A Practical Guide to Research Methods

The world of research can certainly be confusing. The new researcher is exposed to complex methodological issues, inexact or conflicting terminology, and frequently to research authors who pursue their own foibles at the expense of comprehension. book. There are a number of issues which are touched upon, but not really explored, for example, triangulation. Now this is a large topic in itself, and it would be unreasonable to suggest that a slim volume such as this can cover all topics relevant to social science/nursing research, nor that any author should try to do this. What this does highlight, though, is that, although this book may be a useful point of departure, the students will still have to read widely and be in a position to compare and contrast sources to justify their choices of methodology and methods. This is particularly true for students aiming for higher degrees. Similarly, topics such as choice of paradigms, which are largely mandatory for higher degrees, are not included here.

This book may be of help to students of the topic who feel they can identify with this statement. This is very much a ‘how to’ book, which can give excellent guidance to those wishing to put forward a research proposal or engage in research. The author identifies that she has ‘put across complicated issues in a way that can be understood by anyone interested in the topic’, and in this she has succeeded. However, unsurprisingly, it is not an exhaustive

What remains then is a very useful guide showing how to undertake a research project, and as such it is a very good point of departure, but not an authoritative guide. It is especially suited for undergraduate work, where it may well produce moments of revelation for the student.

Indeed, there are some excellent sections, including how to run a focus group, and a very straightforward discussion on qualitative


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