arguments
Claims
Reasons and evidence
Considering your audience(s) again
Avoiding plagiarism
Professional standards
Language matters
References
Abstracts and executive summaries
The first full draft
Revising and polishing
The final version
Other forms of presentation
A final word
Further reading
Chapter 7 tasks
References and author index
Subject index