The Craft of Research Summary

The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb is a timeless classic that has helped generations of researchers learn how to conduct effective research since its first publication. It is one of my favourite research methodology books that I have been using throughout my doctoral studies and beyond.

The Craft of Research Summary

The Craft of Research is an essential guide to all researchers regardless of discipline and sector: business, government, undergraduate students, advanced graduate students, etc. The book is now in its fourth edition, one that has been revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald, and includes fresh examples and standardized terminology.

[Related: What Is Quantitative Research According to Creswell]

The book provides step-by-step guidance on how to find sources online and in libraries, anticipate reader reservations, integrate pieces into an argument to stand up to reader critique, and more. It is written in an accessible voice to make research skills available to all, making this edition of The Craft of Research a must-have for researchers of any level.

Some of the goals of The Craft of Research is to :

  • Guide you through the complexities of turning a topic or question into a research problem whose significance matches the efforts that you put into solving it.
  • Help you organize and draft a report that justifies the effort
  • Show you how to read your report as your readers  will so that you can revise into one that they will read with the understanding and respect it deserves.

Some of the key areas the authors touched on include :

  • How to turn a vague interest into a problem readers think is worth posing and solving
  • How to build an argument that motivates readers to take your claim seriously
  • How to anticipate the reservations of thoughtful but critical readers and then respond appropriately
  • How to create an introduction and a conclusion that answer that toughest of questions from readers
  • How to read your own writing as  readers will, and thereby know when and how to revise it.

Table of content

I. Research, Researchers, and Readers

1. Thinking in Print: The Uses of Research, Public and Private

2. Connecting with Your Reader: Creating a Role for Yourself and Your Readers

II. Asking Questions, Finding Answers

3. From Topics to Questions

4. From Questions to a Problem

5. From Problems to Sources

6. Engaging Sources

III. Making an Argument

7. Making Good Arguments: An Overview

8. Making Claims

9. Assembling Reasons and Evidence

10. Acknowledgments and Responses

11. Warrants

IV. Writing Your Argument

12. Planning and Drafting

13. Organizing Your Argument

14. Incorporating Sources

15. Communicating Evidence Visually

16. Introductions and Conclusions

17. Revising Style: Telling Your Story Clearly

V. Some Last Considerations

The Ethics of Research

A Postscript for Teachers

Appendix: Bibliographical Resources


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