We live in a time when there is more knowledge available to us than ever before. Yet we struggle to make sense of it. When a research deadline looms and all you see is a confusing fog of data, you know you need help. In this sixth edition of Research Strategies, author William Badke helps you make sense of it all. He will show you how to navigate the information fog intelligently, and he will detail how to use it to your advantage to become a better researcher. Badke focuses on informational research and provides a host of tips and advices not only for conducting research, but also for everything from finding a topic to writing an outline to locating high quality, relevant resources to finishing the final draft. Study guides, practice exercises, and assignments at the end of each chapter will help reinforce the lessons. As an experienced researcher who has led thousands of students to ramp up their research abilities, Badke uses humor to help you gain a better understanding of today's world of complex technological information. Research Strategies provides the skills and strategies to efficiently and effectively complete a research project from topic to final product.
Everyone does research. Some just do it better than others. This book is definitely for you if you are: a university student whose research projects have been patented as a cure for insomnia a Dilbert of industry who's been told to do a feasibility study on the expansion potential of winter ice cream bar sales in Nome, Alaska a simple honest person trying to find the truth behind the advertising so that the next car you buy won't be like your last disaster-mobile, the car that made you persona non grata at the automobile association Are you ready for your next research project? Really ready? Do you have the skills and strategies to get the job done efficiently and effectively without panic attacks and the need for a long vacation when you're done? Do you have confidence that you can start with a topic about which you know nothing and end with an understanding of it that is neither trite nor superficial? Are you prepared to enjoy the experience? [Yes, I did say "enjoy."] If the previous paragraph has left you feeling somewhat queasy, this book is for you. Even if you think you have significant research skills, you can learn better ones if you take the time to read on. You have the privilege of living in the information age, with boundless opportunities all around you to find out anything about anything. But faced with a serious number of Internet sites, not to mention academic and commercial databases of increasing size and complexity, knowing how to navigate through the information fog isn't something you can pick up easily on your own. Truth to tell, there is a ton of studies telling us that most people have vastly higher opinions about their research ability than actual tests of that ability can demonstrate. Yet you can hardly call yourself educated if you don't have really good skills to handle complex information systems and do research effectively, not in a world in which most careers are built more on what you can find out than what you already know. Who am I to try to teach you about research? Just someone who has taught the strategies in this book to thousands of anxious university students, both undergraduate and graduate, for over 30 years (making me a dinosaur?), and who likes nothing better than to walk people through the information fog. I am Associate Librarian for Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Information Literacy at Trinity Western University. Being the author of a number of books and scholarly articles myself (see my bio at http://williambadke.com/badke.htm), you can rest assured that I've devoted a lot of my life to doing research and not just teaching it. So I understand what you're going through. One caution: This book is about informational research. It won't teach you how to do a science experiment or determine the best way to train a rat how to ride a tiny bicycle (though it will help you do a literature review). But if you need to identify a problem, and then acquire and use information to address the problem, this book is for you. Learning how to do research does not have to be painful. It can be fun. Honestly. Personally, research gives me so much pleasure that my family has to kidnap me out of the library whenever they want to go on an outing or buy groceries. You can have the same joy that I have. Read on.
William Badke is Associate Librarian for Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Information Literacy at Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Canada. Since the mid-1980s, he has taught research skills to undergraduate and graduate students. His extensive publications have been recognized for their contribution to the developing discipline of information literacy. Visit him online at williambadke.com.