I dedicate this book to Karen Drumm Creswell. She is the inspiration for my writing and my life. Because of her—as wife, supporter, and detailed and careful editor—I am able to work long hours, k eep the home fires burning, and be a productive
researcher and book writer. Thank you, Karen, from the bottom of my heart for being there for me through all of the editions of this book .
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Creswell, John W.
Research design : qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches / John W. Creswell. — 4th ed.
p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4522-2609-5 (cloth) — ISBN 978-1-4522-2610-1 (pbk.)
1. Social sciences—Research—Methodology 2. Social sciences—Statistical methods. I. Title.
H62.C6963 2014 300.72’1—dc23 2012043521
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
13 14 15 16 17 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Analytic Contents of Research Techniques Preface Acknowledgments About the Author
Part I. Preliminary Considerations 1. The Selection of a Research Approach 2. Review of the Literature 3. The Use of Theory 4. Writing Strategies and Ethical Considerations
Part II. Designing Research 5. The Introduction 6. The Purpose Statement 7. Research Questions and Hypotheses 8. Quantitative Methods 9. Qualitative Methods 10. Mixed Methods Procedures
Glossary References Author Index Subject Index
Analytic Contents of Research Techniques
Preface Purpose Audience Format Outline of Chapters
About the Author
Part I. Preliminary Considerations
1. The Selection of a Research Approach The Three Approaches to Research Three Components Involved in an Approach Philosophical Worldviews The Postpositivist Worldview The Constructivist Worldview The Transformative Worldview The Pragmatic Worldview Research Designs Quantitative Designs Qualitative Designs Mixed Methods Designs Research Methods Research Approaches as Worldviews, Designs, and Methods Criteria for Selecting a Research Approach The Research Problem and Questions Personal Experiences Audience Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
2. Review of the Literature
The Research Topic The Literature Review The Use of the Literature Design Techniques Steps in Conducting a Literature Review Searching Computerized Databases A Priority for Selecting Literature Material A Literature Map of the Research Abstracting Studies Example 2.1. Literature Review Abstract in a Quantitative Study Example 2.2. Literature Review Abstract in a Study Advancing a Typology Style Manuals The Definition of Terms Example 2.3. Terms Defined in an Independent Variables Section Example 2.4. Terms Defined in a Mixed Methods Dissertation A Quantitative or Mixed Methods Literature Review Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
3. The Use of Theory Quantitative Theory Use Variables in Quantitative Research Definition of a Theory in Quantitative Research Forms of Theories in Quantitative Research Placement of Quantitative Theories Writing a Quantitative Theoretical Perspective Example 3.1. A Quantitative Theory Section Qualitative Theory Use Variation in Theory Use in Qualitative Research Locating the Theory in Qualitative Research Example 3.2. A Theory Early in a Qualitative Study Example 3.3. A Theory at the End of a Qualitative Study Mixed Methods Theory Use Social Science Theory Use Transformative Paradigm Theory Use Example 3.4. Theory in a Transformative Mixed Methods Study Summary Writing Exercises
4. Writing Strategies and Ethical Considerations Writing the Proposal Arguments Presented in a Proposal Format for a Qualitative Proposal Example 4.1. A Qualitative Constructivist/Interpretivist Format Example 4.2. A Qualitative Transformative Format Format for a Quantitative Proposal Example 4.3. A Quantitative Format Format for a Mixed Methods Proposal Example 4.4. A Mixed Methods Format Designing the Sections of a Proposal Writing Ideas Writing as Thinking The Habit of Writing Readability of the Manuscript Example 4.5. An Illustration of the Hook-and-Eye Technique Voice, Tense, and “Fat” Ethical Issues to Anticipate Prior to Beginning the Study Beginning the Study Collecting the Data Analyzing the Data Reporting, Sharing, and Storing Data Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
Part II. Designing Research
5. The Introduction The Importance of Introductions An Abstract for a Study Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Introductions A Model for an Introduction An Illustration The Research Problem Studies Addressing the Problem Deficiencies in Past Literature
Example 5.1. Deficiencies in the Literature—Needed Studies Example 5.2. Deficiencies in the Literature—Few Studies Significance of a Study for Audiences Example 5.3. Significance of the Study Stated in an Introduction to a Quantitative Study Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
6. The Purpose Statement Significance and Meaning of a Purpose Statement A Qualitative Purpose Statement Example 6.1. A Purpose Statement in a Qualitative Phenomenology Study Example 6.2. A Purpose Statement in a Case Study Example 6.3. A Purpose Statement in an Ethnography Example 6.4. A Purpose Statement in a Grounded Theory Study A Quantitative Purpose Statement Example 6.5. A Purpose Statement in a Published Survey Study Example 6.6. A Purpose Statement in a Dissertation Survey Study Example 6.7. A Purpose Statement in an Experimental Study A Mixed Methods Purpose Statement Example 6.8. A Convergent Mixed Methods Purpose Statement Example 6.9. An Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Purpose Statement Example 6.10. An Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods Purpose Statement Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
7. Research Questions and Hypotheses Qualitative Research Questions Example 7.1. A Qualitative Central Question From an Ethnography Example 7.2. Qualitative Central Questions From a Case Study Quantitative Research Questions and Hypotheses Example 7.3. A Null Hypothesis Example 7.4. Directional Hypotheses Example 7.5. Nondirectional and Directional Hypotheses Example 7.6. Standard Use of Language in Hypotheses A Model for Descriptive Questions and Hypotheses Example 7.7. Descriptive and Inferential Questions Mixed Methods Research Questions and Hypotheses
Example 7.8. Hypotheses and Research Questions in a Mixed Methods Study Example 7.9. A Mixed Methods Question Written Using Methods and Content Language Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
8. Quantitative Methods Defining Surveys and Experiments Components of a Survey Method Plan The Survey Design The Population and Sample Instrumentation Variables in the Study Data Analysis and Interpretation Example 8.1. A Survey Method Section Components of an Experimental Method Plan Participants Variables Instrumentation and Materials Experimental Procedures Example 8.2. Pre-Experimental Designs Example 8.3. Quasi-experimental Designs Example 8.4. True Experimental Designs Example 8.5. Single-Subject Designs Threats to Validity The Procedure Data Analysis Interpreting Results Example 8.6. An Experimental Method Section Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
9. Qualitative Methods The Components of Qualitative Methods The Characteristics of Qualitative Research Qualitative Designs The Researcher’s Role Data Collection Procedures Data Recording Procedures
Data Analysis and Interpretation Validity and Reliability Writing the Qualitative Report Example 9.1. Qualitative Procedures Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
10. Mixed Methods Procedures Components of Mixed Methods Procedures Describe Mixed Methods Research Types of Mixed Methods Designs Convergent Parallel Mixed Methods Design Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Design Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods Design Several Advanced Mixed Methods Designs Mixed Methods Notation in the Figures Factors Important in Choosing a Mixed Methods Design Choice Based on Outcomes Expected Choice Based on How the Data Will Be Used Together (or Integrated) Choice Based on the Timing of the Data Collection Choice Based on the Emphasis Placed on Each Database Choice Based on Type of Design Most Suited for a Field Choice Based on a Single Researcher or Team Examples of Mixed Methods Procedures Example 10.1. A Convergent Parallel Mixed Methods Design Example 10.2. An Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Design Example 10.3. An Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods Design Example 10.4. A Transformative Design Summary Writing Exercises Additional Readings
Analytic Contents of Research Techniques
Chapter 1. The Selection of a Research Approach • Determining your research approach
• Identifying a worldview with which you are most comfortable
• Defining the three types of research approaches
• Using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs and methods
Chapter 2. Review of the Literature • Assessing whether your topic is researchable
• Using steps in conducting a literature review
• Using computerized databases available for reviewing the literature
• Developing a priority for types of literature to review
• Designing a literature map
• Writing a good abstract of a research study
• Using important elements of a style manual
• Defining terms
• Employing a model for writing a literature review
Chapter 3. The Use of Theory • Identifying variables in a quantitative study
• Defining the nature of a quantitative theory
• Using a script to write a theoretical perspective into a quantitative study
• Considering the types of theories used in qualitative research
• Placing theories in a qualitative study
• Placing a theoretical lens into a mixed methods study
Chapter 4. Writing Strategies and Ethical Considerations • Assessing the structure of a proposal for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies
• Using writing strategies for drafting a proposal
• Developing a habit of writing
• Constructing umbrella thoughts, big thoughts, little thoughts, and attention thoughts in writing
• Developing writing consistency through the hook-and-eye technique
• Using principles of writing good prose
• Anticipating ethical issues in many phases of the research process
Chapter 5. The Introduction • Writing an abstract for a study
• Exploring differences among quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods introductions
• Using the deficiency model for writing an introduction
• Designing a good narrative hook
• Writing about the research problem
• Summarizing the literature about a research problem
• Pointing out deficiencies in past literature
• Considering audiences that may profit from your study
Chapter 6. The Purpose Statement • Using a script for writing a qualitative purpose statement
• Considering how the script would change depending on your qualitative design
• Using a script for writing a quantitative purpose statement
• Considering how the script would change depending on your quantitative design
• Using a script for writing a mixed methods purpose statement
• Considering how the script would change depending on your mixed methods design
Chapter 7. Research Questions and Hypotheses • Writing a script for a qualitative central question
• Considering how this script would change depending on the qualitative design
• Writing a script for quantitative research questions and hypotheses
• Considering how this script would change depending on the quantitative design and the different types of hypotheses
• Using a model for descriptive and inferential quantitative questions and hypotheses
• Writing scripts for different forms of research questions for a mixed methods study
Chapter 8. Quantitative Methods
• Using a checklist for survey research to form topic sections of a survey procedure
• Employing steps in analyzing data for a survey procedure
• Writing a complete survey methods discussion
• Using a checklist for experimental research to form sections for an experimental procedure
• Identifying the type of experimental procedure that best fits your proposed study
• Drawing a diagram of experimental procedures
• Identifying the potential internal validity and external validity threats to your proposed study
Chapter 9. Qualitative Methods • Using a checklist for qualitative research to form topic sections of a procedure
• Stating the basic characteristics of qualitative research
• Determining how reflexivity will be included in a proposed study
• Weighing the different types of data collected in qualitative research
• Employing steps in the qualitative data analysis process
• Establishing validity in qualitative research
Chapter 10. Mixed Methods Procedures • Stating a definition and the characteristics of mixed methods research
• Using a convergent parallel mixed methods design
• Using an explanatory sequential mixed methods design
• Employing an exploratory sequential mixed methods design
• Using one of the advanced mixed methods designs
• Choosing which design is best for a mixed methods study
This book advances a framework, a process, and compositional approaches for designing a proposal for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research in the human and social sciences. The ascendency of qualitative research, the emergence of mixed methods approaches, and the continuing use of the traditional forms of quantitative designs have created a need for this book’s unique comparison of the three approaches to inquiry. This comparison begins with preliminary consideration of philosophical assumptions for all three approaches, a review of the literature, an assessment of the use of theory in research approaches, and reflections about the importance of writing and ethics in scholarly inquiry. The book then addresses the key elements of the process of research: writing an introduction, stating a purpose for the study, identifying research questions and hypotheses, and advancing methods and procedures for data collection and analysis. At each step in this process, the reader is taken through qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.
This book is intended for students and faculty who seek assistance in preparing a plan or proposal for a scholarly journal article, dissertation, or thesis. At a broader level, the book may be useful as both a reference book and a textbook for courses in research methods. To best take advantage of the design features in this book, the reader needs a basic familiarity with qualitative and quantitative research; however, terms will be explained and defined and recommended strategies advanced for those needing introductory assistance in the design process. Highlighted terms in the text and a glossary of the terms at the back of the book provide a working language for understanding research. This book also is intended for a broad audience in the social and health sciences. Readers’ comments since the first edition indicate that individuals using the book come from many disciplines and fields. I hope that researchers in fields such as marketing, management, criminal justice, communication studies, psychology, sociology, K–12 education, higher and postsecondary education, nursing, health sciences, urban studies, family research, and other areas in the social and health sciences will find the fourth edition useful.
In each chapter, I share examples drawn from varied disciplines. These examples are drawn from books, journal articles, dissertation proposals, and dissertations. Though my primary specialization is in educational psychology and more broadly the social and health sciences, the illustrations are intended to be inclusive of many fields. They reflect issues in social justice and examples of studies with marginalized individuals in our society as well as the traditional samples and populations studied by social and health researchers. Inclusiveness also extends to methodological pluralism in research today, and the discussion incorporates alternative philosophical ideas, diverse modes of inquiry, and numerous procedures.
This book is not a detailed method text; instead, I highlight the essential features of research design. I have attempted to reduce research to its essential core ideas so that researchers can plan a thorough and thoughtful study. The coverage of research designs is limited to frequently used forms: surveys and experiments in quantitative research; narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case studies in qualitative research; and convergent, explanatory sequential, and exploratory sequential designs in mixed methods research. Although students preparing a dissertation proposal should find this book helpful, topics related to the politics of presenting and negotiating a study with review committees are addressed thoroughly in other texts.
Consistent with accepted conventions of scholarly writing, I have tried to eliminate any words or examples that convey a discriminatory (e.g., sexist or ethnic) orientation. Examples were selected to provide a full range of gender and cultural orientations. Throughout the text I do not favor either qualitative or quantitative research. Indeed, I have intentionally altered the order of qualitative and quantitative examples throughout the book. Readers should also note that in the longer examples cited in this book, many references are made to other writings. Only the reference to the work I use in the illustration will be cited, not the entire list of references embedded within any particular example. As with my earlier editions, I have maintained features to enhance the readability and understandability of the material: bullets to emphasize key points, numbered points to stress key steps in a process, and longer examples of complete passages with my annotations to highlight key research ideas that are being conveyed by the authors.
In this fourth edition of the book, new features have been added in response to developments in research and reader feedback:
• Throughout the book, I have cited updated editions of research methods books to emerge since the last edition.
• To reflect current thinking about worldviews, I have expanded the participatory worldview, discussed in the last edition, to include a much broader worldview perspective—the transformative worldview—based on recent scholarship (Mertens, 2009, 2010).
• There is updated information included in this edition on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychology Association [APA], 2010).
• This edition includes a considerable expansion of discussion of ethical issues. A new table now illustrates examples of ethical issues and how they might be addressed in the research process. The ethical issues in this edition have been reorganized under the categories of issues prior to conducting
the study; beginning the study; collecting data; analyzing data; and reporting, sharing, and storing data.
• The quantitative methods chapter now includes more information about examining the statistical significance of results, as well as the practical results conveyed through effect sizes and confidence intervals. New references are added to cite recent literature on quantitative methods.
• The qualitative methods chapter reflects my recent examination of the topic as found in Creswell (2013). These changes include an update on the characteristics of qualitative research, the types of designs available to the researcher, an extended discussion about the role of the researcher and reflexivity, and an improved section about the steps in qualitative data analysis and interpretation.
• The final chapter on mixed methods procedures has been extensively revised to reflect changes in recent years and in the writing about the design and conduct of this form of research in Creswell and Plano Clark (2011) and other writers. As compared with earlier editions, this chapter is more focused on writing a mixed methods section into the methods part of a proposal. It now considers up- to-date thinking about the criteria researchers use to determine what mixed methods design to employ. It revisits the designs and now structures that organization into basic and more advanced designs. Further, the basic designs are discussed in some detail, including their characteristics, data collection and analysis procedures, their writing formats, and the challenges one might expect to find with the design. Current diagrams of the designs are also included, as well as recent citations to the mixed methods literature.
• Like all of my editions, this one includes in many chapters a delineation of research tips on different topics that have helped me advise students and faculty in research methods during the past 40 years.
• This edition also includes a companion website at www.sagepub.com/creswellrd4e with a complete PowerPoint slide presentation ready to use in the classroom, as well as sample activities and end-of-chapter checklists.
OUTLINE OF CHAPTERS
This book is divided into two parts. Part I consist of steps that researchers need to consider before they develop their proposals or plans for research. Part II discusses the various sections used to develop a scholarly research proposal for a thesis, dissertation, or research report.
Part I. Preliminary Considerations
This part of the book discusses preparing for the design of a scholarly study. It contains Chapters 1 through 4.
Chapter 1. The Selection of a Research Approach
In this chapter, I begin by defining quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. I then discuss how philosophy, designs, and methods intersect when one uses one of these approaches. I review different philosophical stances; advanced types of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods designs; and then discuss the methods associated with each design. I also consider the factors that go into the choice of an approach to research. Thus, this chapter should help proposal developers decide whether a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods approach is suitable for their proposed studies.
Chapter 2. Review of the Literature
It is important to extensively review the literature on your topic before you design your proposal. Thus, you need to begin with a researchable topic and then explore the literature using the steps advanced in this chapter. This calls for setting a priority for reviewing the literature, drawing a visual map of studies that relate to your topic, writing good abstracts, employing skills learned about using style manuals, and defining key terms. This chapter should help proposal developers thoughtfully consider relevant literature on their topics and start compiling and writing literature reviews for proposals.
Chapter 3. The Use of Theory
Theories serve different purposes in the three approaches inquiry. In quantitative research, they provide a proposed explanation for the relationship among variables being tested by the investigator. In qualitative research, they may often serve as a lens for the inquiry or they may be generated during the study. In mixed methods studies, researchers employ them in many ways, including those associated with quantitative and qualitative approaches. This chapter helps proposal developers consider and plan how theory might be incorporated into their studies.
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