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Research Methods in Practice
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Research Methods in Practice
Strategies for Description and Causation

Second Edition


April 2014 | 648 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Second Edition of Research Methods in Practice: Strategies for Description and Causation sets an entirely new standard for presenting and learning research methods. The perspective gained from this text makes it a truly necessary tool for such applied disciplines as public affairs and administration, public policy, psychology, urban affairs, education, sociology, social work, business, public health, political science, economics, communications and criminal justice.

Imbued with a deep commitment to make social and policy research methods accessible and meaningful, the Second Edition of Research Methods in Practice: Strategies for Description and Causation compels and inspires students to truly grasp the logic—and limits—of the latest research appearing in academic journals, government reports, and the media. Authors Dahlia K. Remler and Gregg G. Van Ryzin cover the most pertinent issues and methods, emphasizing the critical interpretation and practical application of research findings. Both causation and description—and the distinction between them—are emphasized and maintained thematically throughout the text. Concepts are taught through in-depth examples, such as “Fighting Malaria in Kenya,” “The U.S. Poverty Measure,” “The Fallout from Hurricane Katrina,” “Family Dinners and Teenage Substance Abuse,” and “The Effect of Poverty on Mental Health.” The realistic trade-offs, uncertainties, habits, and excitement of the research experience come through on every page.

Praise for Research Methods in Practice

“The organization is the most straightforward and accessible of any research methods text I know…The depth of presentation is a perfect balance between the fundamentals and an introduction to advanced topics.” - Richard Tardanico, Florida International University

“I really like this book and so do my students.  It fills a much-needed gap in available textbooks on research methods, by speaking to practical and applied research without ‘dumbing it down’…It strikes a nice balance between accessible and rigorous – a balance that I haven’t seen in other books.” - Jennifer Shea, San Francisco State University

“The clear language and carefully organized examples (e.g., boxes of information) of various concepts, and the real-life examples (Hurricane Katrina, poverty in the US, the flu epidemic, recent economic downturn) that provide a context for the topics are the greatest strengths of the textbook.” - Dr. Sevil Sonmez, University of North Carolina Greensboro

“I believe this is the best text available for teaching students the fundamentals of research design and statistics, and introducing them to the difficulties inherent in evaluation research and causal inference.” - Dave E. Marcotte, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

“Clear to the point and detailed, just makes fairly complex points in a very understandable manner…and explains things in ways students new to research can understand.  I like the organization as it blends stats and methods better than most textbooks.” - Glenn A Zuern,  Albany State University

“It includes all the crucial bits that standard research methods textbooks leave out: what happens after all the data collection and analysis – and why do it at all? The authors write in a friendly and accessible style, very much in the real world, and so well structured that it is easy to dip in and out, to take exactly what the researcher want from it.” - Prof. Osarumwense Iguisi, London Millennium College / University of Benin, Nigeria

“If students are looking to purchase one text that will provide sound coverage of research methods coupled with examples that provide clarity of application this is it.” - Matthew Cooper, Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College


Available with
 Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class
Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more

 
PART I: FOUNDATIONS
 
1. Research in the Real World
 
2. Theory and Models
 
3. Qualitative Research
 
PART II: STRATEGIES FOR DESCRIPTION
 
4. Measurement
 
5. Sampling
 
6. Secondary Data
 
7. Surveys and Other Primary Data
 
PART III: STATISTICAL TOOLS AND THEIR INTERPRETATION
 
8. Making Sense of the Numbers
 
9. Making Sense of Inferential Statistics
 
10. Making Sense of Multivariate Statistics
 
PART IV: STRATEGIES FOR CAUSATION
 
11. Causation
 
12. Observational Studies With Control Variables
 
13.Multiple Regression to Disentangle Causal Effects
 
14. Randomized Experiments
 
15. Natural and Quasi Experiments
 
PART V: CONTEXT AND COMMUNICATION
 
16. The Politics, Production, and Ethics of Research
 
17. How to Find, Review and Present Research

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at www.sagepub.com/remler2e for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Research Methods in Practice, Second Edtion, by Dahlia K. Remler and Gregg G. Van Ryzin. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online course.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide student interpretation. Combine cutting-edge academic journal scholarship with the topics in your course for a robust classroom experience.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class activities that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.
  • Carefully selected, web-based video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics. When relevant, related questions for discussion are included.
  • Web exercises direct both instructors and students to useful and current web sites, along with creative activities to extend and reinforce learning or allow for further research on important chapter topics. 
  • Web resources are included for further research and insights.
Student Study Site
Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course!
Our Student Study Site is completely open-access and offers a wide range of additional features, including something no other publisher offers: SAGE Journal articles!

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards reinforce understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.
  • Mobile-friendly web quizzes allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
  • Carefully selected, video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation.
  • Web exercises direct you to useful and current web resources, along with creative activities to extend and reinforce learning or allow for further research on important chapter topics. 

Research Methods in Practice offers a combination of academic weight, coupled clarity and an easy to follow style that will allow students and practitioners to take their research skills to a level otherwise considered unrealistic.  If students are looking to purchase one text that will provide sound coverage of research methods coupled with examples that provide clarity of application this is it.

The text is very well organized.  Often reading research methods texts can lead to more confusion than the student originally had.  This text, by contrast is presented in a clear, logical, tool box approach. 

Matthew Cooper
Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College

Remler and Van Ryzin have filled a void that has too long complicated the job of teaching statistical methods and research design to graduate students of applied social science and public policy.

 

I believe this is the best text available for teaching students the fundamentals of research design and statistics, and introducing them to the difficulties inherent in evaluation research and causal inference.

Dave E. Marcotte
University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

What do you get when you cross writings from an electrical engineering-health economist (Dahlia Remler) with a psychologist-geographer (Gregg Van Ryzin)? An eclectic array of fundamental ideas on research portrayed and measured across multidisciplinary domains, i.e., Research Methods in Practice. Just about every topic you might consider for developing theory and building research questions, to formulating knowledge and identifying relevant methods is discussed. Accordingly, experimental approaches, data analyses, and research methods are exposed to the reader in a clear, concise fashion.  

 

Research Methods in Practice is the go-to book for that quick start in learning how to do research.

Gary Langford
Naval Postgraduate School, United States and the Defense and Systems Institute, University of South Australia, Australia

The strengths of this text include the many contemporary references to current events, the language and graphics. The strength is also the simplicity (which is effective) of research, that we do it daily and that it should not be seen as a laborious task (although it may be), but rather as a necessary part of whatever we plan to do in life as scholars, researchers, civil servants, doctors, lawyers, social workers, etc. The ease of applicability of research and the research process as a deliberate, strategic, systematic way to gather credible and useable data/information is one of the most effective aspects of the textbook.

Khadijah O. Miller
Norfolk State University

This is a well-organized book that deals with a good number of issues. It develops the discussion into an appropriate depth for the students on undergraduate and post graduate programmes without confusion.

 

[This book] gives the student the opportunity to see things in a different way from the standard texts.

Sue Lillyman
University of Worcester

a good mix of social science research concepts and methods with undergraduate level of statistical concepts and techniques.

Dr Helal Mobasher
Political Science Dept, University Of Utah
September 2, 2015

Clearly written with examples from several areas of policy.

Dr Sarah Cordes
College of Education, Temple University
May 27, 2015

Very practical approach to the content.

Dr Anita Larson
Public Administration, Hamline University
February 28, 2015

Useful background supplement to set scene for and prepare for research in practice based situations

Ms Karen Hillison
Department of Social Work, Hull University
December 16, 2014

A very good resource for early researchers

Mr Mahdi Miraz
Computer Science, University of Ha'il
September 24, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 15


Preview this book

Dahlia K. Remler

Dahlia K. Remler is Professor at the School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, and the Department of Economics, Graduate Center, both of the City University of New York. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.Dahlia has been in an unusual mix of disciplinary and interdisciplinary settings. She received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, a DPhil in physical chemistry from Oxford University—while a Marshall Scholar—and a PhD in economics from Harvard University. During the Clinton administration’s health care reform efforts, Dahlia held a fellowship at the... More About Author

Gregg G. Van Ryzin

Gregg G. Van Ryzin is Professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University—Newark. He received his BA in geography from Columbia University and his PhD in psychology from the City University of New York. During his doctoral training, he worked as a planner for a nonprofit housing and community development organization in New York City, and he completed his dissertation on low income housing for the elderly in Detroit. He next worked in Washington, D.C., for ICF Inc. and later Westat, Inc. on surveys and program evaluations for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies. In... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452276403
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