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Action Research

Action Research

Fourth Edition

Community is not a place. It is a state of mind.

June 2013 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Fourth Edition of Ernest T. Stringer’s best-selling Action Research offers easy-to-follow, clear guidelines that enable novice practitioner researchers to move comfortably through a process of inquiry and applied research. Featuring real-life examples and providing effective solutions that foster understanding of research procedures in real-life contexts, the book offers a simple but highly effective model for approaching action research:

  • Look: building a picture and gathering information,
  • Think: interpreting and explaining, and
  • Act: resolving issues and problems.

Using his own experience as a guide, Stringer encourages readers to grapple with the broader political and ethical challenges that frame each inquiry. The author’s engaging style makes the book especially relevant to those working with children, young adults, or people in community contexts, and is particularly relevant to those dealing with issues of diversity or with marginalized and disenfranchised groups. Clear, concise, and practical, Stringer’s accessible and engaging book is a must for students and professionals in educational, business, health, counseling, and social work settings.

Egon G. Guba
About the Author
1. Research in Professional and Public Life
2. The Theory Behind the Practice
3. Setting the Stage: Planning a Research Process
4. Look: Gathering Data
5. Think: Reflection and Analysis
6. Act: Action Plans -- Implementing Sustainable Solutions
7. Strategic Planning
8. Reports: Informing Stakeholders
9. Action Research and the Internet

“It is an excellent resource for teaching Action Research to both graduate and undergraduate students.”

Hollyce Giles
Guilford College - Greensboro

“…I very much like the book and its approach/philosophy/guiding principles…”

Pamela L. Clark
Plymouth State University - Plymouth

“…[W]ell done and certainly the most readable and authoritative [book] on the topic of action research I have seen…As an educator, I found much useful insight in the text and I would certainly recommend it to doctoral students doing research that would benefit from the broader view…”

Louis H. Berry
University Of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh

This text provides a clear overview of the applications for Action Research. It also provides useful points to consider when students are questioned about the legitimacy of this type of research as research. For students who are newly engaging with research through practice, this text provides some very useful tips about which skills they are engaging with and applying as well as questions to consider when planning research. Because this text captures how action research can be conducted through systematic inquiry, students are able to also begin to understand how their own emerging practice and reflection upon it can situate within a research paradigm in a clear and strategic manner.

Ms Lorraine Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
April 24, 2017

Good book provided a great understanding of AR for the learners and great read!

Miss Steph Jayne Commons
Early years & Education Dept, Barnsley College
August 2, 2017

It contributes the field of action research in an easy way. It presents knowledge in real life contexts. It provides simple guidelines how to solve problems in three stages: Look, Think, and Act. These steps make the action research process easier to do.

Mr Gurkan Tabak
Turkish Language Teaching Department, Erciyes Universitesi
October 15, 2015

A very good book. Library will order.

Mrs Sian Helena Lewis
Dept of AACTS - School of STEPS, Ystrad Mynach College
October 6, 2015

Great book that will assist our students with the background necessary to pursue a career in pacticioner based research

Dr Brian Johnston
Global Sport Leadership, East Tennessee State Univ
May 26, 2015

This is an excellent text for those students wishing to undertake an action research project for their dissertation. As many of our students are doing research in their own work place or Trade Union, this is a good opportunity for them to learn about how research can be immediately relevant and important, and part of a broader process of change and renewal in the Labour Movement.

The text takes the student through the process of research, and then has sections on case studies to illustrate how this can be done. This is useful as it allows some insight into what an action research project might look like. The examples are, however, relatively limited, and it might be good to have a web-link with examples of other (perhaps more political) research? It is written accessibly and the layout is also easy to follow. The addition of internet resources is also very good - although I imagine this will quickly go out of date and will need regular review.

Dr Fenella Porter
Department of Labour Studies, Ruskin College Oxford
December 17, 2014

Didn't fit the content of my online course very well. For the course, I did adopt a Sage Interactive eBook, "Introduction to Criminology" by Pamela J. Schram and Stephen G. Tibbetts. (ISBN 978-1-4833-0020-7)

Mr Christopher Dunn
Criminal Justice Program, Bowling Green State University
September 26, 2014
Key features


  • A new chapter illustrates ways that social media (including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Second Life, Photovoice, and others) can be used to enhance action research processes.
  • A completely revised chapter two now includes a full treatment of the theoretical and conceptual basis of action research.
  • An updated review of the action research literature includes the latest studies, along with commentary that helps readers understand the diversity of perspectives presented.
  • An expanded appendix includes four case studies that provide more diverse examples of different types of formal reports.


  • Biographical Bulletins punctuate the text to clarify meaning and to increase understanding of relevant facets of the research process.
  • Case studies and real life examples illustrate a wide range of action research applications, making it easy for the reader to relate to their research.
  • A compelling narrative sparks ideas, discussions, and reflection on how to better link theory and practice through action research.
  • In-text learning aids, including summary boxes at strategic points in each chapter, an outline for writing a draft report, and chapter-ending summaries and exercises, reinforce the material and assist the reader with adapting it to their research.
  • Appendices and Web links provide access to cutting-edge information on action research, ensuring the most up-to-date resources.

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ISBN: 9781452205083