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How to Do Your Research Project

How to Do Your Research Project
A Guide for Students

Third Edition
Additional resources:

July 2017 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How to Do Your Research Project continues to lead the way as an essential guide for anyone undertaking a research project in the applied social sciences. The new Third Edition of this best-selling title now includes further advice on concluding, writing, and presenting research, using social media and digital methods, and understanding how to effectively work with supervisors. Setting out a clear and detailed road map, author Gary Thomas guides the reader through the different stages of a research project, explaining key steps, and processes at each level in refreshingly jargon-free terms.

Readers will learn:
  • How to choose your research question
  • Project management and study skills
  • Effective literature reviews
  • Methodology, theory, and research design frames
  • Ethics and access
  • Data collection tools
  • Effective data analysis
  • Discussing findings, concluding, and writing up

Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class

Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more.

Starting Points: Your Introduction
Preparing: Project Management, Ethics and Getting Clearance
The Literature Review
Decide on Your Question - Again
Methodology Part 1: Deciding on an Approach
Methodology Part 2: The Design Frame
The Right Tools for the Job: Data Gathering
How to Analyse and Discuss the Information You Gather
Concluding and Writing Up

Gary’s book, never more than a metre away, has been my indispensable research companion. With its easy layout, my well-worn copy, stripy with florescent marker and pencilled notes, has been my go-to, on-hand supervisor throughout my degree and has taken the distance out of distance learning. It replaces daunting and impossible with clarity and entertainment. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it; it has been my gateway to achievement. 

Ellie Davies Moore
distance learner in Multi-Sensory Impairment at the University of Birmingham

This book is in my view the best around on doing educational and social science research. It is refreshingly different from other research methods books; it is very readable, engaging and accessible for those without a social science background--rigorous and scholarly and full of helpful advice and guidance, and the updated interactive website is a real bonus. A joy to engage with, and I recommend it highly. 

Peter Earley
Professor of Educational Leadership and Management, University College London Institute of Education

It is a great delight that Gary Thomas has now updated this book for its third edition. Of the many books that seek to support students in undertaking their projects, this is the most accessible and clearest, whilst maintaining the highest standards of scholarly rigour - and it is also the funniest!  Thomas really does show how undertaking research in education and social sciences can be a real pleasure.

Ian Menter
Emeritus Professor of Teacher Education, University of Oxford

This excellent resource builds on the many strengths of previous editions and is accessible, comprehensive and extremely practical.  Offering fresh information and useful advice and guidance, it demystifies the world of research. Highly recommended for new and experienced researchers alike! 

John Lalor
Department of Policy and Practice, Dublin City University

I use this book for undergraduate and postgraduate students projects, but even seasoned researchers can find some useful tips in this book.  Gary Thomas demystifies research and makes its various components easy to understand.  From identifying the research topic, through practical advice on writing the literature review, choosing the right design, analysing data and writing up the research report – the book makes research easy.  The students like the textbook because the concepts are presented in accessible way and with some dose of humour.

Anna Oksiutycz
Strategic Communication, University of Johannesburg

Laid out in clear structure for students completing projects. Clear examples support the writing. A fantastic resource for dissertation and Master's students.

Mr Matt Wilkinson
Department of Education, University of The West of England
January 22, 2021

This is an excellent text book. We have made it the prescribed text for two of these research units.

Jenny Kelly
School of Health, Medical and Applied Science, Central Queensland University - Cairns Campus
January 28, 2020

This new edition is even better than the old one! The text is highly accessible and an excellent tool for students in education to successfully complete their dissertation project. The online student and teacher resources are very useful both for independent study, teaching and in-class activities.

Mrs Marijke Ellis
Teacher Education Department, Carshalton College
September 15, 2017

Well written and easy to read. This book presents complex processes in a way that is easy for students to understand and follow.

Professor Jacqueline Mack-Harris
Psychology and Counseling Dept, Hope International University
January 4, 2018

An informative and very helpful introduction to all aspects of research.

Mrs Isobel Townsend
School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
August 18, 2017
Key features
  • Additional advice on concluding, writing, and presenting research, using social media and digital methods, and understanding how to effectively work with supervisors
  • Supported by an interactive website featuring worksheets, videos, SAGE Journal articles, and more