Student Research and Report WritingFrom Topic Selection to the Complete Paper
This is an invaluable, concise, all-in-one guide for carrying out student research and writing a paper, adaptable to course use and suitable for use by students independently, it successfully guides students along every step of the way. Allows students to better manage their research projects Exercises and worksheets break down the research process into small steps and walk students through each stage of the research project Offers real-world and lively examples that are attractive and relevant to students Based on twenty years of experience in teaching research techniques to students in a way that avoids the methodology “overkill” from encyclopaedic and intimidating textbooks Accompanying website includes powerpoint lecture slides for instructors and helpful links to video resources for student. Visit www.wiley.com\go\wang\researchreportwriting
Acknowledgments ix List of Boxes x List of Figures and Tables xi About the Website xiii Chapter 1: Introduction: Start Your Research Journey 1 What Is Research? 1 What Type of Research Project Do You Have? 3 What Are the Procedures for Scientific Research? 6 Will There Be Bends and Detours in the Research Process? 6 How to Embark on Your Research Journey 7 How Will This Book Help You? 11 How Is This Book Organized? 12 Chapter 2: Topic Selection: Getting Started 15 Where Can You Start to Find a Good Topic? 15 How Can You Narrow Down Your Topic? 18 What Topic Is Appropriate for Your Research? 20 How Do You Know the Topic You Selected Is a “Good Topic”? 24 Can You Change Your Topic? 25 Exercises for Chapter 2 26 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 2 30 Chapter 3: Searching for Information 31 What Is Valid and Reliable Information? 31 What Do You Need to Prepare Before Searching for Information? 32 Should You Search in Libraries or on the Internet? 34 What Different Sources Are Available? 35 How Do You Go about Doing Library Research? 38 How Do You Conduct a Search Using Journal Article Databases? 43 How Do You Keep Organized Records of the Information Found? 50 How Do You Use the Information You Found? 53 Exercises for Chapter 3 54 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 3 57 Chapter 4: Reviewing the Literature 58 What Is a Literature Review? 59 Why Do You Need a Literature Review? 59 What Does the Literature Review Entail? 60 How to Sort Your Literature 61 How Do You Read Your Literature and Take Notes? 63 How Do You Evaluate and Synthesize Your Reviewed Literature? 64 How Do You Write Your Literature Review? 67 Exercises for Chapter 4 72 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 4 80 Chapter 5: Research Questions and Methods 81 What Are Your Research Questions? 81 What Are the Goals of Your Research? 84 What Method Should You Use in Your Research? 86 How Do You Use Theory in Your Research? 94 Are Ethical Matters Important in Your Research? 96 What Ethical Issues Should You Pay Attention To? 97 Exercises for Chapter 5 100 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 5 104 Chapter 6: Steps of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Designs 105 What Are Your Independent and Dependent Variables? 106 How Do You Select a Sample to Study from Your Target Population? 107 What Is an Acceptable Sample Size for Surveys? 108 How Do You Turn Your Concepts into Variables in Surveys? 110 What Are Levels of Measurement and Why Do They Matter? 111 What Do You Need to Know about Qualitative Research Designs? 116 How Do You Construct Your Interview Questions? 116 How Do You Select People for Interviews? 119 What Should You Do to Have Productive Interviews? 121 What Other Qualitative Data Collection Methods Can You Consider? 123 Exercises for Chapter 6 126 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 6 132 Chapter 7: Writing a Research Proposal 133 What Should You Include in Your Research Proposal? 134 Do You Need a Title for Your Proposal? 134 What Should You Write in Your Introduction? 135 What Should You Write in Your Literature Reviews? 136 What Should You Write about Your Research Methods? 139 What Else Do You Include in Your Proposal? 140 What Format Should You Use to List the References? 142 What Writing Styles Are Appropriate for Research Proposals? 143 Incorporating Feedback from Faculty Supervisors 143 Exercises for Chapter 7 145 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 7 149 Chapter 8: Practical Issues While Carrying Out Research 150 Do You Have to Get Your Research Project Approved by Your University? 151 How Can You Carry Out Your Data Collection Effectively? 152 What Are Common Practical Problems in Qualitative Research? 157 What Ethical Dilemmas Will You Encounter in the Field Research Process? 160 What Should You Do When You Face Ethical Dilemmas? 162 What Problems Are Common in Questionnaire Surveys? 162 How Can You Conduct Your Questionnaire Surveys Effectively? 164 Maintaining Good Communications with Your Supervisor 165 How to Complete Your Research Project on Time 166 Exercises for Chapter 8 168 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 8 172 Chapter 9: Quantitative Data Analysis 173 How Do You Start Entering Data From Your Survey or Interview Questionnaire? 174 Why Do You Need to Know the Levels of Your Measurement? 181 What Computer Data Analysis Procedure Should You Use for Your Research? 182 To Provide Descriptive Information about Your Respondents, Use Frequency, or Descriptive Analysis 182 To Determine If Two Variables Are Related to Each Other, Use Cross Tabulations and Chi-square Analysis 186 To Calculate Correlations between Two Variables That Are Measured at Interval or Ratio Level, Use Pearson’s r 189 To Know Whether an Independent Variable Predicts or Explains an Effect on a Dependent Variable, Use Regression Analysis 192 To Predict or Explain the Effects of Several Independent Variables on a Dependent Variable, Use Multiple Regression Analysis 195 To Test If Two Means Are Significantly Different, Use the t-test 198 To Determine Whether More Than Two Means Are Significantly Different, Use Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) 203 Exercises for Chapter 9 207 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 9 210 Chapter 10: Qualitative Data Analysis 211 What Is the Purpose of Qualitative Data Analysis? 211 Do You Need to Transcribe All Your Interviews? 213 Where Do You Start? 214 What Is the Process of Inductive Analysis? Steps of Grounded Theory 219 What Is the Process of Deductive Coding in Content Analysis? 224 What Tools Can You Use to Organize and Summarize Codes? 226 How Do You Write about Findings from a Qualitative Analysis? 227 Exercises for Chapter 10 231 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 10 235 Chapter 11: Writing the Final Report 236 What Should You Include in Your Final Report? 236 How Is Your Final Report Different from Your Proposal? 237 What Should You Consider before You Start Writing Your Final Report? 239 Title of Your Final Report or Thesis 240 An Abstract of Your Final Report 241 Introduction 242 Literature Reviews 242 Research Methods 245 Findings 247 Discussions 249 Conclusions 250 References 250 How to Write a Report for Qualitative Research 251 Papers Based on Qualitative Field Research 251 Historical Research 253 Comparative Research 254 A Final Check 254 Exercises for Chapter 11 256 Your Project Outcome after Chapter 11 259 Index 261
GABE T. WANG is Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University. He has published four books including China’s Population Problems, Thoughts and Policies (1999), China and the Taiwan Issue (2006) and American Sociology and the Socioeconomic Development of China (2013). His research focuses on population, socioeconomic development, and adolescent deviant behaviours. Professor Wang has given lectures in many universities and research institutes in China. He has over 20 years of experience in teaching research methods and student research. KEUMJAE PARK is Associate Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University. Her research focuses on immigrant women, migration in comparative perspectives, identities, and social inequality. She is the author of Korean Immigrant Women and the Renegotiation of Identity: Class, Gender, and Politics of Identity (2009). She enjoys teaching and mentoring student research and postgraduate theses. She teaches research methods and data analysis courses on a regular basis.
‘Student Research and Report Writing is the most comprehensive and yet concise guide to student research that I have seen. Wang and Park get to the essence of what new researchers need to know and anticipate, without oversimplifying or cutting corners. I will definitely incorporate it into my teaching.’Howard Lune, The City University of New York ‘Wang and Park have taken their years of experience with fielding student questions about the research process and put them to excellent use in this book. Written from the “inquiring minds” perspective, the authors do a great job of posing and answering questions that every student researcher should ask and must ultimately answer when embarking on an independent research project. Students and professors alike will undoubtedly find this book most helpful.’Janet Ruane, Montclair State University Student Research and Report Writing is a user-friendly and practical research guidebook for students – undergraduate and postgraduate - in any social sciences discipline who are carrying out research and/or writing a thesis. It provides the guidance and tools to build on earlier stages of work toward a completion of their papers, delivering a comprehensive, yet concise, all-in-one guide.With students’ challenges and questions in mind, this book focuses only on the knowledge and skills that are practically needed and helpful, with each chapter answering typical questions that students frequently ask. It starts with the challenges of student research topic selection; moves on to information search, literature review, and constructing hypotheses and/or research questions; helps with research design, and research proposal-writing; shows how to conduct quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis; and guides the reader through the process of writing their paper, effectively guiding students on each step of the journey.
Student Research and Report Writing is the most comprehensive and yet concise guide to student research that I have seen. Wang and Park get to the essence of what new researchers need to know and anticipate, without oversimplifying or cutting corners. I will definitely incorporate it into my teaching.Howard Lune, The City University of New York Wang and Park have taken their years of experience with fielding student questions about the research process and put them to excellent use in this book. Written from the “inquiring minds” perspective, the authors do a great job of posing and answering questions that every student researcher should ask and must ultimately answer when embarking on an independent research project. Students and professors alike will undoubtedly find this book to be most helpful.Janet Ruane, Montclair State University
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