Conditions of Use
The textbook covers most areas of research methods in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Like other textbooks, each chapter identifies the learning objectives and showed it in the beginning. At the end of each chapter, there are... read more
The textbook covers most areas of research methods in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Like other textbooks, each chapter identifies the learning objectives and showed it in the beginning. At the end of each chapter, there are several discussion questions for students. Each chapter is comfortable to follow and addresses all the learning objectives to provide a straightforward response to the discussion questions. In addition, each chapter covers ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index, key terms, and glossary.
Content is accurate and it is easy to read and follow.
Each chapter addresses fundamental concepts and techniques that students should know about research methods in social sciences. The book is published in 2022, indicating that content is up-to-date.
The text is simple and well-written, and content is informative and straight-forward.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The author did a great job in providing summary at the end of the chapter that tied along with the learning objectives that are provided at the beginning of the chapter.
There are five parts in the textbook and each part is easily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (please see the Table of Contents). Personally, chapter 4 and 5 covers relevant information, but they could have gone more in depth when describing the different techniques along with a variety of research examples.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical and clear fashion. The logical organization carries students through the sequence of the research process. As an instructor, I like the organization that is flexible and helps students better understand the fundamental research skills in criminal justice.
Personally, I would suggest the author to add more photos/images/charts to give examples of what each objective talk about on each chapter. It would help the reader to figure out some methodological techniques with a visual representation. Nonetheless, the text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.
There are no typos or technical/grammatical errors that I am aware of in the textbook.
The text is not culturally insensitive and offensive as the text discuss mainly about research methods. Some examples in the textbooks are children and family.
Overall, this book contains information that could help students understand the knowledge about methodological terms and skills. This book would be suitable for undergraduate methods courses in most social sciences.
Table of Contents
I. Thinking Like a Researcher
- 1. Scientific Research
- 2. Paradigms, Theories, and Research
- 3. Ethics in Research
II. Research Design
- 4. Research questions
- 5. Research approaches and goals
- 6. Research methodologies
- 7. Measurement
- 8. Sampling
III. Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis Techniques
- 9. Focus groups
- 10. Field research
- 11. Qualitative data analysis
IV. A Qualitative and Quantitative Data Collection Technique
- 12. Interviews
V. Quantitative Data Collection and Analysis Techniques
- 13. Surveys
- 14. Experiments
- 15. Quantitative data analysis
About the Book
This book is based on two open-access textbooks: Bhattacherjee’s (2012) Social science research: Principles, methods, and practices and Blackstone’s (2012) Principles of sociological inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative methods. I first used Bhattacherjee’s book in a graduate-level criminal justice research methods course. I chose the book because it was an open educational resource that covered the major topics of my course. While I found the book adequate for my purposes, the business school perspective did not always fit with my criminal justice focus. I decided to rewrite the textbook for undergraduate and graduate students in my criminal justice research methods courses. As I researched other open- educational resources for teaching social science research methods, I found Blackstone’s book, which covered more of the social science and qualitative methods perspectives that I wanted to incorporate into my book.
As a result, this open-access textbook includes some content from both previous works along with my own additions based on my extensive experience and expertise in conducting qualitative and quantitative research in social science settings and in mentoring students through the research process. My Ph.D. is in Sociology, and I currently teach undergraduates and graduate students in a criminal justice program at Weber State University. Throughout my career, I have conducted and published the results of research projects using a variety of methods, including surveys, case studies, in-depth interviews, participant observation, content analysis, and secondary analysis of quantitative data. I have also mentored undergraduates in conducting community-based research projects using many of these same methods with the addition of focus groups and program evaluations.
About the Contributors
Monica Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Weber State University