This book introduces students and researchers to the key ideas and issues that inform research practice. Henn, Weinstein and Foard provide a clear and easy-to-understand route-map to help the reader plan their research project from beginning to end. This book is perfect for use on introductory methods courses and is also an invaluable guide for the first time researcher embarking on their own small-scale research project. It provides answers to the following questions: - What is social research, and why do we conduct it? - What is and what is not acceptable knowledge about the social world? - What are and what are not acceptable methods for acquiring social knowledge? - What are the primary debates about the relative merits and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative research styles? - To what extent is it possible to combine methods in a single research study? - Can - and should - social research ever be objective and value-free? - How can we ensure that our research methods are ethical, valid and reliable? - What are the possible consequences of our research project, and how might it affect the world around us - in particular the individuals, group, culture, or organization that we are studying? It is the intention of this book to prepare students and new researchers for their research project. Brilliantly written throughout, this is your essential guide to the theory of research, the practice of research and te best ways to plan and manage your research.