Developing Research Questions: A Guide For Social Scientists by Patrick White

By Patrick White

Project a study undertaking is a vital, yet frequently overwhelming point of any social sciences measure, and choosing a learn query will be one of many hardest components of the method. What makes a suitable subject for learn? How do you remodel an concept right into a 'researchable' query? And, as soon as you could have a query, the place do you move from there?

Developing study Questions steers readers throughout the complicated technique of beginning a study venture. The e-book explains tips to holiday down preliminary principles from huge issues into applicable learn questions, and offers specific assistance on how one can refine questions because the examine undertaking develops. each one bankruptcy is choked with convenient tricks, counsel and examples that convey tips to stay away from universal error and pitfalls within the examine method. Linking hypotheses and questions with study layout and strategies at each step, this article takes readers from the beginning via to the ultimate degree of answering their questions and drawing conclusions.

This is a no-fuss, sensible advisor to forming your individual examine query. it's an critical source for social scientists undertaking learn tasks in any respect levels.

Cover

Developing learn Questions: A consultant for Social Scientists

Copyright

© Patrick White 2009

ISBN-13 978—1—4039—9815—6

ISBN-10 1—4039—9815—9

H62 W453 2009 300.72—dc22

Dedicated For BG

Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction

WHY when you learn A publication ON learn QUESTIONS?

who's THIS ebook FOR?

HOW should still i take advantage of THIS BOOK?

THE constitution OF THE BOOK

1 the place do study principles come from?

interest AND shock: the root OF INQUIRY

THE position OF THE LITERATURE: understanding THE FIELD

beginning with the literature or beginning with a question

the place to begin examining and while to forestall reading

now not re-inventing the wheel: what counts as a 'gap' and the way large does it have to be?

Originality

Influence

THE position OF THEORY

what's theory?

thought checking out and idea generation

'PRACTICAL' STIMULI FOR study QUESTIONS

The coverage context and social problems

'Applied' research

SUMMARY

extra READING

2 What makes a study question?

learn issues, goals AND OBJECTIVES

OBJECTIVE

examine QUESTIONS

the shape OF QUESTIONS AND THEIR CONTENT

difficulties of form

Questions and different statements

'Many questions' and 'false dichotomies'

Tautological questions

difficulties of subject

Metaphysical questions

Normative questions

facts assortment questions

query TYPES

Descriptive and explanatory questions

W-Questions: 4 descriptive and explanatory query types

Purpose-led typologies

'Empowerment'

Comparison

HYPOTHESES

What are hypotheses?

HYPOTHESIS

study QUESTION

the place do hypotheses come from?

Hypotheses and study design

SUMMARY

extra READING

3 What makes a query 'researchable'?

THE 'RESEARCHABILITY' OF QUESTIONS

a question of scope

Prioritizing

growing hierarchies: major and subsidiary questions

major learn QUESTION

SUBSIDIARY study QUESTIONS

major study QUESTION

ANCILLARY SUB-QUESTIONS

what number examine questions?

a question OF LANGUAGE

Brevity

Clarity

Precision

inhabitants of interest

Geographical position or coverage

old context

Comparisons

Summary

a question OF RESOURCES

investment and fiscal considerations

commute and subsistence

Equipment

Hidden costs

Dissemination

Training

Time and human resources

examine questions and resources

SUMMARY

extra READING

4 Questions, tools and indicators

QUESTIONS because the beginning POINTOF RESEARCH

Questions first, equipment later

learn 'traditions

Methodsied learn and 'methodolatry'

the significance of study DESIGN

what's examine design?

OPERATIONALIZING CONCEPTS

An instance of a social medical proposal: social class

Unoperational concepts

SUMMARY

additional READING

5 Answering learn questions: claims, proof and warrant

THE constitution OF ARGUMENTS

CLAIMS

Qualifying claims

facts AND EVIDENCE

Differentiating among proof, claims and warrant

WARRANT

replacement HYPOTHESES

SUMMARY

extra READING

Afterword

Bibliography

Index

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Extra resources for Developing Research Questions: A Guide For Social Scientists

Example text

Libraries have traditionally held important policy documents and nowadays it is relatively simple to download recent policy documents using the internet. Policy research is often focused on the extent to which legislation has ameliorated particular 'social problems', and SO it5 salience can be immediately obvious (Greer 1978, Blumer 1979, Robson 1993). Because it addresses issues perceived as important by politicians, officials and/or the public, research of this kind is relatively easy to justify, an important consideration for students seeking postgraduate studentships or those applying for other kinds of research funding.

Thischapterexamines the nature of social scientific research questions. It explains why only certain types of question can be addressed by empirical research, and how thinking about what type of question you are asking can help develop, structure and order your research questions. The role of hypotheses in social research is also explained. The chapter begins by examining the important differences between research questions and other kinds of statements. RESEARCH TOPICS, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES Formulating good research questions can be very difficult.

31) which can work against the development of new approaches or perspectives (Punch 1998). The traditional modes of thought in particular areas, or even disciplines, extend beyond the 21 DEVELOPING RESEARCH QUESTIONS choice of what to study into decisions about how to conduct an investigation. New researchers must beware of being 'imprisoned' by previous approaches to investigating a topic (Robson 1993). Do not be afraid to use new and innovative research designs or methods of data collection and analysis, so long as you are confident they are appropriate and that you have the ability to carry them out.

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