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Introducing Research Methodology

Introducing Research Methodology
A Beginner's Guide to Doing a Research Project

First Edition
  • Uwe Flick - Freie Universtität Berlin, Germany

296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd


In this new book, specifically written for first time researchers, Uwe Flick, author of the highly successful text Introduction to Qualitative Research, focuses on the process of producing an undergraduate research project. He gives readers the fundamental data collection and analysis skills that they need for their first project, as well as a good understanding of the research process as a whole. The book covers both quantitative and qualitative methods, and contains  real life examples from the author's own research.

Topics include:

  • Reading and reviewing the literature
  • Research design
  • Writing up
  • Research ethics

As well as practical research techniques, Flick provides a basic explanation of methodological issues such as epistemology, the quantitative/qualitative debate and the wider social role of research, linking these to real world issue and the actual task of researching and writing a project.

Why Social Research?
From Research Idea to Research Question
Reading and Reviewing the Literature
Planning Social Research: Steps of the Research Process
Designing Social Research
Deciding Your Methods
Gathering Data: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
Analyzing Quantitative and Qualitative Data
E-Research: Doing Social Research Online
Integrated Social Research: Combination of Different Approaches
What Is Good Research? Evaluating Your Research Project
Ethical Issues in Social Research
Writing Research and Using Results

This book provides an extremely useful guide to the basics of research, such as the fundamental characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research and their associated research questions. It is written in an accessible style without the complicated use of terms and details that often shroud research methods books. It is orientated toward the beginner who may not be familiar with the language of quantitative and qualitative research and who may be an undergraduate in the social sciences. It balances nicely attention to both quantitative and qualitative research, providing legitimacy for both approaches

John W Creswell
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

What makes this guide special is the way in which it is structured and the style used for explanations and clarifications... The book enjoys the benefits of Flick's personal research experience, but also his personal experience in teaching research methodology and supervising students' research projects. The book is addressed to young researchers at the beginning of their career. It represents a clear overview of the main approaches used in social research. Even though research methodology specific to social sciences can be seen as overwhelming in the eyes of the beginners, this book manages to overcome this drawback and create positive orientation for readers to learn. It offers logical and clear guidance, revealing the route that any high quality research needs to follow.
Sorana Saveanu
Journal of Social Research and Policy

This book's main strengths are its range of topics and issues, firstly it brings the reader up to date with recent research methods such as e-research, online interviewing and virtual ethnography. Secondly, it is brief enough to understand the issues and challenges in research projects, but detailed enough to help one make key decisions. Thirdly, its use of real-life examples helps to contextualise issues in conducting research projects. Fourthly, there are many references at the end of each chapter to direct the reader to further resources.
Chloe Sharp
SRA News

This book was not a good fit for my course. I adopted Research Methods in Practice (Remler and Van Ryzin) instead.

Nathalie Saltikoff
Social Sciences, Endicott College
May 20, 2015

This text is a good read for undergraduate students who have no prior experience of research methods. It is very easy to read and well structured.This is essential as many students with no prior knowledge struggle with the comlexities and language of research.

Ms Paula Keating
Health , Edge Hill University
April 15, 2015

A great book which breaks it down into manageable chunks. Good ideas and boxes in text that simplifies research. From a lecturer point of view, it's a really good book that refreshes your knowledge.

Mrs Marcia Dewar
Health, Community & Social Care, Bradford College
January 27, 2015

This book entails all the basics of conducting a research in simple terms enabling even new researchers to pursue their research ideas in a formulated step by step manner. It encompasses both qualitative and quantitative methods in a language that can be easily comprehended at an undergraduate level.

Dr Simy Mathew
Growth & Development, College of Dentistry
December 13, 2014

An easy to read, easy to review text which will offer students support in their development of research knowledge and understanding. An interesting read, and a good 'go to' guide.

Miss Shelly Haslam
Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University
October 14, 2014

It was an uneven text. My students liked how the author broke down some of the more complex concepts. However, he was obviously quantitatively oriented and sometimes used confusing rubric to categorize information. More students than not told me they disliked the text, although those who did like it seemed quite fond of it.

Dr Lesleigh Owen
Social and Behavioral Sciences, Black Hills St Univ-Rapid City
August 17, 2014

Flick's practical overview of the application of research approaches is very insightful. Chapter 9 dealing with doing social research online is most valuable.

Professor Johan Van Graan
Department of Police Practice, Univ. of South Africa-Florida
July 1, 2014

A good author and a clearly written text.

Mrs Louise Boole
Nursing, Counselling & Psychotherapy, Derby University
February 14, 2014

Introducing research methodology: a beginner’s guide to doing a research project includes thirteen chapters which are separated into four distinct parts. Part one consists of three chapters which introduce the reader to the idea of social research and covers searching academic literature, developing research questions, hypotheses and discusses the characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research. Part two consists of three chapters and is designed to inform the reader about what is involved in the various stages of planning and designing a social research project. Part three consists of four chapters and discusses working with data with regards to collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data. Part four consists of three chapters and addresses reporting results and findings and proving reflections about the research project undertaken.

The language used in this book is easily assessable to undergraduate and postgraduate students seeking an introduction to designing small scale research projects. This book is recommended to anyone new to social research.

Mr Gary McKenna
School of Computing (Paisley) , University of the West of Scotland
December 23, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Uwe Flick

Uwe Flick is Senior Professor of Qualitative Research in Social Science and Education at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. He is a trained psychologist and sociologist and received his PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin in 1988 and his Habilitation from the Technical University Berlin in 1994. He has been Professor of Qualitative Research at Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany and at the University of Vienna, Austria. Previously, he was Adjunct Professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Canada; a Lecturer in research methodology at the Free University of Berlin; a Reader and... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.