This book is intended for lower-division social science students in their first research methods course. It may also be used as a gentle refresher for more advanced students as a desk reference for basic concepts. This book is designed to introduce the student to the highly interrelated skills of research and writing in the social sciences. It is intended to provide a solid foundation in research in a less intimidating way than more traditional texts on the subject. In our effort to accomplish this, we have broken many of our own rules on good writing. To create a high degree of comfort in the reader, we have adopted a very informal style. We use the first person, and we address you, the reader, directly. Nevertheless, we think that this is appropriate because this isn’t a scientific paper, it’s a book about science.
The design of this text is different from most research texts in that it divides the field into thirty discrete modules rather than the traditional longer chapters. There are several reasons for this. The first is that the student more easily digests discrete topics. Another important reason is that it allows the professor to prioritize, selecting the most important information for inclusion in a course when time inevitably runs short. It also provides convenient breakpoints to conduct classroom exercises, such as demonstrating how to use important electronic databases.
Note on Style
This book mentions the PA style in many places but does not attempt to adhere to that style with any rigor. A major reason for this is that pedagogy (the science of learning and teaching) has different requirements than submitting scientific information to the body of scholars.
Modification History File Created: 07/24/2018 Last Modified: 06/11/2021
This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.