In the eleventh edition of Understanding Research Methods: An Overview of the Essentials, Newhart and Patten leverage the principles of learning and content design to present the fundamentals students need to get started in research. Basics of quantitative and qualitative research are covered in short, independent topics and grouped into meaningful sections.

A perennial bestseller for over ten editions, Understanding Research Methods focuses concisely on key concepts, and lessons in topics that are "chunked" to suit today’s students. Each topic ends with suggestions for planning a research project by answering topic-specific prompts in a research planning journal. Topic Review exercises encourage active learning. Finally, Topics for Discussion suggest open-ended prompts that could serve as conversation starters in the classroom or online. The final Part of the book offers guidance and activities specific to writing a research report. This section can be used to support the development of project-based assignments for courses, or it can be used independently to support senior thesis projects, master’s theses, dissertations, or articles for publication.

Instructors, will appreciate the organization of Understanding Research Methods because it allows a great deal of customization and choice in which topics to cover and in what order to cover them, making it suitable for methodological training in a variety of courses and fields of study. Online digital materials support course development.

New to this edition:

  • Part introductions now include a part table of contents and list of keywords
  • Newly expanded coverage of qualitative research
  • New coverage on designing quantitative research
  • Expanded material on sampling
  • More simple graphs, charts, and illustrations emphasize and visualize Topic key points

chapter |3 pages


part 1|41 pages

Introduction to Research Methods

chapter 1.01|5 pages

Knowledge and Research Methods

chapter 1.02|4 pages

Empirical and Interpretive Research

chapter 1.03|4 pages

Using Research to Overcome Cognitive Bias

chapter 1.04|5 pages

Theory and Research

chapter 1.07|4 pages

The Development of Ethical Research Standards

chapter 1.08|5 pages

Ethical Principles in Research

part 2|53 pages

Reading, Reviewing, and Citing Literature

chapter 2.01|7 pages

Reviewing the Literature

chapter 2.02|5 pages

The Structure of Research Articles

chapter 2.03|8 pages

Locating Literature in Databases

chapter 2.04|4 pages

Connecting the Literature to Your Study

chapter 2.05|4 pages

Keeping Notes on Literature

chapter 2.06|7 pages

Reading and Assessing Quantitative Literature

chapter 2.07|5 pages

Reading and Assessing Qualitative Literature

chapter 2.09|5 pages

Synthesis versus Summaries

chapter 2.10|3 pages

Why Academics Rely on Citation

part 3|48 pages

Basic Concepts in Quantitative Research

chapter 3.01|7 pages

Concepts and Variables

chapter 3.02|6 pages

Variables in Quantitative Studies

chapter 3.03|4 pages

Variables in Experimental Studies

chapter 3.05|5 pages

Constructing Composite Measures

chapter 3.06|4 pages

Using Performance Measures

chapter 3.07|4 pages

Using Norm and Criterion Tests

chapter 3.08|5 pages

Falsification and the Null Hypothesis

chapter 3.09|7 pages

Formulating Quantitative Questions

part 4|45 pages

Designing Quantitative Research

chapter 4.04|6 pages

Survey Research

chapter 4.05|6 pages

Writing Survey Questions

chapter 4.06|5 pages

Using Existing Data

chapter 4.07|6 pages

Experimental Research

chapter 4.08|4 pages

Causal Claims: Experimental Study Design

chapter 4.09|3 pages

Quasi-Experimental Designs

part 5|38 pages

Assessing Research Quality: Validity and Reliability

chapter 5.01|3 pages

Measures of Quality: Validity and Reliability

chapter 5.02|3 pages

Judgmental Validity

chapter 5.03|5 pages

Empirical Validity

chapter 5.04|4 pages

Construct Validity

chapter 5.05|6 pages

Evaluating Reliability

chapter 5.06|4 pages

Visualizing Reliability and Validity

chapter 5.07|4 pages

Principles of Reliability and Validity

chapter 5.08|4 pages

Threats to Internal Validity

chapter 5.09|3 pages

Threats to External Validity

part 6|48 pages

Sampling for Quantitative Research

chapter 6.01|4 pages

Populations and Samples

chapter 6.02|4 pages

Simple Random and Systematic Sampling

chapter 6.03|5 pages

Stratified Random Sampling

chapter 6.04|3 pages

Cluster Sampling

chapter 6.05|3 pages

Challenges in Probability Sampling

chapter 6.07|3 pages

Error and Bias in Samples

chapter 6.08|4 pages

Modern Sampling Techniques

chapter 6.09|4 pages

Sampling and Internet Surveys

chapter 6.10|4 pages

Sampling and Demographics

chapter 6.11|3 pages

Sample Composition and Bias

chapter 6.12|5 pages

Sample Size in Quantitative Studies

part 7|70 pages

Analyzing Quantitative Data

chapter 7.01|4 pages

Descriptive Statistics

chapter 7.02|4 pages

The Mean and Standard Deviation

chapter 7.03|4 pages

Median and Range

chapter 7.04|7 pages

Mode and Frequency

chapter 7.05|7 pages

Describing Bivariate Data

chapter 7.06|7 pages

Inferential Statistics

chapter 7.07|8 pages

Statistical Tests for Comparing Groups

chapter 7.08|4 pages

Regression Basics

chapter 7.09|6 pages

Normal Distribution

chapter 7.10|5 pages

Statistical Significance

chapter 7.11|6 pages

Statistics for Effect Size

chapter 7.12|4 pages

Practical Significance of Results

part 8|67 pages

Qualitative Research

chapter 8.01|6 pages

Decisions in Qualitative Research Design

chapter 8.02|4 pages

Generating Qualitative Questions

chapter 8.03|4 pages

Collecting Qualitative Data

chapter 8.05|6 pages

Qualitative Coding Processes and Techniques

chapter 8.06|4 pages

Assessing Quality in Qualitative Research

chapter 8.09|5 pages

Designing Interviews

chapter 8.10|6 pages

Conducting Interviews

chapter 8.11|4 pages

Planning Focus Group Facilitation

chapter 8.12|3 pages

Observation and Ethnography

chapter 8.13|4 pages

Designing Case Study Research

chapter 8.14|4 pages

Mixed-Methods Designs

part 9|52 pages

Writing about Research

chapter 9.01|4 pages

Introduction to Style Guides

chapter 9.02|4 pages

Writing the Introduction

chapter 9.03|6 pages

Writing the Literature Review

chapter 9.05|3 pages

How to Use Citations

chapter 9.06|3 pages

Describing Quantitative Methods

chapter 9.07|4 pages

Describing Qualitative Methods

chapter 9.08|4 pages

Describing Participants

chapter 9.09|4 pages

Describing Measures

chapter 9.10|3 pages

Reporting Quantitative Research Results

chapter 9.11|4 pages

Reporting Qualitative Research Results

chapter 9.12|3 pages

Writing the Discussion

chapter 9.13|2 pages

Revision/Putting it All Together

chapter 9.14|3 pages

Writing the Abstract