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Price: $72.95

Paperback 320 pp.
84 figures; 50 tables (all B&W), 6" x 9"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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The Research Process

Canadian Edition, Third Edition

Gary D. Bouma, Rod Ling and Lori Wilkinson

Now in its third Canadian edition, The Research Process continues to provide a concise and accessible introduction to qualitative and quantitative methods used in the social sciences. Covering the mechanisms step-by-step, from designing and implementing a study to analyzing results and reporting findings, its practical approach makes The Research Process an indispensable resource for students of any discipline that investigates the ways the human world works.

Readership : This concise introduction to research methods is suited to a variety of courses in the social sciences offered through departments such as political science, health sciences, geography, and nursing that provide an overview of the research process.


  • "While all research texts delineate the steps of the research process, Bouma, Ling, and Wilkinson have used the process itself as the scaffolding for their text; this organizational feature causes the steps, and all that the student is required to understand at each step, to unfold in a remarkably logical and accessible manner."
    --Murray Holtby, Mount Royal University

  • "I like that [The Research Process] uses a straightforward approach backed up with examples. It's easy to read, easy to understand."
    --April Girard-Brown, Algonquin College

1. How We Know What We Know and How We Know We Know
Research as a Way of Life
Answering Our Questions
Consulting an Authority as a Way of Knowing
Research as a Way of Knowing
2. Research as a Way of Knowing
Research as a Process
Research as a Discipline
Theory and Data
3. Selecting a Problem
Starting Points
The Literature Review
Narrowing and Clarifying the Problem
Stating the Problem
4. Qualitative or Quantitative Research Where Do I Begin?
What Is Qualitative Research?
When to Use Qualitative Research
What Is Quantitative Research?
Which Is Better: Qualitative or Quantitative?
5. Selecting Variables
Concepts and Variables
Finding Variables for Concepts: Hypotheses
Finding Variables for Concepts: Research Objectives
The Question of Validity
An Overview of the Research Process
6. Finding a Variable's Measurements
The Logic of Measurement
Variable Measurement in the Social and Behavioural Sciences
Using Observation to Measure Variables
Using Interview Guides and Questionnaires to Measure Variables
Examining Records and Publications to Measure Variables
7. Selecting a Research Design
Qualitative or Quantitative Which Approach Should You Use?
How Do You Choose a Research Design?
1. The Case Study
2. The Longitudinal Study
3. The Comparison Study
4. The Longitudinal Comparison Study
5. The Experiment
Controlling the Influence of Other Variables
8. Selecting a Sample
How to Select a Sample?
Types of Sampling Procedure
Determining Sample Size
9. Ethics in Human Research
The Ethics of Research
Formal Ethical Review of Research
Special Ethical Issues in Qualitative and Secondary Data Research
Ending the Research Project
10. Making Notes, Organizing Data, and Constructing Bibliographies
Attention to Detail
Keeping a Research Journal
Maintaining a Bibliography
Recording Notes
Data Collection Sheets
11. Summarizing and Presenting Data in Quantitative Research
12. Presenting Results Using Qualitative Research
The Qualitative Research Process
Phase 1: Essential First Steps
Phase 2: Collecting, Summarizing, and Organizing Data
Phase 3: Analyzing Data
13. Drawing Conclusions
What Did You Ask?
What Did You Find?
What Exactly Do You Conclude?
To Whom Do Your Conclusions Apply
14. Reporting Your Research
What Is Worth Reporting?
A General Outline
Appendix: Final Report: The Job Search Experiences of Immigrant and New Generation Youth in Winnipeg
Online Appendix: Table of Random Numbers

Instructor's Manual
Online Appendix: Table of Random Numbers
For each chapter:
- Chapter summary
- 4-5 suggested class activities
- Learning challenges
- Additional resources:
-- NEW! Relevant video links added where appropriate
- 1-2 Canadian examples for discussion
Test Bank
For each chapter:
- 20-25 multiple choice questions
- 20-25 true-or-false questions
- 5 short answer questions
- Answer key
Student Study Guide
Online Appendix: Table of Random Numbers
For each chapter:
- Chapter summary
- Glossary of key terms
- 10-15 multiple choice practice questions with answer key
- 5 short answer questions with answer key
E-Book (ISBN 9780199018611)

Gary D. Bouma is an emeritus professor of sociology at Monash University, Australia.

Rod Ling is a research fellow at the Hunter Valley Research Foundation.

Lori Wilkinson is professor and associate dean in the sociology department at the University of Manitoba, where she teaches courses in ethnic relations, Canadian society and culture, introduction to research methods, and survey research methods. She is an internationally recognized expert on immigration and refugee studies, in particular on immigrant youths' adaption to the Canadian economic and educational experience. Her commitment to her department, faculty, university, students, and community was recognized in 2008, when she was the recipient of the Faculty of Arts Professor of the Year award. Lori is also involved with the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) and is currently working on updating the organization's ethics guidelines. She most recently co-authored a new introductory statistics text for OUP titled Understanding Social Statistics: A Student's Guide to Navigating the Maze (published February 2015).

Social Research Methods - Alan Bryman and Edward Bell
Understanding Social Statistics - Lance W. Roberts, Jason Edgerton, Tracey Peter and Lori Wilkinson
Qualitative Research in Action - Deborah K. van den Hoonaard
SPSS Virtual Teaching Assistant - Hannah Scott
The Methods Coach - Lance W. Roberts, Karen Kampen and Tracey Peter
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • Accessible and concise--assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and uses clear language and straightforward explanations, offering students a unique and practical introduction to methods.
  • Practical, step-by-step approach guides students through every step of the research process.
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods are integrated throughout, explaining how each approach is used to gather evidence for understanding the social world.
  • Non-statistical, non-mathematical explanations of the essential logic of research, enabling novice students to effectively prepare proposals and conduct research.
  • Canadian case studies, examples, and data, as well as coverage of relevant research methods information--specifically, the unique ethical issues faced by Canadian researchers--ensure this is an essential resource for students in this country.
  • Interdisciplinary--with examples and content applicable to a variety of social science disciplines--this text is suitable for courses in sociology, political science, geography, health sciences, and nursing.
New to this Edition
  • Expanded qualitative research coverage on topics such as qualitative data collection strategies (Ch. 4), why research objectives are used in qualitative research (Ch. 5), and new case study boxes demonstrating real-world Canadian qualitative research (Ch. 12).
  • New In Focus boxes explore key topics--such as assessing internet sources for credibility (Ch. 1), primary versus secondary research (Ch. 4), and power dynamics in research (Ch. 9)--to help students make connections between theoretical concepts and real-world applications.
  • Fully revised and updated with new and expanded Canadian content, examples, readings, ethics coverage, and research to provide current, relevant, and engaging material for Canadian students.
  • New critical thinking questions, added as part of the review questions in each chapter, prompt students to analyze the concepts under discussion.
  • Updated glossary of key research terms at the end of each chapter help students grasp the material and prepare for tests and assignments.