You are here

Doing Real Research

Doing Real Research
A Practical Guide to Social Research

First Edition
Additional resources:

March 2016 | 400 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Challenging the formality and idealized settings of conventional methods teaching and opting instead for a real world approach to social research, this book offers frank, practical advice designed to empower students and researchers alike.

Theoretically robust and with an exhaustive coverage of key methodologies and methods the title establishes the cornerstones of social research. Examples reflect research conducted inside and outside formal university settings and range from the extremes of war torn countries to the complexities of school classrooms.

Supported by a wealth of learning features and tools the textbook and website include:

  • Video top tips
  • Podcasts
  • Full text journal articles
  • Interviews with researchers conducting field research
  • Links to external websites and blogs
  • Student exercises
  • Real world case studies
Chapter 1: Research design: Planning for the unknowable, the unexpected and the undesirable
Chapter 2: How to do a literature review: Using existing evidence and ideas to build a foundation
Chapter 3: How to be an ethical researcher
Chapter 4: How to manage risk: Protecting yourself and your equipment
Chapter 5: How to find a representative sample
Chapter 6: How to gain research participation
Chapter 7: How to do Survey Research
Chapter 8: How to do interviews and focus groups
Chapter 9: How to use existing data: Challenges and opportunities
Chapter 10: How to manage your data
Chapter 11: How to do qualitative data analysis
Chapter 12: How to do quantitative data analysis
Chapter 13: How to Write up your Research
Concluding Thoughts

'I am very impressed by the format of the book and the learning features. The practical step-by-step approach is better than any of the texts we currently use, and the book contains a valuable chapter on risk evaluation in the field, so often absent in research textbooks’

Barry Turner
Senior Lecturer in Research Methodology, University of Lincoln

'This textbook enables the student-researcher to learn very practical skills to prepare for the research journey. Providing a clear 'how to' guide from research design, ethics, data collection and analysis through to presenting research data, much of what you need to know is here. Accessible and informative, this textbook will inspire students to get into the field and become researchers'

Teela Sanders
Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds

‘This book provides such an extensive overview of how to plan, execute and write-up a research project that it will be invaluable for post-graduate students across the humanities. It is rich in detail, comprehensive in coverage and the addition of many real-life examples makes this book extremely accessible for students, teachers and researchers alike’ 

Dr Rory Pilossof
Centre for Africa Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa

‘A well-written, easy to read and very practical handbook to guide taught Masters students through all the key stages of their dissertation work’

Ian Charity
Northumbria University Newcastle Business School

‘A well-written book that highlights the different kinds of challenges and risks experienced by researchers and provides practical solutions. It includes valuable tools, strategies and tactics for doing research and overcoming the taken-for-granted difficulties that may potentially affect the viability of any research project’ 

Dr Sizwe Phakathi
Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg and Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Chamber of Mines of South Africa

‘This is an easy to follow, practical guide to entering the field of social research.  Students will love this introduction, which covers key themes of research without getting bogged down in academic jargon’

Brady Wagoner
Professor of Psychology, Aarlborg University, Denmark

‘This research book succinctly presents research in a logical and tangible way that would enable students to engage with the practical application of the research process in an informed way. It is written in a facilitative way that endears the reader to its style, making it an invaluable resource to undergraduate students.’

Neal Cook
Reader, School of Nursing, University of Ulster

This book is beneficial to anyone working in social research, serving as a reminder that we all face the same challenges in our research, wherever we are in our careers. This book is your manager: offering knowledgeable and practical advice; and also your colleague: offering informal and non-judgemental support to help you design and carry out valid, reliable and ethical research. This practical and honest approach means
that this book does not leave my desk!

Amy Edwards
SRA Research Matters

An excellent, accessible and comprehensive text. Suggestions for further reading and online resources are really helpful.

Dr Maria Fitzgerald
London School of Osteopathy, London School of Osteopathy
December 17, 2015

Eric L. Jensen

Eric Jensen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. He has two main research specialisms: Public engagement, and media. He also contributes to the development of impact evaluation methodology and social change theory. His research on the impacts of public engagement cuts across a wide range of settings, from zoos to conservation training programmes to museums. More About Author

Charles Laurie

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781446273883
ISBN: 9781446273876