This guide aims to provide the tools to do a research project, to help avoid some of the pitfalls and to establish good research habits. It takes you from the stage of choosing a topic through to the production of a well-planned, methodologically sound and well-written final report.
If you are a beginner researcher, the problems facing you are much the same whether you are producing a small project, an MEd dissertation or a PhD thesis. You will need to select a topic; identify the objectives of your study; plan and design a suitable methodology; devise research instruments; negotiate access to institutions, material and people; collect, analyze and present information; and, finally, produce a well-written report or dissertation. Whatever the scale of the undertaking, you will have to master techniques and devise a plan of action which does not attempt more than the limitations of expertise, time and access permit. Most people learn to do research by actually doing it, but a great deal of time can be wasted and goodwill dissipated by inadequate preparation. This book aims to provide you with the tools to do the job, to help you avoid some of the pitfalls and time-wasting false trails that can eat into your time, and to establish good research habits. It takes you from the stage of choosing a topic through to the production of a well-planned, methodologically sound and well-written final report or dissertation on time. "Doing Your Research Project" is designed to serve as a source of reference and guide to good practice for all beginner researchers, whether undergraduate and postgraduate students or professionals such as teachers or social workers undertaking investigations in education and the social sciences. This second edition retains the basic structure of the first edition, whilst incorporating some important new material.
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"What Bell has produced constitutes a useful work for all first-time researchers. It could be used with pre-service teacher education students to assist them in their research projects. Tutors couldalso find it helpful as a text for generating questions on the natureof educational research and the problems which is raises...Each chapterends with a useful list of suggested further readings for those students who want to pursue topics in greater depth." - Education Research & Perspectives "Nicely done Judith Bell- no wonder the book is in its 10th printing." - Social Work Review
Table of Contents
Part 1 Preparing the ground: approaches to educational research; planning the project; keeping records and making notes; reviewing the literature; negotiating access and the problems of inside research. Part 2 Selecting methods of data collection: the analysis of documentary evidence; designing and administering questionnaires; planning and conducting interviews; diaries; observation studies. Part 3 Interpreting the evidence and reporting the findings: interpretation and presentation of the evidence; postscript.
DOING YOUR RESEARCH PROJECT by Judith Bell
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Open University Press
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