The purpose of Research at grass roots is to accompany the novice researcher, in both the social sciences and human service professions, step by step through the research process. The description of the research process is probably unique in that this view has been developed over at least two decades through work with postgraduate students. The section for experienced researchers is less structured and discusses current topics of interest such as evaluation research, intervention research, participatory action research, and analysis of concepts such as evidence-based practice.
The interplay between scientific theory and research, and between research and professional practice, has once again been highlighted. This encompasses important debates for experienced researchers and practitioners, including crucial concepts for novice researchers to master as early as possible in their academic careers.
The section dealing with different models for combining quantitative and qualitative styles of research has been updated to include recent debates and developments in the field of mixed methods designs. Both sections dealing with qualitative and quantitative designs and analysis have been substantially revised and updated.
We have included contributions from experienced researchers such as Prof. Willem Schurink, a qualitative researcher and doctoral supervisor, Prof. Wim Roestenburg, a senior academic and researcher, and Dr Allen Bartley, an international contributor and expert in statistical analysis. Prof. Minrie Greeff has again provided insight from her vast experience of research interviewing. Salient features of the previous three editions have been retained in order to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of current users of this very successful book.
SECTION A: Research in the human service professions
Chapter 1. The sciences and the professions
Chapter 2. Scientific theory and professional research
Chapter 3. Professional research and professional practice
Chapter 4. Introduction to the research process
SECTION B: Steps common to both the quantitative and the qualitative research process
Chapter 5. Selection of a researchable topic
Chapter 6. Formal formulations
Chapter 7. Writing the research proposal
Chapter 8. Ethical aspects of research in the social sciences and human service professions
SECTION C: Steps unique to the quantitative process
Chapter 9. In-depth review of literature
Chapter 10. Quantitative research designs
Chapter 11. Single-system design
Chapter 12. Quantitative data-collection methods: questionnaires, checklists, structured observation and structured interview schedules
Chapter 13. Quantitative data-collection methods: indexes and scales
Chapter 14. Sampling in the quantitative paradigm
Chapter 15. The pilot study in the quantitative paradigm
Chapter 16. Quantitative data analysis and interpretation
Chapter 17. Writing the research report
SECTION D: Steps unique to the qualitative process
Chapter 18. Theory and literature in qualitative research
Chapter 19. Qualitative research designs
Chapter 20. Information collection: participant observation
Chapter 21. Information collection: interviewing
Chapter 22. Information collection: document study and secondary analysis
Chapter 23. Sampling and pilot study in qualitative research
Chapter 24. Qualitative data analysis and interpretation
Chapter 25. The qualitative research report
SECTION E: Types of research
Chapter 26. Mixed methods research
Chapter 27. Evaluation research
Chapter 28. Intervention research
Chapter 29. Participatory action research
Chapter 30. Building a scientific base for the helping professions
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