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Research Design

Research Design
Why Thinking About Design Matters

May 2023 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Designing research is about making decisions to transform an idea into a plan that can provide answers to a research problem or question. Thinking about, and then making these decisions results in the research design – the plan that will be followed to conduct the research and answer the question. This text engages in a dialogue with the reader, providing a serious but accessible introduction to research design, for use as a guide when designing your own research or when reading the research of others. 

Julianne Cheek and Elise Øby show that designing research is an iterative and reflexive process in which there is constant thinking through, and re-visiting of, decisions about that design as it develops. They use a variety of pedagogical devices throughout the book including Tip; Activity; and Putting it into Practice boxes to emphasize specific points and encourage readers to think about the practical implications of what they have learned.

An instructor resource site at includes editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides and suggested essay questions to accompany the book.
Chapter 1 – Research Design: What You Need to Think About and Why
Chapter 2 – Ethical Issues in Research Design
Chapter 3 – Developing Your Research Questions
Chapter 4 – Why Methodology Matters When Designing Research
Chapter 5 – Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Designing Research
Chapter 6 – Obtaining Data Using Qualitative Approaches
Chapter 7 – Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Data
Chapter 8 – Foundational Design Issues When Using Quantitative Methods
Chapter 9 – Collecting Data Using Quantiative Methods
Chapter 10 – Designing Research Using Mixed Methods
Chapter 11 – Why Knowing and Declaring Your Research Design Hand Matters


Instructor Resource Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides and suggested essay questions to accompany the book.

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This is one of the clearest and most accessible research methods books I have read as a scholar. I highly recommend for both students and teachers alike. It is an excellent survey of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Natalie Danielle Baker
Sam Houston State University

Students writing a thesis or dissertation will benefit from this text's approach to the development of and design of research. It provides a strong theoretical understanding of the process of moving from an idea to a research proposal to the final research project. A good addition to the library of someone who is doing research.

Hugh Clark
Florida Gulf Coast University

This book provides a detailed outline of research methods. The authors break the concepts and content into a manner in which it is easily understood by the reader. They also provide activities for the reader to use to apply the content.

Jaimee L. Hartenstein
University of Central Missouri

The authors describe the complexities of research and clearly describe the many details that go into a well-designed and executed study. They have done an amazing job describing the process of research design. Any student learning about research will benefit from this book.

Lauren Hays
University of Central Missouri

This is an excellent text for those instructors who recognize the importance of giving research design more comprehensive treatment than is typical of most textbooks.

Scott Liebertz
University of South Alabama

I will add this book as required reading for my course and personally add this to my collection of research material to aid in my writing and evaluation projects.

Sherill Morris-Francis
Mississippi Valley State University

This text is a very approachable conversation-based introduction to research design for social science students. It provides an inviting approach to the research process that draws the reader in as a participant instead of a spectator. It’s focus on research as an iterative and reflexive process rather than a linear set of steps is refreshing. It engages the reader in the process and introduces questions to assist in understanding the complexity and interconnectivity of each part of the process.

Isla A. Schuchs Carr
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

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