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Reading and Understanding Research

Reading and Understanding Research

Third Edition

July 2009 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Ideal for students, novice researchers, or professionals, this indispensable resource serves as a road map for readers who need to analyze and apply research findings. It helps them think critically about the credibility of what they are reading by showing them how to identify problems and develop constructive questions.

Key Features

  • Assumes no prior knowledge of research procedures
  • Provides readers with a step-by-step format for decoding the complex language and formats used in reports and reviews
  • Includes the most common formats for both quantitative and qualitative inquiry
  • Offers both illustrative examples and powerful training exercises
  • Gives specific attention to strategies for critically appraising reported research
  • Presents completely updated references as well as an annotated bibliography

Intended Audience

This text is appropriate for both upper-level undergraduate and graduate students across the social sciences enrolled in introductory research courses as well as students in professional preparation programs.

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Part I: The Nature and Uses of Research Reports
Chapter 1: The Research Report
Chapter 2: When to Believe What You Read: The Sources of Credibility
Chapter 3: How to Select and Read Research Reports
Chapter 4: The Use, Misuse, and Misunderstanding of Research
Chapter 5: Types of Research: An Overview of Variety
Part II: Quantitative Research
Chapter 6: Quantitative Research Designs
Chapter 7: Staying Organized When Reading a Quantitative Report
Chapter 8: Explaining as a Tool for Learning to Read Reports
Chapter 9: Reading Reports of Quantitative Research-Critically: Things to Notice and Questions to Ask
Part III: Qualitative Research
Chapter 10: The Paradigms for Qualitative Research
Chapter 11: Staying Organized When Reading a Qualitative Report
Chapter 12: Reading Reports of Qualitative Research-Critically: Things the Reader Should Expect
Part IV: Reading Research Reviews
Chapter 13: Staying Organized When Reading Research Reviews
Appendix A: Annotated Bibliography of Supplementary References
Appendix B: Statistics: A Beginner's Guide
Name Index
Subject Index
About the Authors

This is a useful and essential book for graduate students who want to have a solid understanding of research and dissemination of results. I use this book as a complementary textbook for my Educational research course.

Dr Amin Mousavi
Educational Psychology , University Of Saskatchewan
September 7, 2016

The textbook meets the needs of our program, i.e., with a practical focus on research that is useful for clinicians in training.

Dr Lorene Jabola
Marriage Fam Child Cnsl Dept, Pacific Oaks College
May 19, 2016

This text will be used in my summer 2014 methods class. It really allows for students to understand research in a meaningful way.

Professor Todd Milford
Education , University of Victoria
October 5, 2013

very practical, clear writing style; accessible to undergraduate students; straight forward and thorough presentation of concepts.

Dr Deborah Seale
Health Info Management Dept, St Louis University
August 8, 2013

This is a really useful text which I will be strongly recommending to my students. There is an excellent breadth of topics meaning that it is useful for all the students on our wide variety of courses.

Dr Don Vinson
Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Care, Gloucestershire University
February 13, 2013

easy to read and thorough coverage of material for upper level undergraduates

Dr M. Allison Williams
Physical Education Dept, Grove City College
February 1, 2013

Very good introductory book for teaching students how to read research. I use it for an interdisciplinary class for first year master's students. They each enter the class with a range of academic experiences and backgrounds. This book is a good place to start.

Saran Donahoo
Educational Admin Dept, Southern Illinois University
December 13, 2012

Book is exactly the right level for our master's program that serves practitioners who need to understand research (but not necessarily conduct it).

Professor Paula Weissman
Communications , Johns Hopkins University, AAP
September 17, 2012

We liked this book but are reflecting on which course it might be used in other than the DOL 720 Critical Inquiry course for which we were considering it. I would highly recommend the book it simply didn't work in the course for which we were reviewing it.

Dr LaVerne Ludden
Graduate Studies in Leadership, Indiana Wesleyan University
July 25, 2012

required text

Dr Yulia Tolstikov-Mast
PhD in Global Leadership , Indiana Technology
June 7, 2012
Key features
  • A comprehensive guide that leads readers through the research process, discussing what types of sources exist, what to look for in each one, levels of credibility, and how to stay organized during the process.
  • Complete coverage of the types of research that exist.
  • Four fully-updated appendices that offer a bibliography of references for the reader's "next steps," detailed examples (with flowcharts) of completed twelve-step forms, a list of questions to ask when critically evaluating a report, and a brief overview of statistics.

Sage College Publishing

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