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  • First steps in research 2/e
  • Maree JG (Editor)
  • ISBN: 9780627033698
  • eISBN: N/A
  • ePub ISBN: N/A
  • 440 Pages | Published: 2016

At some point or other in their academic careers, most tertiary-level students are going to be faced with having to do a research project. It is a fundamental part of further education that many students find daunting. This need not be the case. First steps in research uses the most current perspectives in the field both locally and internationally to provide practical guidelines on how to conduct and report on research at undergraduate and postgraduate level.


First steps in research facilitates the understanding and application of theories, goals, methods and strategies, being easy to read and use without diluting the conceptual and terminological complexities of the field. It examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of qualitative, quantitative and integrated or mixed methods of conducting research and suggests how these three approaches may best be used. It also elaborates on the methodological dimensions of action research processes and exemplifies participatory reflection.


Contents include the following:


•  Formulating a research question

•  Planning a research proposal

•  Conducting a preliminary literature review

•  Ethical considerations

•  Interpreting data

•  Data collection methods, including how to engage participants and elicit “thick” data

•  Sampling methods

•  Graphical ways of representing data

•  Basic probability rules

•  Basic statistical methods and tests/techniques


First steps in research is aimed at novice researchers, including undergraduate students or junior postgraduate students who are encountering research methodology for the first time.

Chapter 1   What is a research question and why is it important?

Chapter 2   Introduction to the language of research

Chapter 3   Planning a research proposal

Chapter 4   Introducing qualitative research

Chapter 5   Qualitative research designs and data-gathering techniques

Chapter 6   Analysing qualitative data

Chapter 7   First steps in action research

Chapter 8   The quantitative research process

Chapter 9   Surveys and the use of questionnaires

Chapter 10 Sampling

Chapter 11 Statistical analysis I: descriptive statistics

Chapter 12 Statistical analysis II: inferential statistics

Chapter 13 Standardisation of a questionnaire

Chapter 14 Overview of some of the most popular statistical techniques

Chapter 15 Foundations and approaches to mixed methods research


Appendix A Proposed title: Exploring learners’ management of career-related transitions through self-construction

Appendix B Some technical details

Appendix C Check list for designing a mixed methods study

Appendix D Telephone questionnaire for expectant fathers

Appendix E Table of random numbers

Appendix F Questionnaire for first-year students of education

Appendix G Small-scale survey research: an example (“classic” two-group research design)

Appendix H Small-scale survey research: an example (Solomon’s three group research design)

Appendix I Questions based on an encapsulation of the key outcomes of quantitative research

Appendix J Letter of application to conduct research 

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