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The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project

The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project

Fifth Edition
  • Zina O'Leary - The Australia and New Zealand School of Government
  • Emma Tennent - Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington
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January 2025 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Doing a research project or dissertation can be daunting. This practical book will help you dive straight in, driving each step of the process with confidence. Packed with features to support your learning, this guidebook gives you invaluable advice at each stage, from picking a topic, designing your study and navigating ethics to collecting and analysing data then sharing your findings. 

This fifth edition:

  • Empowers you to be critical and self-reflective when consuming and doing research, with 19 critical thinking challenges.
  • Equips you with the skills to make good decisions, prepare effectively, and take charge of your own project.
  •  Draws on case studies of real-world research to inspire your creativity and curiosity.

This popular, down-to-earth guide is a must-have for undergraduate and postgraduate students embarking on research projects across the social sciences.

Chapter 1: Taking the Leap into the Research World
Chapter 2: Setting Up and Getting Started
Chapter 3: Developing Your Research Question
Chapter 4: Undertaking Credible and Ethical Research
Chapter 5: Crafting a Research Proposal
Chapter 6: Reviewing Literature
Chapter 7: Designing a Research Plan
Chapter 8: Understanding Methodologies: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
Chapter 9: Understanding Methodologies: Mixed Approaches
Chapter 10: Understanding Methodologies: Evaluative, Action-Oriented and Emancipatory Strategies
Chapter 11: Identifying and Selecting Samples, Informants and Cases
Chapter 12: Primary Data: Surveys, Interviews and Observation
Chapter 13: Secondary Data
Chapter 14: Online Generated Data
Chapter 15: Analysing Quantitative Data
Chapter 16: Analysing Qualitative Data
Chapter 17: The Challenge of Writing Up
Chapter 18: Final Hurdles

Zina O'Leary

Zina O’Leary is an internationally recognized leader in research methodologies and has a keen interest in the application of research to evidence-based decision-making. Zina is a Senior ­Fellow at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government where she coordinates research and project units for their Executive Masters and Executive Education Programmes. Zina also has an extensive history as a consultant to both government and the private sector and was the research coordinator for the Centre for Environmental Health Development at the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. She is the author of Researching Real World Problems,... More About Author

Emma Tennent

Emma Tennent is a senior lecturer at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. She has experience teaching research methods and research paradigms to undergraduate and postgraduate students across a range of disciplines. She is the recipient of an Early Career Teaching Excellence Award and an accredited Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She works with Zina at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government as a research project advisor for the Executive Master of Public Administration. She has co-published with students and academic colleagues in the open-access book The Power of Partnership: Students, Staff, and... More About Author

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