ECSTATIC to announce the upcoming release of, Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Arts-Based, and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches (due out April 10). I can honestly say I have never been more excited to share my work. I’ve never been prouder. This is my 22nd book and it would not have been possible without every single book that came before it. It’s the culmination of my entire body of work; the offering I’ve always longed to make to the academic and research communities; my attempt at a magnum opus.
I first had the dream to write Research Design when I was a sophomore in college. I had recently changed my major from theatre arts to sociology, and transferred schools. I was taking survey of research methods and reading Earl Babbie’s textbook. To me, that large hardcover textbook was beautiful. It contained the formulas for how to create and understand knowledge. But I also knew that it was offering a perspective on how to create and understand knowledge. Someday I wanted to offer another perspective. More than 20 years later, I have attempted to do so.
My goal is to offer professors, students, and researchers a single book that covers all five approaches to research design, differing from the two or three approaches covered in most primary texts. Research Design can be used as a primary or supplemental text in research methods courses across the disciplines. Chapters that may not be of interest can also be omitted. In addition to covering the five approaches to research, there are other special features:
• A Focus on Ethics
Often research design texts present a chapter on ethics in research, or in some cases, just a section of a chapter. However, ethics are intertwined with all phases of the research design process. Therefore, in addition to including a robust chapter on ethics (chapter 2) all subsequent methods chapters highlight ethical decision-making with “ethics in practice” stops. Topics often ignored are also covered (e.g., White researchers exploiting people of color in communities in which they are not invested, data sharing to enable replication studies).
• Writing a Proposal
Most students of research methods, and novice researchers, need assistance learning how to write a solid research proposal. Therefore, at the beginning of each of the approaches to design chapters (4-8) I present a template for a research proposal. The remainder of the chapter is spent filling in the template. So instead of arbitrarily learning the dos and don’ts of each approach to design, as you learn the nuts and bolts of each approach you are simultaneously learning how to put it all together in a research proposal. As a pedagogical feature, a summary of the proposal template is presented at the end of each chapter as well.
• A Note about Language
The issue of language in how we write research proposals and ultimately represent our research is important and often overlooked in the literature. Researchers using the five different approaches tend to use different words to describe the components of their work. These words are meaningful and carry implications about what we as researchers can know and how we come to know. These differences in language are not random but rather speak to deeper issues about the philosophical beliefs and research practices guiding inquiry. In order to highlight the importance of language and model how you might write a research proposal with these five approaches in chapters 4-8 I employ the terms commonly used in that type of research.
• Hot Topics, Social Justice, and Interdisciplinarity
Timely topics not covered in other texts are included, such as: replication studies,
data sharing, and public scholarship. There is also coverage of standard material that is often excluded, such as an in-depth section on how to construct surveys in the quantitative chapter. Social justice themes and current events are incorporated throughout the book through interdisciplinary research examples.
• Pedagogical Features and Additional Resources
This text is meant to be user-friendly. As such, key terms appear in bold font and there are easy-to-read tables and figures throughout the book. There are also “Review Stops” throughout each chapter (short quizzes meant to assess the learning of the material before proceeding on). Each chapter includes discussion questions, practical activities, and additional resources (books, academic journals, and websites). Finally, there are excerpts from original interviews with leading researchers across the disciplines who use the five approaches reviewed in this text. Their top-tips appear in expert tip bubbles in chapters 4-8.
Research Design is so special to me that I personally made everything that is inside this book (e.g. glossary) as well as the companion Power-Point slides for instructors. Textbook publishers are willing to pay people to create this content, and if you visit most textbook companion websites you’ll see the content was not created by the author, but no one knows or cares about a book like its author and so I did every single thing in or associated with the book myself to give professors and students the best possible content.
The price was also important to me. As a full-time author, I certainly believe that authors and publishers have the right to earn money for their work; however, the exploitation of students by the textbook industry is awful. I’m challenging it with the help of Guilford Press. The competing books for Research Design cost $80-$220. My textbook is priced at $45, nearly half the price of our least expensive competitor (same length), and it can be used as a primary textbook. I hope this makes it easier for students if their professors choose to adopt it as a primary or secondary text.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the team at Guilford Press for their incredible work on this book. Guilford BLEW MY MIND with the production of this book. It’s truly beautiful from the stunning original cover art to the cool design features inside. This was important to me because many students are nervous about taking research methods. The aesthetics, warmth, and clean layout of a book helps make it more inviting. As with everything else, I poured my heart into this book. We tried to get the details right.
I’m enormously grateful to those who pre-ordered the book helping us achieve an incredible launch. My fondest hope is that professors will adopt this book in their courses.
You can order at amazon
Professors can learn more about course adoption at Guilford Press
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support! I truly hope this book is of use.
Love and Light,