You are here

A Practical Introduction to Real-World Research

This practical text combines social research methods with coverage of statistical analysis to help students develop the applied research skills needed for future careers in public and private organizations, while also delivering a solid foundation for those going on to graduate school.

Throughout the book, the author offers a real-world example and then breaks it down into a decision tree, which helps lead students to a possible statistical decision (rather than starting with the statistic). This text gives students a toolbox of the most common and in-demand skills and demonstrates how those skills can be used to make the best research decisions. The book takes students through the entire real-world research process, from the formation of a research topic to measurement and sampling, to methods for gathering information and making sense of the data, and finally presenting to a non-academic audience in a way that “gets the job done.”  

Resources for instructors and students are available on an accompanying website for the book at:

Part I: Establishing the Issue
Chapter 1: Introduction to research
Chapter 2: Getting Started: Topics, Literature Reviews, and Hypotheses
Part II: Setting the Foundation for Observation
Chapter 3: Ethics in Research
Chapter 4: Measurement
Chapter 5: Sampling
Part III: Methods of Gathering Information
Chapter 6: Experiments
Chapter 7: Surveys
Chapter 8: Qualitative Approaches
Chapter 9: Evaluation Research
Part IV: Making Sense and Presenting the Information
Chapter 10: Preparing Quantitative Data
Chapter 11: Descriptive Statistics
Chapter 12: Confidence Intervals and One-Sample Hypothesis Testing
Chapter 13: Hypothesis Testing with Two or More Samples
Chapter 14: Finding the Degree of Association and Prediction
Chapter 15: Data Presentation and Writing Results
Chapter 16: Qualitative Analysis


Instructor Resource Site

For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative.

LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

The LMS cartridge makes it easy to import this title’s instructor resources into your learning management system (LMS). These resources include:
  • Test banks
  • Editable chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
Don’t use an LMS platform?

You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.
Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and datasets for use in SPSS and R.

I appreciate the clear language and the use of R. I also like the connections to Statistics as my students take both simultaneously.

Professor Melanie Taverna
Periodontics Dept, Univ Of Texas Hlth Sci Center
April 12, 2021

I never got this to consider for my class.

Dr Linda Loubert
Economics Dept, Morgan State University
February 12, 2021
Key features


  • Common methodologies that span a variety of social science arenas such as social work, criminal justice, mental health, and general sociology, prepare students for real-world research in their chosen fields.
  • Chapters relating to methodology include either a summary feature to aid in decision making and/or a section on common methodological challenges along with some suggestions for how to address these challenges in the real world.  
  • Decision trees throughout the book focus on a particular choice that researchers make in the course of their work and walk readers through the consequences and outcomes of each step.
  • A focus on how to make statistical decisions rather than on how to calculate the decided statistic by hand gives students the tools they need to analyze a greater variety of statistics.
  • Practical skills for sharing results formally or informally with colleagues and presenting research to different audiences, such as funding agencies, the media, or the general public, prepare students for their future careers.
  • A focus on statistical decisions and how to run the decided statistic in SPSS and R provides coverage of statistics that are useful in the real world.
  • A strong discussion of how to do a literature review helps students understand the structure of a scholarly paper.
  • Guidance on running the statistical tests covered in Chapters 11-14 in both SPSS and R is provided in an appendix, and GSS datasets prepared for importing into SPSS and R are included on the accompanying website.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site