Best Research Methodology Books for Students and Academics

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Whether you are a research student, an academic, or a prospective scholar, the collection below features a collection of seminal works to help you in your research work.. I wish somebody shared these resources with me before I embarked on my graduate  journey, that would have saved me a lot of time and energy. 

Writing (academic) research papers requires a solid research foundation, one that is built through extensive reading of the research literature.  One needs to be familiar with the different research paradigms (e.g., qualitative research, quantitative research, mixed methods research, etc),  different research methods (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observation, etc), different epistemological and ontological stances (e.g., constructivism, structuralism, realism, critical realism, etc), and many more. 

The books below will help you build this research foundation. They will introduce you to the intricacies of research methodology and guide you through the process of constructing a research design from the grounds up. Links of the books are under the visual.

You can download the visual below in PDF format from this link.

Here Are Some of The Best Research Methodology Textbooks for Students and Academics


1- Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 4th Edition, by John W. Creswell (Author)

‘The eagerly anticipated Fourth Edition of the title that pioneered the comparison of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design is here! For all three approaches, Creswell includes a preliminary consideration of philosophical assumptions, a review of the literature, an assessment of the use of theory in research approaches, and refl ections about the importance of writing and ethics in scholarly inquiry. He also presents the key elements of the research process, giving specifi c attention to each approach.’

2- Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation 4th Edition, by Sharan B. Merriam (Author), Elizabeth J. Tisdell (Author)

‘Qualitative Research is the essential guide to understanding, designing, conducting, and presenting a qualitative research study. This fourth edition features new material covering mixed methods, action research, arts-based research, online data sources, and the latest in data analysis, including data analysis software packages as well as narrative and poetic analysis strategies.’

3- The Craft of Research, Third Edition, by Wayne C. Booth (Author), Gregory G. Colomb (Author), Joseph M. Williams (Author)

‘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?”’

4- The Research Methods Knowledge Base, 3rd Edition, by William M. K. Trochim (Author), James P. Donnelly (Author)

‘Thoroughly updated, the third edition of The Research Methods Knowledge Base provides coverage of quantitative methods and enhanced coverage of qualitative methods. It can be used in a variety of disciplines and is ideal for an introductory comprehensive undergraduate or graduate level course. Through its conversational, informal style it makes material that is often challenging for students both accessible and understandable.’

5- Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches 3rd Edition, by John W. Creswell (Author)

‘In this Third Edition of his bestselling text John W. Creswell explores the philosophical underpinnings, history, and key elements of each of five qualitative inquiry traditions: narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. In his signature accessible writing style, the author relates research designs to each of the traditions of inquiry. He compares theoretical frameworks, ways to employ standards of quality, and strategies for writing introductions to studies, collecting data, analyzing data, writing a narrative, and verifying results.’

6- Doing Your Research Project (Open Up Study Skills) 5th Edition, by Judith Bell (Author)

‘Step-by-step advice on completing an outstanding research project. Research can be daunting, particularly for first-timers, but this indispensable book provides everything you need to know to prepare for research, draft and finalise a methodologically sound and well-written report or thesis, plus it warns you of potential pitfalls to prevent you wasting time on false trails.’

7- Introducing Research Methodology: A Beginner's Guide to Doing a Research Project 2nd ed. Edition, by Uwe Flick (Author)

‘In the Second Edition of this textbook designed for new researchers, Uwe Flick takes readers through the process of producing a research project. The book gives readers the fundamental data collection and analysis skills that they need for their first project, as well as a good understanding of the research process as a whole. It covers both quantitative and qualitative methods, and contains plenty of real-life examples from the author's own research.’

8- The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project 2nd Edition, by Zina O'Leary (Author)

‘The book guides you through every step of your research project, from getting started to analysing data and writing up. Each stage is clearly set out, highlighting best practice and providing practical tips and down-to-earth advice for actually doing research. Key features include:
  • Fully developed companion website including podcasts, worksheets, examples of real projects and links to journal articles
  • Chapter summaries
  • Boxed definitions of key terms
  • Full glossary
  • Suggestions for further reading ’


9- Research Methods in Education 7th Edition, by Louis Cohen (Author), Lawrence Manion (Author), Keith Morrison (Author)

‘Research Methods in Education is essential reading for both the professional researcher and students of education at undergraduate and postgraduate level, who need to understand how to plan, conduct, analyse and use research.The textbook is accompanied by a website: www.routledge.com/textbooks/cohen7e. PowerPoint slides for every chapter contain an outline of the chapter structure followed by a thorough summary of the key points, ideal for both lecturers and students. Within the book a variety of internet resources are referred to and these references have been included here, with links to the websites. ’


10- The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (Sage Handbooks) 4th Edition, by Norman K. Denzin (Editor), Yvonna S. Lincoln (Editor)

‘Representing the best thinking from top scholars from around the world, the new edition continues the book's tradition of synthesizing an existing literature, defining the present, and shaping the future of qualitative research. The editors and contributors address issues of social justice and examine how people's struggles can inform public issues and in turn be transformed into social policy. Their writings are underpinned by a critical framework, and they are committed to addressing issues of inequality. As with previous editions, their aim is to show how the practices of qualitative research can effect change in the world in positive ways.’

11- Naturalistic Inquiry 1st Edition, by Yvonna S. Lincoln (Author), Egon G. Guba (Author)

‘Naturalistic Inquiry provides social scientists with a basic but comprehensive rationale for non-positivistic approaches to research. It confronts the basic premise underlying the scientific tradition that all questions can be answered by employing empirical, testable, replicable research techniques. The authors maintain that there are scientific facts that existing paradigms cannot explain, and argue against traditional positivistic inquiry. They suggest an alternative approach supporting the use of the naturalistic paradigm.’

12- The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process , by Michael J Crotty (Author)

‘This book links methodology and theory with great clarity and precision, showing students and researchers how to navigate the maze of conflicting terminology. The major epistemological stances and theoretical perspectives that colour and shape current social research are detailed and the author reveals the philosophical origins of these schools of inquiry and shows how various disciplines contribute to the practice of social research as it is known today.’

13- Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation: Tips and Strategies for Students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, by Fred C. Lunenburg and  Beverly J Irby

"Written in a conversational style for both faculty and students, this how-to manual covers quantitative and qualitative research methods and provides comprehensive guidance for successfully completing a master′s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Drawing on 40 years of experience supervising dissertations, the authors provide examples from 100 completed projects to guide readers through:
  • Choosing a topic and writing research hypotheses
  • Selecting a chair or committee
  • Ensuring a successful proposal and oral defense 
  • Adapting the finished product for publication
  • Using the Internet and desktop publishing effectively"

14- The Dissertation Journey: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Writing, and Defending Your Dissertation, by Carol Roberts  and Laura Hyatt 

"The dissertation is a tough mountain to climb; half of all doctoral students never make it to the top. To overcome the practical, social, and psychological obstacles along the way, you need a knowledgeable guide and the right tools. This comprehensive how-to guide to developing and writing a quality dissertation provides:
  • Expanded and updated coverage of crucial topics such as conducting a literature review, dissertation support groups, and harnessing technology to conduct research
  • Progress tracking tools, sample forms, resource lists, and other user-friendly elements
  • Thoroughly updated and revised chapters with the most current need-to-know information"

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