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The Craft of Research (1995)

by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams

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3,160213,307 (3.86)12
With more than 400,000 copies now in print, The Craft of Research is the unrivaled resource for researchers at every level, from first-year undergraduates to research reporters at corporations and government offices.   Seasoned researchers and educators Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams present an updated third edition of their classic handbook, whose first and second editions were written in collaboration with the late Wayne C. Booth. The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, “So what?”   The third edition includes an expanded discussion of the essential early stages of a research task: planning and drafting a paper. The authors have revised and fully updated their section on electronic research, emphasizing the need to distinguish between trustworthy sources (such as those found in libraries) and less reliable sources found with a quick Web search. A chapter on warrants has also been thoroughly reviewed to make this difficult subject easier for researchers   Throughout, the authors have preserved the amiable tone, the reliable voice, and the sense of directness that have made this book indispensable for anyone undertaking a research project.… (more)
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English (20)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
4.5 really. One of the most clearly written and helpful technical-writing books I've ever read. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
I'm giving it two stars because it did have a handful of helpful points. But only a handful.

I'm working on a book and thought reading this might be a good foundation/review before doing so. I was wrong. I just wasted three months of my time.

The issues are many fold. Firstly the near rage inducing repetition. I could make a hefty list of all the things that were mentioned no less then 30 or 40 times. I wish I were exaggerating. I really do. 90% of the book is information I learned in and around forth grade, and even then it's presented poorly. The bias against research and exploratory research reaches the point of near violence. Everything is a rhetorical battle, not an honest presentation of facts and reason. If I had followed this book during my prior degree I would had done so poorly that I might have been asked to leave.

The STEM bias is carried over to the point of ridiculousness. Anything that cannot carry some dramatic point or solve some earth shattering problem is dismissed out of hand.

Which brings me to the next issue, the "problem". Not everything is a "problem". There is not always going to be a "problem". A great deal of writing is done for relevance to a topic, for the furtherance of understanding for those who work within a field. Or just because the topic is fun and it's fun to learn more about it. Yet the book is near silent on how to make a topic interesting, instead devoting the overwhelming majority of its bulk to "problems". Leading a non-problem reader to look at it and say "so what?"

Both these writing realities are utterly disparaged. If you intend to do either of these styles of writing avoid this book like the plague. It will only frustrate you.

As mentioned before, it does have a few useful points. However I can't help but feel the basic tips could have found in a book that wouldn't have turned out to be to frustratingly useless otherwise.

I did for find a writing guide mentioned in the bibliography that looks promising. If only any of the writers of this book had was it before writing this one. This book is time I'm never getting back. ( )
  anthrosercher | Jul 11, 2021 |
Required reading for statistical sciences class in graduate school, but it is not graduate level. Overly simplistic. ( )
  AliciaBooks | Jul 11, 2021 |
A fairly good introduction on how to write research papers and reports. I got this while writing my masters thesis, have read through once, and will definitely come back to the relevant chapters when I start reviewing my draft. The explanations are quite good, and it formalizes some things I had mostly done intuitively until now.

So, if you are a researcher or a student tasked with writing a research paper, I can recommend this book, especially since it will not bankrupt you. ( )
  malexmave | Oct 3, 2019 |
I've read up a lot about research and this book introduced a lot of things that I had never run into before, but as a voracious reader I intuitively knew that they make a lot of sense. Very easy to read, well-organized chapters and sections, does not try to overwhelm you with too much information at once. ( )
  rnmdfrd | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wayne C. Boothprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colomb, Gregory G.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, Joseph M.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Monteiro, Henrique Amat RêgoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, BjörnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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IN MEMORIAM

Wayne C. Booth
(1921-2005)

Gregory G. Colomb
(1951-2011)

Joseph M. Williams
(1933-2008)
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If you are beginning your first research project, the task may seem overwhelming.
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With more than 400,000 copies now in print, The Craft of Research is the unrivaled resource for researchers at every level, from first-year undergraduates to research reporters at corporations and government offices.   Seasoned researchers and educators Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams present an updated third edition of their classic handbook, whose first and second editions were written in collaboration with the late Wayne C. Booth. The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, “So what?”   The third edition includes an expanded discussion of the essential early stages of a research task: planning and drafting a paper. The authors have revised and fully updated their section on electronic research, emphasizing the need to distinguish between trustworthy sources (such as those found in libraries) and less reliable sources found with a quick Web search. A chapter on warrants has also been thoroughly reviewed to make this difficult subject easier for researchers   Throughout, the authors have preserved the amiable tone, the reliable voice, and the sense of directness that have made this book indispensable for anyone undertaking a research project.

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