Marie Michael Library
Research Processes and Methods
How to Cite References and Avoid Plagiarism
- How to Cite References, Coady International Institute guidelines. (138K pdf)
- Examples of Citing References (87K pdf)
- StFX University Library Plagiarism Resource Page & StFX University Policy Regarding Plagiarism (117K pdf), information to help students follow the university’s rules for academic honesty.
- Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources, shows the difference between direct quotes and paraphrases, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Referencing online material in APA, Massey University, New Zealand.
This page provides suggestions for structuring a research paper.
Research Manuals and Readings
- Action Research, articles by Peter Reason.
- Antin, K., et al. (n.d.). Shooting our hard drive into space and other ways to practise responsible development data. (4.40 Mb pdf)
- Chavez-Tafur, J., et al. (2007). Learning from experience: A manual for organising, analysing and documenting field based information. Amersfoort: ILEIA. (1.38 Mb pdf)
- Ethical Research Involving Children (ERIC) project aims to assist researchers and the research community to understand, plan and conduct ethical research involving children and young people in any context.
- Khan Mohmand, S., Justino, P., Dowd, C., Scott-Villiers, P., Befani, B., Loureiro, M., & Shaw, J. (2017). Innovative methods for research on social and political action in fragile and conflict-affected settings (IDS working paper 487). Brighton: IDS.
- Methodspace is a network created for students and researchers to share research, resources and debates. Users have free access to selected journal articles, and other resources which highlight topics in the field.
- PhotoVoice. (2009). Statement of ethical practice. This document highlights ethical issues that might arise in a project and creates a framework for procedures for managing ethical issues. (71K pdf)
- Popplewell, R. & Hayman, R. (2012). Where, how, and why are action research approaches used by international development non-governmental organisations? (INTRAC Briefing Paper 32).
- Ramalingam, B. (2006). Tools for knowledge and learning: A guide for development and humanitarian organisations. London: ODI. (700K pdf)
- Recording and using indigenous knowledge: A manual (1996). Silang, Cavite, Philippines: International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).
- Shackman, G. (n.d.). Free resources for program evaluation and social research methods.
- Varkevisser, C. M., Pathmanathan, I., & Brownlee, A. (2003). Analysis and statement of the problem. In Designing and conducting health systems research projects: Volume 1: proposal development and fieldwork (pp. 45-62). Ottawa: IDRC.
- The Web Center for Social Research Methods was developed at Cornell University. This website includes a “Knowledge Base” and online tutorials on a wide range of social sciences methods for academic research.
- Community-based research toolkit: Resources and tools for doing research with community for social change. (2011). Toronto: Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services. (3.35 Mb pdf)
- Franz, N. (2011). The unfocused focus group. Qualitative Report, 16(5), 1380-1388.
- Mayers, J. (2005). Stakeholder power analysis. [n.l.]: IIED. (431K pdf)
- Online surveys and questionnaires, University of St. Andrews.
- Oral History: Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University, includes access to their software Stories Matter.
- Oral History Society, an organisation dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral history.
- Sample size calculator, by Raosoft.
- ThesisTools, a website which enables students to create their own online quantitative surveys/questionnaires. The service is free, but the website providers encourage students to share their research findings on the site.
- Crocker, S. (2008). Filmmaking and the politics of remoteness: The genesis of the Fogo process on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, 2(1), 59-75. (450K pdf)
The Fogo process uses media technology as a tool in participatory community development. The process evolved from events that took place on Fogo Island, an island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Don Snowdon, of Memorial University’s Extension Department was an active participant in this process. His 1983 paper Eyes see; ears hear describes the video techniques and technology as they can be used elsewhere.
- Exploring online research methods, University of Leicester. This website provides an online resource which provides training for researchers who are interested in using online research methods such as online questionnaires and online interviews.
- InsightShare uses participatory video to enable marginalized people to communicate and understand their local issues and work towards better solutions.
- Palibroda, B., Krieg, B., Murdock, L., & Havelock, J. (2009). A practical guide to photovoice: Sharing pictures, telling stories and changing communities. Winnipeg, MB: Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence. (1.46 Mb pdf)
- Photovoice has drawn from critical and feminist theory to create a method using photography to engage communities in research.
- Shaw, J. (2017). Pathways to accountability from the margins: Reflections on participatory video practice (Making all voices count research report). Brighton: IDS.
- Chambers, R. (2007). Who counts? The quiet revolution of participation and numbers (IDS Working Paper 296). Brighton: IDS. This guide explains how researchers can gather statistical information using participatory methods. (2.72 Mb pdf)
- ENGAGE supports the research engagement of people affected by social inequalities, poverty, social exclusion and low literacy, and reduces barriers between university research and community members. ENGAGE contains information on participatory and visual methods that can encourage the participation of populations that are often excluded from more traditional research designs.
- Molina, G., Molina, F., Tanner, T., & Seballos, F. (2009). Child-friendly participatory research tools. In PLA Notes no. 60 (pp. 160-166). London: IIED. (107K pdf)
- Loewenson, R., Laurell, A. C., Hogstedt, C., D’Ambruoso, L., & Shroff, Z. (2014). Participatory action research in health systems: A methods reader. Harare, Zimbabwe: EQUINET. (3.43 Mb pdf)
- Participatory methods, resources on a range of methods for inclusive social development. Site produced by the Participation, Power and Social Change Team at IDS.
- PRIA. (2000). Doing research with people: Approaches to participatory research: an introduction. New Delhi: PRIA.
- Shallwani, S., & Mohammed, S. (2007). Community-based participatory research: A training manual for community-based researchers. (949K pdf)
- Slocum, N. (2003). Participatory methods toolkit: A practitioner’s manual. This guide provides detailed instructions for several participatory methods for policy research. (1.85 Mb pdf)
- Mehta, L. (2007). Somewhere over the rainbow? The politics and dilemmas of researching citizenship and marginality (IDS Working Paper 288). The author considers the ethical implications and power dynamics to consider when conducting research with marginalized people. (220K pdf)
- Negotiating research relationships: A guide for communities. (1998). Published by the Nunavut Research Institute and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
- The Partnering Initiative, many research projects involve partnerships with a variety of organizations. Cross-sector research partnerships require careful negotiation of the roles and responsibilities of each partner. The Partnering Initiative includes a number of guides on managing partnerships effectively.
- The Guardian’s Datablog provides interesting examples of how publicly available data can be analysed and presented, including some tools for data analysis. While it is written in the context of journalism, the methods are useful for anyone who wants to make information available in ways that make sense to people.
- Rhetological fallacies: Errors and manipulation of rhetoric and logical thinking, this chart shows some of the common ways people’s understanding may be affected by assumptions, bias and other errors of logic.
- Skovdal, M. & Cornish, F. (2015). Qualitative research for development: A guide for practitioners. Rugby, Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action. (637K pdf) (StFX only)
- Taylor-Powell, E., & Renner, M. (2003). Analyzing qualitative data. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin. (168K pdf)
- Taylor-Powell, E. (1996). Analyzing quantitative data. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin. (126K pdf)
- Varkevisser, C., Pathmanathan, I., & Brownlee, A. (2003). Analysis of qualitative data. In Designing and conducting health systems research projects: Volume II: data analysis and report writing (Module 23). Amsterdam: KIT Publishers. (4.09 Mb pdf)
Sharing Research Results
- Bordeaux, B. C., Wiley, C., Tandon, S. D., & Horowitz, C. R. (2007). Guidelines for writing manuscripts about community-based participatory research for peer-reviewed journals. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 1(3), 281-288. (StFX only)
- Campbell, B. M., Hagmann, J., Stroud, A., Thomas, R., & Wollenberg, E. (2006). Navigating amidst complexity: Guide to implementing effective research and development to improve livelihoods and the environment. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research. A manual that demonstrates how research is integrated into a development process, in this case, natural resource management (1.69 Mb pdf).
- Hovland, I. (2005). Successful communication: A toolkit for researchers and civil society organisations. London: ODI. If you are interested in ensuring your research reaches policymakers, ODI has created communication tools.
- Panos London. (n.d.). A journalist’s guide to reporting research findings. (1.77 Mb pdf)
- Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Tools, free downloadable toolkits from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) that can help researchers inform and influence the policy process.
- Working with the media: A guide for researchers. (2006). London: Panos London. (2.43 Mb pdf)
Writing Research Results
Here are some examples of different ways research using various methods have been presented in journal articles:
- Nelson, A., et al. (2008). Engagement, but for what kind of marriage?: Community members and local planning authorities. Community Development Journal, 43(1), 37-51. (StFX only)
- Wright, K. (2003). Problems, what problems? We have none at all: Qualitative data collection for impact assessment. Journal of Microfinance, 5(1), 115-133.
- Lavallée, L. F. (2009). Practical application of an indigenous research framework and two qualitative indigenous research methods: Sharing circles and anishnaabe symbol-based reflection. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(1), 21-40.
- English, L. (2002). Learning how they learn: International adult educators in the global sphere. Journal of Studies in International Education, 6(3), 230-248. Includes a literature review and detailed description of the methodology. (StFX only)
- English, L.M., & Irving, C. J. (2007). A review of the Canadian literature on gender and learning. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 20(1), 16-31. Example of a “state of the field” scan of the literature. (StFX only)
- Sumner, J. (2013). Food literacy and adult education: Learning to read the world by eating. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 25(2), 79-92. Example of a literature review focused on a specific concept.
- Taylor, E. W. (2007). An update of transformative learning theory: A critical review of the empirical research (1999-2005). International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(2), 173-191. Example of a literature review of how a theory has been applied in research. (StFX only)
Narrative – Stories
- Thompson, A. (2011). The story perspective: The use of individual life narratives in understanding development effects and processes. Dublin: Kimmage Development Studies Centre. (127K pdf)
Participatory Action Research
- Gouin, R., Cocq, K., & McGavin, S. (2011). Feminist participatory research in a social justice organization. Action Research, 9(3), 303-323. (StFX only)
Reflections by Researchers – Practical and Ethical Issues in Research
- Boser, S. (2006). Ethics and power in community-campus partnerships for research. Action Research, 4(1), 9-21. (StFX only)
- Flicker, S., et al. (2008). ‘If you could change one thing. . .’ What community based researchers wish they could have done differently. Community Development Journal, 43(2), 239–253. (StFX only)
- Snoeren, M., Niessen, T., & Abma, T. (2012). Engagement enacted: Essentials of initiating an action research project. Action Research, 10(2), 189-204. Autoethnography reflection. (StFX only)
Research Proposal Writing and Funding
- Changemakers.com holds competitions seeking innovative projects, awarding prizes in a number of categories. They also provide a venue for sharing research and collaborating with others interested in your research field.
- The Global Fund for Women provides small grants to enable women’s organizations to participate in conferences or to host meetings. This can provide an opportuntity to share your research.
- Guidelines to writing a research proposal, Oxford University, an example of the categories required in a research proposal for graduate studies.
- McGranaghan, M. (n.d.). Guidelines on writing a research proposal.
- Resourcing women’s rights, this donor list, published by AWID, makes it easier for women’s rights and feminist organizations to find funders to support their initiatives.
- Young, E., & Quinn, L. (2002). Writing effective public policy papers: A guide for policy advisors in Central and Eastern Europe. Budapest, Hungary: Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative. (497K pdf)
Searching for Information
Electronic Research Tutorials
- Novanet, the library catalogue, click on “Help” to read information on how the catalogue is used.
- Critically analyzing information sources, from Cornell University.
- How do I?…, is an online tutorial complete with short videos for students wanting an introduction to research skills.
- How to evaluate web pages, from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
- How to search successfully, from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Electronic Research Resources, Databases and Journals
You are encouraged to browse through the Coady Course Links on the subject areas related to your topic.
- ERIC database is a large database of resources related to education and training. It contains abstracts of published journal articles, plus full-text content of conference papers, reports, theses and other non-published resources from 1993-2004.
- International Journal of Qualitative Methods is a peer reviewed journal published as an open annual volume. Issues available: 1(2002)-current. (StFX only)
- Journals to which the Marie Michael Library subscribes. Click on the journal title that interests you, and browse by issue, or conduct a search using the journal’s search feature.
- The Qualitative Report is dedicated to qualitative research. Issues available: 1(2008)-current.
- Research for All, issues available: 1(2017)-current. (StFX only)
- StFX Student Success Centre, staff is available at the Centre Monday-Friday to assist you with your writing. Call 5221 to make an appointment.
Online Writing Guides and Tools
- Independent reading & research study handbook, C. Irving, Coady International Institute, 2016. (574K pdf)
- Academic reflection, an online tutorial for reflective writing.
- APA citation style, examples on using the APA format for citing references in a bibliography. APA is the format used at the Coady Institute. (Site from the University of Alberta).
- Descriptive, analytical, critical/evaluative, reflective writing compared, from the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), New Zealand.
- The elements of style, by W. Strunk. This is an old text, but it is a very thorough guide to writing for those who may be interested a more advanced self-tutorial.
- How to write a book review, from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
- Kurland, D. (c2002, 2010). How the language really works: The fundamentals of critical reading and effective writing. This site shows you how to recognize what a text says, what a text does, and what a text means by analyzing choices of content, language, and structure.
- OneLook reverse dictionary, lets you describe a concept and retrieve a list of words and phrases related to that concept.
- Oxford Dictionaries is the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as other reference resources. (StFX only)
- PlainTrain, Plain Language Online Training, contains tips and techniques for improving your communication skills with the use of plain language.
- Responsible data, leading the way from best intentions to best practice.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2019). UW-Madison writer’s handbook. An overview of different types of writing assignments, grammar and style.
- Williams, A., Jones, D., & Robertson, J. (Eds.). (2014). BITE: Recipes for remarkable research. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Open access free download.
- The Writing Center, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has a series of handouts on a wide range of aspects of the writing process.