This book offers a comprehensive and rounded view of research as a tool for logical problem-solving. It is built on the philosophical-pragmatic foundation that the value of knowledge and research methodologies lies in their usefulness in engaging with the real world.
Basic Research Methods: An Entry to Social Science Research synthesizes both positivist and non-positivist methodologies. It is for students who are undertaking their first social science research course or their first research project. The techniques are basic ones, but many masters and doctoral research studies use them. From an experiential base, students would be able to build a more advanced conceptual and theoretical understanding of research through further reading and practice.
The book covers both quantitative and qualitative methods. It discusses policy-applied-pure-action model of research, treatment of participatory research as an ethical rather than a methodological issue, inclusion of project evaluation as a type of case study, addition of binary measurement to the standard classification, practical use of Microsoft Excel for analysis of both words and numbers, a building block approach to writing, and the author's own thoughts on application of research.
Real-life examples from different subject areas in Asia are used in this concise textbook, which has been written in an engaging language, adopting the inductive approach.
Section 1: The Problem
Research projects have four stages: (a) definition and analysis of the problem and methodology; (b) data collection; (c) data analysis; and (d) action, including but not necessarily limited to write-up.
In a project, each of these stages should take roughly the same time. The amount you can spend on each is simple mathematics: the length of time before your project is due divided by four. If you have about one semester, say 16 weeks, each stage can have about four weeks.
Planning your time carefully is very important. A common mistake is to spend too long on the theory and methodology, then to find time compressed towards the end of the assignment. This especially affects data analysis and write-up, which often overlap, ending up ...