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Paperback The Craft of Research, 2nd edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) Book

ISBN: 0226065685

ISBN13: 9780226065687

The Craft of Research, 2nd edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

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Book Overview

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,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The best guide to research and writing on the market today

I read this book about a month before I submitted my dissertation (in U.S. history) and it convinced me to completely rewrite my introduction. That experience left me kicking myself for thinking I was too advanced for these sorts of guides and for not consulting this book earlier. The sections on formulating a topic (how to turn a general interest into a question/problem to be researched) and warrants (how to match claims to evidence) are especially helpful. Make no mistake about it, this book can help researchers at all levels, and I have had many students, both undergraduate and graduate, tell me how happy they were that they took my advice to read this book.

Excellent resource

Although there are many books on writing research or term papers, I have not found anything else which brings together material on planning, reasoning and writing the research paper as well as this book. Ignore any reviewers who make this book out to be a simplistic text. It is an excellent work on well reasoned writing that even most graduate students can benefit greatly from reading. As a professor of a graduate class on Research and Writing, I have recommended and required this book for several years. The book guides the reader from an idea of a topic, to defining a question, to formulating the conceptually signifcant research problem. It briefly covers finding, evaluating and using primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. Then a major portion of the book is devoted to understanding effective reasoning in the writing process. This is based quite a bit on professor Stephen Toulmin's practical approach to effective reasoning and argumentation. The Craft of Research diagrams and explains claims, reasons, evidence and warrants. It has detailed illustrations of warrants and when to use them, as well as how to challenge them. The book has other sections on organizing, drafting,and revising a paper. It also has a chapter on communicating information visually using tables, graphs and charts. Rather than focusing on the simple mechanics or obvious steps in writing a serious research paper, this book concentrates on the more difficult tasks of clearly defining the conceptual problem and addressing it with in depth, effective reasoning.

Not just for dissertations

I used this book as the text for a freshman-sophomore course, Introduction to Christian Academics. It is very clearly written, and the information it presents will help anyone understand what they are reading. It is not just for people writing dissertations. To understand and to be able to analyze what you read, you need to know how arguments are constructed -- what constitutes evidence, what are the steps of reasoning, what is the role of the warrant of an argument. My students liked the book a lot. We later used it as a reference in a graduate course. It was worthwhile there, too. This book is one of the half dozen or so that belong on the desk of every person who is serious about what he reads and about what he writes.

Mandatory for all researchers

This is a great book on writing a research report, useful for both beginners and seasoned researchers. It walks you through all the phases of your research project, starting from picking up your topic, through the actual research, note-taking, to writing up your findings, down to sentence level structure and style. For me a most useful part of the book was the beginning: finding a topic, defining your research problem, qualifying it, and determining your warrants; especially revealing was the relationship between your research problem and a wider body of theory, and how you must be explicit about your "warrants" to make a real contribution to "knowledge" or to "solving a practical problem." Even though I had read many other books on writing such as "The Clockwork Muse" or "Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day" none was as explicit as this one on how to combine both Research and Writing (the other books assume that writing a research project entails a progressive, smooth process: you pick a topic, you research it, and you write up your conclusions/findings), nothing farther from the truth; as I learned from painful experience and as was made explicit by this book, to my relief, a research project is a dynamic process in which research and writing go together; they complement and reinforce each other. This book teaches you just how to do this and it was the greatest lesson I learned.

Excellent book for writers of HS to doctorate research paper

"The Craft of Research" offers researchers practical and clear suggestions for organizing papers. Although somewhat geared for professional writers, it can also be used by high school students writing their first research paper. The authors offer step-by-step formulas for making and evaluating proposed 'claims.' They also include tips that relate to the prior chapter. Another important area covered by Booth, Colomb and Williams is drafting and revision. More clear, step-by-step techniques make this section an important tool for writers. Using their techniques, a writer easily identifies possible problems with arguements or organization. However, the discussion of warrants in "The Craft of Research" is difficult to follow. Since warrants are many times infered but not stated in day-to-day conversations, it is difficult topic to comprehend by novice writers. The authors attempt to explain warrants through examples, clear terms and illustrations. Although the explanation of a warrant (evidence supporting a claim) is successful, the illustrations of warrants is muddied and the logic sometimes hard to comprehend. "The Craft of Research" is an excellent tool for writers of all ages and experience levels. Its guidelines and suggestions, when followed, will produce clearer, cohesive papers and books. Writers should find a spot on the shelf for this book next to 'Miss Kate' (Turabian) as an essential writing and style guide.
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