Skillfully done, research can be the solid cornerstone of your term paper (or dissertation, essay, or article); inadequately executed, it can cause your whole project to crumble and fall. Yet essential as research is to the ultimate success of your work, performing it is not an innate talent. The precepts, steps, and skills of solid research are readily acquired if you spend some time with The Craft of Research before you start on your outlines and thesis statements. Written by three distinguished professors in 1995, published by the University of Chicago, and winner of the 1995-96 Critics' Choice Award, The Craft of Research teaches how to plan, carry out, and report on research for any field and at any level. Aimed at assisting student researchers, from raw beginners to accomplished graduate and professional students, the book shows how to choose a topic, plan and organize research, and how to draft and revise a report of findings such that a convincing solution is offered to a significant problem.
The Craft of Research is more than just another instruction manual getting you from topic to outline to notes to report. Recognizing that good research is rarely a simple, sequential procedure, but is instead a complex and intricate process, it discusses the subtle ways in which asking questions about your topic can influence how you draft your report, how a quality introduction can send you back to the library, and how the process of drafting can highlight flaws in your argument that need to be addressed. Clear and explicit, sophisticated and practical, The Craft of Research encourages high standards of scholarly achievement, and spells out the steps by which to get there. --Stephanie Gold
This manual offers practical advice on the fundamentals of research to college and university students in all fields of study. It aims to teach much more than the mechanics of fact gathering, explaining how to approach a research project as an analytical process. The authors chart every stage of research, from finding a topic and generating research questions about it to marshalling evidence, constructing arguments, and writing everything up in a final report. Their advice is designed for use by both beginners and seasoned practitioners, and for projects from class papers to dissertations. This book is organized into four parts. Part One is an introduction to the distinctive nature, values and protocols of research. Part Two demystifies the art of discovering a topic. It outlines a wide range of sources, among them personal interests and passions. Parts Three and Four cover the essentials of argument - how to make a claim and support it - and ways to outline, draft, revise, rewrite and polish the final report. Part Three is a short course in the logic, structure, uses and common pitfalls of argumentation.
The writing chapters in Part Four show how to present verbal and visual information effectively and how to shape sentences and paragraphs that communicate with power and precision.