The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

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9780226065830: The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

This manual offers practical advice on the fundamentals of research to college and university students in all fields of study. The Craft of Research teaches much more than the mechanics of fact gathering: it explains how to approach a research project as an analytical process. The authors chart every stage of research, from finding a topic and generating research questions about it to marshalling evidence, constructing arguments, and writing everything up in a final report that is a model of authority. Their advice is designed for use by both beginners and seasoned practitioners, and for projects from class papers to dissertations.

This book is organized into four parts. Part One is a spirited introduction to the distinctive nature, values, and protocols of research. Part Two demystifies the art of discovering a topic. It outlines a wide range of sources, among them personal interests and passions. Parts Three and Four cover the essentials of argument—how to make a claim and support it—and ways to outline, draft, revise, rewrite, and polish the final report. Part Three is a short course in the logic, structure, uses, and common pitfalls of argumentation. The writing chapters in Part Four show how to present verbal and visual information effectively and how to shape sentences and paragraphs that communicate with power and precision.

"A well-constructed, articulate reminder of how important fundamental questions of style and approach, such as clarity and precision, are to all research."—Times Literary Supplement

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Review:

Skillfully done, research can be the solid cornerstone of your term paper (or dissertation, essay, or article); inadequately executed, it can cause your whole project to crumble and fall. Yet essential as research is to the ultimate success of your work, performing it is not an innate talent. The precepts, steps, and skills of solid research are readily acquired if you spend some time with The Craft of Research before you start on your outlines and thesis statements. Written by three distinguished professors in 1995, published by the University of Chicago, and winner of the 1995-96 Critics' Choice Award, The Craft of Research teaches how to plan, carry out, and report on research for any field and at any level. Aimed at assisting student researchers, from raw beginners to accomplished graduate and professional students, the book shows how to choose a topic, plan and organize research, and how to draft and revise a report of findings such that a convincing solution is offered to a significant problem.

The Craft of Research is more than just another instruction manual getting you from topic to outline to notes to report. Recognizing that good research is rarely a simple, sequential procedure, but is instead a complex and intricate process, it discusses the subtle ways in which asking questions about your topic can influence how you draft your report, how a quality introduction can send you back to the library, and how the process of drafting can highlight flaws in your argument that need to be addressed. Clear and explicit, sophisticated and practical, The Craft of Research encourages high standards of scholarly achievement, and spells out the steps by which to get there. --Stephanie Gold

From the Inside Flap:

Since 1995, more than 150,000 students and researchers have turned to The Craft of Research for clear and helpful guidance on how to conduct research and report it effectively . Now, master teachers Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams present a completely revised and updated version of their classic handbook.

Like its predecessor, this new edition reflects the way researchers actually work: in a complex circuit of thinking, writing, revising, and rethinking. It shows how each part of this process influences the others and how a successful research report is an orchestrated conversation between a researcher and a reader. Along with many other topics, The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of thoughtful yet critical readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, "So what?"

Celebrated by reviewers for its logic and clarity, this popular book retains its five-part structure. Part 1 provides an orientation to the research process and begins the discussion of what motivates researchers and their readers. Part 2 focuses on finding a topic, planning the project, and locating appropriate sources. This section is brought up to date with new information on the role of the Internet in research, including how to find and evaluate sources, avoid their misuse, and test their reliability.

Part 3 explains the art of making an argument and supporting it. The authors have extensively revised this section to present the structure of an argument in clearer and more accessible terms than in the first edition. New distinctions are made among reasons, evidence, and reports of evidence. The concepts of qualifications and rebuttals are recast as acknowledgment and response. Part 4 covers drafting and revising, and offers new information on the visual representation of data. Part 5 concludes the book with an updated discussion of the ethics of research, as well as an expanded bibliography that includes many electronic sources.

The new edition retains the accessibility, insights, and directness that have made The Craft of Research an indispensable guide for anyone doing research, from students in high school through advanced graduate study to businesspeople and government employees. The authors demonstrate convincingly that researching and reporting skills can be learned and used by all who undertake research projects.

New to this edition:

Extensive coverage of how to do research on the internet, including how to evaluate and test the reliability of sources

New information on the visual representation of data

Expanded bibliography with many electronic sources

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