Graduate students in general and those in Workforce Education & Development in particular are often frustrated when they are assigned the task of writing a research paper, thesis, or dissertation. After teaching a research methodology course for several years, the editors of Research Pathways have discovered a solution to resolve the frustration experienced by graduate students as they approach the writing stage of their academic degree program. Based upon the students' participation in the research colloquium, there has been expressed a tremendous need for a comprehensive handbook of this nature to describe and discuss a practical approach to writing those final graduate research reports. This handbook introduces a practical approach to writing research papers, theses, and dissertations in Workforce Education & Development, with examples and best practices for the practitioners and researchers.
Edgar I. Farmer is Associate Professor of Education in the Workforce Education & Development (WFED) program at Penn State University.
1 Foreword 2 Preface 3 Introduction: 4 The Why of Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Paradigmatic and Pragmatic Considerations 5 Finding a Researchable Topic 6 Dissertation Development: 7 Conducting an Extensive Review of the Literature 8 Elements of an Introduction Chapter 9 Theoretical or Conceptual Frameworks 10 Research Design: 11 Selecting an Appropriate Research Design 12 Mixed Methods Research Designs 13 Case Study Research 14 Focus Group Research 15 Designing Quantitative Research 16 Survey Research 17 Validity and Reliability Concerns of Data Collection Instruments 18 Data Analysis: 19 Determining Appropriate Sample Size 20 Research Using Available Data: Secondary Data Analysis 21 Analysis of Categorical Data with Chi-square and Log-linear Models 22 Analysis of Variance 23 Multiple Regression Analysis and Multiple Correlation Studies 24 Considerations for Statistical Significance Testing 25 Preparing the Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations Section 26 Tips on Proofreading and Editing 27 Subject Index 28 The Editors and Contributors