Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists

Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists

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By (author) Patrick White

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 214mm x 10mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 15 December 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Gordonsville
  • ISBN 10: 1403998159
  • ISBN 13: 9781403998156
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 3 black & white tables
  • Sales rank: 319,186

Product description

Undertaking a research project is a crucial, but often overwhelming aspect of any social sciences degree, and selecting a research question can be one of the toughest parts of the process. What makes an appropriate topic for research? How do you transform an idea into a 'researchable' question? And, once you've got a question, where do you go from there? "Developing Research Questions" steers readers through the complex process of starting a research project. The book explains how to break down initial ideas from broad topics into appropriate research questions, and gives detailed guidance on how to refine questions as the research project develops. Each chapter is packed with handy hints, tips and examples that show how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in the research process. Linking hypotheses and questions with research design and methods at every step, this text takes readers from the start through to the final stage of answering their questions and drawing conclusions. This is a no-fuss, practical guide to forming your own research question. It is an indispensable resource for social scientists carrying out research projects at all levels.

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Author information

PATRICK WHITE is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. He has written a number of chapters and articles on teaching and research in education.

Review quote

'White's book is truly in another league: its depth and usefulness make it one of the most useful books about research I have ever seen.' - Olivier Ratle, Lecturer in Organization Studies, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, UK This book offers a concise and practical engagement of how one develops research questions, and more importantly, how those questions are related to ideas, theories, hypotheses, methods, results and conclusions. It deconstructs the research process to highlight how questions influence the steps involved in planning and carrying out social science research projects.' - Howard Ramos, Dalhousie University in the Canadian Journal of Sociology.   'Presents a very practical, 'can-do' approach to social science research' - Geoffrey Walford, University of Oxford in the British Educational Research Journal. 

Table of contents

Introduction Where do Research Ideas Come From? What Makes a Research Question? What Makes a Question 'Researchable'? Questions, Methods and Indicators Answering Research Questions - Claims Evidence and Warrant Afterword