Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Craft of Research

Book: The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory C. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams

Description: With more than 400,000 copies now in print, The Craft of Research is the unrivaled resource for researchers at every level, from first-year undergraduates to research reporters at corporations and government offices.
Seasoned researchers and educators Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams present an updated third edition of their classic handbook, whose first and second editions were written in collaboration with the late Wayne C. Booth. The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, “So what?”
The third edition includes an expanded discussion of the essential early stages of a research task: planning and drafting a paper. The authors have revised and fully updated their section on electronic research, emphasizing the need to distinguish between trustworthy sources (such as those found in libraries) and less reliable sources found with a quick Web search. A chapter on warrants has also been thoroughly reviewed to make this difficult subject easier for researchers
Throughout, the authors have preserved the amiable tone, the reliable voice, and the sense of directness that have made this book indispensable for anyone undertaking a research project. (from

For a book with such an uninteresting-sounding title (although I do love research), this was a very interesting read. The authors' passion for research, especially well-done research, really shines through. They also point how vital research is to society--I've never seen the earth from space, so I don't know that it's round, but I trust the reliable people who've done research on the topic and tell me that it is. If people blatantly deceive with their research, society will suffer.

Their work also very much influenced by the that everything we do is really standing on work that others have done before us. Just really cool admission, and something I love to think about.

Probably the thing that I enjoyed the most about this book was that the authors' characters really came through--it wasn't just a bland "An introduction should have..." kind of book, but rather an engaging, witty work about how to really think about your own and others' research.

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