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Library of Congress Control Number: Preface [Page vii] The purpose of this book is to assist students working at an advanced level with learning what it might mean to be critical and how to become a more critical consumer of literature in a particular area of enquiry.
It is addressed directly to students participating in masters and doctoral level programmes. The material may be studied independently by individuals and also incorporated into the formal input of a programme as a source of critical reading and writing exercises supported by tutors and supervisors.
Undergraduate students, postgraduates pursuing vocational programmes and their tutors will also find useful the guidance on learning to be critical. Programme tutors and supervisors may also use the material as sources of critical review activities and assessed assignments, models of research, including some that are small-scale, to inform the planning of empirically based dissertations and theses, and research-based information on various substantive topics in the area covered.
The book is divided into three parts. Students are offered guidance in Part 1 on how critically to read literature in their area of study and how to build a critical approach to literature into their writing, whether of assignments, dissertation or thesis.
A structured approach to the critical analysis of a single text is offered which is linked to two exercises in critically reviewing, respectively either one or several texts on the same topic. Consideration is given to the process of conducting such small-scale research and of developing the written account of it that is eventually presented for examination.
Throughout Part 1, we indicate where readers may find a relevant example among the accounts in Parts 2 and 3. Part 2 consists of research reports written for publication rather than examination by leading academics in the field of enquiry.
They provide extensive examples of an important type of literature. Students are invited to practise their critical reviewing skills on them. The research reports represent models of good practice in researching and report writing that may inform students' own investigations.
But as with all research studies, it is legitimate for students and others to ask how convincing are these authors' arguments, their more detailed claims about what they have found out, and any recommendations they may offer for practice.
Here, too, it is legitimate to consider how far the reviewers' claims to knowledge embodied in their argument are convincing. Together, the reports and the review make up a collection that is international in scope, displaying different national contexts, foci, research designs, methods of data collection and analysis, and styles of reporting.
Finally, there are two appendices. The first provides reference to selected additional sources of information. The second consists of a blank form for analysing a single text that students may wish to photocopy or to use as the basis for creating a template on their computer. We wish to acknowledge the contributions of all those whose collaborative efforts made this book possible.
The authors of chapters for Parts 2 and 3 are all busy academics who were nevertheless willing to squeeze in the time required to draft and revise their chapters to a tight deadline. Ray Bolam's ideas strongly influenced our thinking in shaping the content of Part 1, though of course we take full responsibility for what we have done with them.
Feedback from the students who have tried out materials connected with Part 1 within their coursework has proved invaluable in informing the development of this component of the book. Katherine Raithby, of the support staff at the University of Bath, provided very timely help with the exacting task of unifying the format of the many computer files that, in combination, constituted the manuscript.
Useful Sources of Guidance [Page ] The following books are sources of guidance on reviewing literature and other aspects of research relevant to conducting a small-scale investigation. The annotated list is by no means comprehensive: However, these texts are a useful starting point for doctoral and masters projects.
This book has become a well-known text for first-time researchers in education. It serves as a guide to practice for the novice researcher embarking on masters or doctoral study. It takes a step-by-step approach to the research process and the writing up and presentation of a project.
There are plentiful examples of research practice and also helpful checklists to help readers monitor the progress of their projects.
The book aims to help students to evaluate research and is clear and straightforward. It is more strongly focused on measurement than other methodologies and research designs.
This is a new edition of a book that many masters and doctoral students have found useful. It is primarily about the practice and experience of doing small-scale research in social science.
There are sections on using Internet sources for literature searches and for other aspects of the research process. Something of a classic among the research methodology textbooks in education, this book is comprehensive, covering a wide range of approaches to research.Business Administration Essay Examples.
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