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Preparing students to do research and understand what research can do. Basics of Social Research helps students understand what research can and cannot do, become better consumers of research, and learn why properly conducted research is important. This text teaches students to be better consumers of research results and understand how the research enterprise works, preparing them to conduct small research projects. Upon completing this text, students will gain an awareness of the capabilities and restrictions of research, and learn why properly conducted research is important. Using clear, accessible language and examples from real research, this text discusses both qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research, emphasizing the benefits of combining various approaches. Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers should be able to: * Recognize that social research is simultaneously a very important enterprise and one that is not beyond you - you can understand it * Become better consumers and understand what research can and cannot do * Learn how to properly conducted research * Acquire a foundation for further learning about doing research and understand that this activity requires dedication, creativity, and mature judgment For undergraduate or graduate courses that include planning, conducting, and evaluating research. A "do-it-yourself, understand-it-yourself" manual designed to help students understand the fundamental structure of research and the methodical process that leads to valid, reliable results. Written in uncommonly engaging and elegant prose, this text guides the reader, step-by-step, from the selection of a problem, through the process of conducting authentic research, to the preparation of a completed report, with practical suggestions based on a solid theoretical framework and sound pedagogy. Suitable as the core text in any introductory research course or even for self-instruction, this text will show students two things: 1) that quality research demands planning and design; and, 2) how their own research projects can be executed effectively and professionally.