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Research Design

Research Design
Creating Robust Approaches for the Social Sciences

February 2013 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Research design is of critical importance in social research, despite its relative neglect in many methods resources. Early consideration of design in relation to research questions leads to the elimination or diminution of threats to eventual research claims, by encouraging internal validity and substantially reducing the number of alternative explanations for any finite number of research 'observations'.

This new book: discusses the nature of design; gives an introduction to design notation; offers a flexible approach to new designs; looks at a range of standard design models; and presents craft tips for real-life problems and compromises. Most importantly, it provides the rationale for preferring one design over another within any given context. Each section is illustrated with case studies of real work and concludes with suggested readings and topics for discussion in seminars and workshops, making it an ideal textbook for postgraduate research methods courses.

Based on the author's teaching on the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre "Masters in Research Methods" at the University of Birmingham, and his ongoing work for the ESRC Researcher Development Initiative, this is an essential text for postgraduate researchers and academics. There is no book like Research Design on the market that addresses all of these issues in an easy to comprehend style, for those who want to design research and make critical judgements about the designs of others.

What Is Research Design?
Introducing Designs in the Cycle of Research
Identifying Researchable Questions
Warranting Research Claims
The Nature of Causal Claims
Identifying the Sample or Cases
Comparing for Comparative Claims
Matters of Timing and Sequence
Evaluating Controlled Interventions
Further Designs for Evaluation
Challenges for Validity
How Big Is a Difference?
A Second Principle of Ethics
Revisiting the Need for Robust Design

An excellent well-laid out textbook reference in research methodology, highly recommendable to students and lecturers.

Mrs Josephine D Morris
Interdiscipline, Winchester University
March 14, 2023

highly essential for the design of any research protocol for both novice and experienced researchers

Mr Emmanuel Asante
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nottingham University
March 1, 2016

Good basic guide. To be read with caution.

Dr Sean McCusker
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
February 18, 2016

Gorard has an interesting perspective on research design, but I think this book would be too overwhelming for students. It's not broad enough to be an introductory text.

Mrs Emma Reith-Hall
Social Work and Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University
November 11, 2015

Research Design is a thought provoking read; it is especially helpful for students in their final year as they grapple with planning their dissertation. I have found the text useful to refer to in tutorials when students are planning their research design.

Mrs Amanda Crow
school of Education and Professional Development, Huddersfield University
September 3, 2015

It is a very interesting book that will help researchers desing their research in the social sciences. I highly recommend it to anyone who is starting to write funding proposals. It will be one of my main reference books in the future writing for funding.

Dr Patricia Castanheira
School of Education, Brighton University
June 15, 2015

This is a clearly laid out book that really thinks about all the different elements of research design. It also addresses the limitations to various approaches and encourages readers to question their approaches and uses real world examples to explain concepts. A useful tool for researchers but might be aimed a little high for undergraduates.

Ms Helen Hewertson
Centre for Research Informed Teaching, University of Central Lancashire
June 12, 2015

An excellent and challenging book from Professor Gorard. Research design is a neglected area of education and this book challenges educators to reconsider its role within the research process.

Mr Ian McGonagle
Faculty of Social Science, Lincoln University
May 12, 2015

This text gives a wide-ranging view of research design that can support students’ with their own projects. A recommended publication for students' studying their dissertation units.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care And Early Years, Swindon College
December 24, 2014

Is a good resource fos students with different backgrounds and different research skills.

Professor Rute Brites
Department of Psychology and Sociology, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
December 2, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Stephen Gorard

Stephen Gorard is the Professor of Education Research at the University of Birmingham, Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, introducer for the ESRC Grant Awarding Panel A, and a methods expert for the US Institute of Education Science panel on Mathematics and Science. His research concerns the robust evaluation of education as a lifelong society-wide process, focused on issues of equity and effectiveness. He has successfully conducted over 70 projects funded by government and other sources, and is the author of hundreds of research books and articles. His work appears regularly in the media, and is much used by local and... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781446249024
ISBN: 9781446249017

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.