How to Think about Your Research While You're Doing It

Author: Howard S. Becker

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226040992

Category: Social Science

Page: 239

View: 6676

Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. The tricks cover four broad areas of social science: the creation of the "imagery" to guide research; methods of "sampling" to generate maximum variety in the data; the development of "concepts" to organize findings; and the use of "logical" methods to explore systematically the implications of what is found. Becker's advice ranges from simple tricks such as changing an interview question from "Why?" to "How?" (as a way of getting people to talk without asking for a justification) to more technical tricks such as how to manipulate truth tables. Becker has extracted these tricks from a variety of fields such as art history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy; and his dazzling variety of references ranges from James Agee to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Becker finds the common principles that lie behind good social science work, principles that apply to both quantitative and qualitative research. He offers practical advice, ideas students can apply to their data with the confidence that they will return with something they hadn't thought of before. Like Writing for Social Scientists, Tricks of the Trade will bring aid and comfort to generations of students. Written in the informal, accessible style for which Becker is known, this book will be an essential resource for students in a wide variety of fields. "An instant classic. . . . Becker's stories and reflections make a great book, one that will find its way into the hands of a great many social scientists, and as with everything he writes, it is lively and accessible, a joy to read."—Charles Ragin, Northwestern University
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How to Think about Your Research While You're Doing It

Author: Howard S. Becker

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226041247

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 232

View: 9390

Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. The tricks cover four broad areas of social science: the creation of the "imagery" to guide research; methods of "sampling" to generate maximum variety in the data; the development of "concepts" to organize findings; and the use of "logical" methods to explore systematically the implications of what is found. Becker's advice ranges from simple tricks such as changing an interview question from "Why?" to "How?" (as a way of getting people to talk without asking for a justification) to more technical tricks such as how to manipulate truth tables. Becker has extracted these tricks from a variety of fields such as art history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy; and his dazzling variety of references ranges from James Agee to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Becker finds the common principles that lie behind good social science work, principles that apply to both quantitative and qualitative research. He offers practical advice, ideas students can apply to their data with the confidence that they will return with something they hadn't thought of before. Like Writing for Social Scientists, Tricks of the Trade will bring aid and comfort to generations of students. Written in the informal, accessible style for which Becker is known, this book will be an essential resource for students in a wide variety of fields. "An instant classic. . . . Becker's stories and reflections make a great book, one that will find its way into the hands of a great many social scientists, and as with everything he writes, it is lively and accessible, a joy to read."—Charles Ragin, Northwestern University
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Author: Howard S. Becker

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226041263

Category: Reference

Page: 313

View: 8592

I Remember, one of French writer Georges Perec’s most famous pieces, consists of 480 numbered paragraphs—each just a few short lines recalling a memory from his childhood. The work has neither a beginning nor an end. Nor does it contain any analysis. But it nonetheless reveals profound truths about French society during the 1940s and 50s. Taking Perec’s book as its cue, Telling About Society explores the unconventional ways we communicate what we know about society to others. The third in distinguished teacher Howard Becker’s best-selling series of writing guides for social scientists, the book explores the many ways knowledge about society can be shared and interpreted through different forms of telling—fiction, films, photographs, maps, even mathematical models—many of which remain outside the boundaries of conventional social science. Eight case studies, including the photographs of Walker Evans, the plays of George Bernard Shaw, the novels of Jane Austen and Italo Calvino, and the sociology of Erving Goffman, provide convincing support for Becker’s argument: that every way of telling about society is perfect—for some purpose. The trick is, as Becker notes, to discover what purpose is served by doing it this way rather than that. With Becker’s trademark humor and eminently practical advice, Telling About Society is an ideal guide for social scientists in all fields, for artists interested in saying something about society, and for anyone interested in communicating knowledge in unconventional ways.
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Author: Wayne C. Booth,Gregory G. Colomb,Joseph M. Williams,Joseph Bizup,William T. FitzGerald

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022623987X

Category: Reference

Page: 336

View: 1613

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique. The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem. Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.
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Author: Kristin Luker

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674040384

Category: Social Science

Page: 333

View: 1184

This book is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science.
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How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article: Second Edition

Author: Howard S. Becker

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226041379

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 8416

Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressures—most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with them—often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer’s block. Sociologist Howard S. Becker has written the classic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago, Writing for Social Scientists has become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Becker’s message is clear: in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat. It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its “publish or perish” atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a “the way in which” when a simple “how” will do—all these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impediments—or at the very least, putting them aside for a few hours—we can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the “literature.” In this new edition, Becker takes account of major changes in the computer tools available to writers today, and also substantially expands his analysis of how academic institutions create problems for them. As competition in academia grows increasingly heated, Writing for Social Scientists will provide solace to a new generation of frazzled, would-be writers.
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A Manual for Research and Writing with Library and Internet Materials

Author: Andrew Abbott

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022616781X

Category: Reference

Page: 272

View: 7129

Today’s researchers have access to more information than ever before. Yet the new material is both overwhelming in quantity and variable in quality. How can scholars survive these twin problems and produce groundbreaking research using the physical and electronic resources available in the modern university research library? In Digital Paper, Andrew Abbott provides some much-needed answers to that question. Abbott tells what every senior researcher knows: that research is not a mechanical, linear process, but a thoughtful and adventurous journey through a nonlinear world. He breaks library research down into seven basic and simultaneous tasks: design, search, scanning/browsing, reading, analyzing, filing, and writing. He moves the reader through the phases of research, from confusion to organization, from vague idea to polished result. He teaches how to evaluate data and prior research; how to follow a trail to elusive treasures; how to organize a project; when to start over; when to ask for help. He shows how an understanding of scholarly values, a commitment to hard work, and the flexibility to change direction combine to enable the researcher to turn a daunting mass of found material into an effective paper or thesis. More than a mere how-to manual, Abbott’s guidebook helps teach good habits for acquiring knowledge, the foundation of knowledge worth knowing. Those looking for ten easy steps to a perfect paper may want to look elsewhere. But serious scholars, who want their work to stand the test of time, will appreciate Abbott’s unique, forthright approach and relish every page of Digital Paper.
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Author: Robert M. Emerson,Rachel I. Fretz,Linda L. Shaw

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226206866

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 2171

In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet. This new edition reflects the extensive feedback the authors have received from students and instructors since the first edition was published in 1995. As a result, they have updated the race, class, and gender section, created new sections on coding programs and revising first drafts, and provided new examples of working notes. An essential tool for budding social scientists, the second edition of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes will be invaluable for a new generation of researchers entering the field.
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The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies

Author: Robert S. Weiss

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781439106983

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 4163

Learning From Strangers is the definitive work on qualitative research interviewing. It draws on Robert Weiss's thirty years of experience in interviewing and teaching others how to do it. The most effective interviews, says Weiss, rely on creating cooperation -- an open and trusting alliance between interviewer and respondent, dedicated to specific and honest accounts of both internal and external events. Against the eclectic background of his work in national sample surveys, studies based on semi-structured interviewing, and participant observation, Weiss walks the reader through the method of qualitative interview studies: sample selection, development of an interview guide, the conduct of the interview, analysis, and preparation of the data. Weiss gives examples of successful and less successful interviews and offers specific techniques and guidelines for the practitioner.
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A Field Guide for Writers

Author: Philip Gerard

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022617994X

Category: Reference

Page: 240

View: 6855

All writers conduct research. For some this means poring over records and combing, archives but for many creative writers research happens in the everyday world—when they scribble an observation on the subway, when they travel to get the feel for a city, or when they strike up a conversation with an interesting stranger. The Art of Creative Research helps writers take this natural inclination to explore and observe and turn it into a workable—and enjoyable—research plan. It shows that research shouldn’t be seen as a dry, plodding aspect of writing. Instead, it’s an art that all writers can master, one that unearths surprises and fuels imagination. This lends authenticity to fiction and poetry as well as nonfiction. Philip Gerard distills the process into fundamental questions: How do you conduct research? And what can you do with the information you gather? He covers both in-person research and work in archives and illustrates how the different types of research can be incorporated into stories, poems, and essays using examples from a wide range of writers in addition to those from his own projects. Throughout, Gerard brings knowledge from his seasoned background into play, drawing on his experiences as a reporter and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His enthusiasm for adventure is infectious and will inspire writers to step away from the keyboard and into the world. “Research can take you to that golden intersection where the personal meets the public, the private crosses the universal, where the best literature lives,” Gerard writes. With his masterly guidance, anyone can become an expert in artful investigation.
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Reasoning From Cases

Author: Howard S. Becker

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022616652X

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 9308

In 1963, Howard S. Becker gave a lecture about deviance, challenging the then-conventional definition that deviance was inherently criminal and abnormal and arguing that instead, deviance was better understood as a function of labeling. At the end of his lecture, a distinguished colleague standing at the back of the room, puffing a cigar, looked at Becker quizzically and asked, “What about murder? Isn’t that really deviant?” It sounded like Becker had been backed into a corner. Becker, however, wasn’t defeated! Reasonable people, he countered, differ over whether certain killings are murder or justified homicide, and these differences vary depending on what kinds of people did the killing. In What About Mozart? What About Murder?, Becker uses this example, along with many others, to demonstrate the different ways to study society, one that uses carefully investigated, specific cases and another that relies on speculation and on what he calls “killer questions,” aimed at taking down an opponent by citing invented cases. Becker draws on a lifetime of sociological research and wisdom to show, in helpful detail, how to use a variety of kinds of cases to build sociological knowledge. With his trademark conversational flair and informal, personal perspective Becker provides a guide that researchers can use to produce general sociological knowledge through case studies. He champions research that has enough data to go beyond guesswork and urges researchers to avoid what he calls “skeleton cases,” which use fictional stories that pose as scientific evidence. Using his long career as a backdrop, Becker delivers a winning book that will surely change the way scholars in many fields approach their research.
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A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University

Author: Mark Kramer,Wendy Call

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1440628947

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 352

View: 9628

Inspiring stories and practical advice from America’s most respected journalists The country’s most prominent journalists and nonfiction authors gather each year at Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. Telling True Stories presents their best advice—covering everything from finding a good topic, to structuring narrative stories, to writing and selling your first book. More than fifty well-known writers offer their most powerful tips, including: • Tom Wolfe on the emotional core of the story • Gay Talese on writing about private lives • Malcolm Gladwell on the limits of profiles • Nora Ephron on narrative writing and screenwriters • Alma Guillermoprieto on telling the story and telling the truth • Dozens of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists from the Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and more . . . The essays contain important counsel for new and career journalists, as well as for freelance writers, radio producers, and memoirists. Packed with refreshingly candid and insightful recommendations, Telling True Stories will show anyone fascinated by the art of writing nonfiction how to bring people, scenes, and ideas to life on the page. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career

Author: Stephen B. Heard

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400881145

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 9078

The ability to write clearly is critical to any scientific career. The Scientist's Guide to Writing provides practical advice to help scientists become more effective writers so that their ideas have the greatest possible impact. Drawing on his own experience as a scientist, graduate adviser, and editor, Stephen Heard emphasizes that the goal of all scientific writing should be absolute clarity; that good writing takes deliberate practice; and that what many scientists need are not long lists of prescriptive rules but rather direct engagement with their behaviors and attitudes when they write. He combines advice on such topics as how to generate and maintain writing momentum with practical tips on structuring a scientific paper, revising a first draft, handling citations, responding to peer reviews, managing coauthorships, and more. In an accessible, informal tone, The Scientist's Guide to Writing explains essential techniques that students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career scientists need to write more clearly, efficiently, and easily. Emphasizes writing as a process, not just a product Encourages habits that improve motivation and productivity Explains the structure of the scientific paper and the function of each part Provides detailed guidance on submission, review, revision, and publication Addresses issues related to coauthorship, English as a second language, and more
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Heuristics for the Social Sciences

Author: Andrew Delano Abbott

Publisher: W. W. Norton

ISBN: 9780393978148

Category: Social Science

Page: 281

View: 8988

Abbott helps social science students discover what questions to ask. This exciting book is not about habits and the mechanics of doing social science research, but about habits of thinking that enable students to use those mechanics in new ways, by coming up with new ideas and combining them more effectively with old ones. Abbott organizes his book around general methodological moves, and uses examples from throughout the social sciences to show how these moves can open new lines of thinking. In each chapter, he covers several moves and their reverses (if these exist), discussing particular examples of the move as well as its logical and theoretical structure. Often he goes on to propose applications of the move in a wide variety of empirical settings. The basic aim of Methods of Discovery is to offer readers a new way of thinking about directions for their research and new ways to imagine information relevant to their research problems. Methods of Discovery is part of the Contemporary Societies series.
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The Insider's Guide to Avoiding Mistakes, Choosing the Right Program, Working with Professors, and Just How a Person Actually Writes a 200-Page Paper

Author: Jason R. Karp

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

ISBN: 1402247486

Category: Study Aids

Page: 224

View: 7961

How to Survive Your PhD is your insider's guide to avoiding mistakes, choosing the right program, working with professors, and just how a person actually writes a 200-page paper When you're getting your PhD, you never know what surprises to expect. But now, you can be prepared! How to Survive Your PhD is your step-by-step guide to the right way to tackle every part of the doctoral process. Getting your PhD is not an easy process, and the decisions you make before and during your doctoral work can mean the different between having a PhD in four years or eight, Jason Karp has been there and made the mistakes and he shows you just what to avoid, what you should be doing, and how to make the best use of your time and resources. Plus insider tips on: Choosing Your School Dealing with Finances Picking the Right Academic Advisor Researching the Dissertation Managing Your Time The Exams Tricks of the Trade The Defense And so much more
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Method and Substance

Author: Howard Saul Becker

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 9780878556304

Category: Psychology

Page: 358

View: 9559

The papers in this volume, including two important and previously unpublished essays on sociological method, represent most of Howard Beckers work of the past twenty years that has not appeared in book form. They reflect the way of thinking about society and how to study it that has established Professor Beckers place among the leading sociologists of our time. Th e result is an important statement of the distinctive theoretical and methodological views associated with the "Chicago School" of sociology, reflecting a deep concern with the study at first hand of the processes and human consequences of collective action and interaction. The first part of the book treats problems of method as problems of social interaction and lists a series of research problems, which require analytic attention-gaining access to research sites, choosing a theoretical framework within which to approach a group or community, avoiding error, and developing hypotheses. They also exemplify this approach by analyzing the interactional aspects of definition, proof with qualitative evidence, bias, and the value commitments of sociology. Part Two illustrates Professor Beckers approach through full reports on two of his major research projects. Part Th ree contains four theoretical statements on how people change (a sociological approach to what psychologists call "personality"), and Part Four makes important contributions to the study of deviance. The papers here ask what we can learn about American society from looking at its common forms of deviance and illustrate the need to study deviance as part of the general study of society, not as an isolated specialty.
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The Review of Academic Life

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Education, Higher

Page: N.A

View: 446

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Advice for Academics

Author: Joli Jensen

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022646184X

Category: Reference

Page: 192

View: 5919

With growing academic responsibilities, family commitments, and inboxes, scholars are struggling to fulfill their writing goals. A finished book—or even steady journal articles—may seem like an impossible dream. But, as Joli Jensen proves, it really is possible to write happily and productively in academe. Jensen begins by busting the myth that universities are supportive writing environments. She points out that academia, an arena dedicated to scholarship, offers pressures that actually prevent scholarly writing. She shows how to acknowledge these less-than-ideal conditions, and how to keep these circumstances from draining writing time and energy. Jensen introduces tools and techniques that encourage frequent, low-stress writing. She points out common ways writers stall and offers workarounds that maintain productivity. Her focus is not on content, but on how to overcome whatever stands in the way of academic writing. Write No Matter What draws on popular and scholarly insights into the writing process and stems from Jensen’s experience designing and directing a faculty writing program. With more than three decades as an academic writer, Jensen knows what really helps and hinders the scholarly writing process for scholars in the humanities, social sciences,and sciences. Cut down the academic sword of Damocles, Jensen advises. Learn how to write often and effectively, without pressure or shame. With her encouragement, writers of all levels will find ways to create the writing support they need and deserve.
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Getting Into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job

Author: Prosanta Chakrabarty

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470960418

Category: Education

Page: 175

View: 9651

Explains the academic career path and guides the reader on a successful path from undergraduate to Assistant Professor.
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