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The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,547 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
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
Paperback, Third Edition, 336 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1995)
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Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever faced a blank computer screen and were at a complete loss of what you should write about for a 10-page research paper due the next week? Or maybe you knew what you wanted to write about but didn't know how to start? Or maybe you had all your sources, wrote out a draft and realized that no one cares if The Great Gatsby illustrates the three Aristotelian elements of a tragedy?

The Craft of Research helps students and researchers solve dilemmas like these and more. The authors dissect
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really wish someone had given me this book back when I actually had to write research papers. It provides concrete, easy-to-follow advice on how to write more effectively. Even better, it avoids overly-technical language and preachiness. As a creative writer, I don't necessarily agree with everything in their brief chapter on style, but for the most part it is good advice, and it certainly works as a basic guideline for revising weak language. Perhaps it is an oversimplification, but the issue ...more
Egypt Scholars Scholars
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Craft of Research

و هو كتاب قيم جداً و ذو علاقة وثيقة بهدف مجموعتنا و نتمنى من الجميع محاولة تحصيله و الاطلاع عليه.

يعد الكتاب مرجعاً منقطع النظير للباحثين من شتى المراحل و مختلف المستويات التعليمية و البحثية سواءً طلبة السنوات الأولى في الدراسة الجامعية أو حتى الباحثين المتمرسين أصحاب الخبرة.

يشرح الكتاب بأسلوب واضح و مفصل و مدعم بالأمثلة كيفية صياغة و كتابة الأطروحة البحثية، و كيفية تحفيز القارئ لها و إقناعه بأهميتها و بمعقولية الإدعاءات و الافتراضات المبنية عليها. كما يساعد الكتاب على تعلم م
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Main reason for me reading this book is that I soon have to start the process of writing my thesis. Honestly I didn't expect much of this book from "entertainment" or "easy read" level and was expecting something painfully boring albeit informative. However after starting to read this I soon discovered that not only this book has lots of tips about the planning and writing process, finding sources, how to refine arguments etc. it also does it in a way that is interesting and almost *gasp* fun to ...more
Robin Lang
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Craft of Research was recommended to me by a colleague who is focusing on research and rhetoric. It was a good overview of writing best practices and would be useful for undergraduate students or anyone who wants practical advice on writing research papers. I appreciated most its emphasis on writing and research as conversation. Often undergraduate students are afraid to interject their own ideas into their writing and produce research papers with too much summary. Students will be more like ...more
Stephen Betts
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book is an incredible resource for improving research methods and argumentation. A professor asked members of my class to buy and study "Craft" as part of an intro to research writing class. I didn't think I needed it then, so I just left it on my shelf. A year later I am working on more serious research project and decided to see what good advice "Craft" might offer. I have been pleasantly surprised to find solutions to many of my rookie frustrations, as well as sound counsel on how to mak ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college
Pretty boring to read straight through, but a lot of helpful information.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
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 f
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book at least four times and I am reading again even now for the fifth. This is a book that can be usefully reread every few years if one has the interest to present strong arguments, especially written research, and proposals. The book is one of my all time favorites for learning the writing craft.

I admit to coercing my High School-aged children to read it each summer once they reach the 10th grade. My goal is to help them assimilate this part of the writing process--which I be
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This was the second time I've read this book, and this time I was prompted to read it as both a researcher and a teacher of research/writing. There's more to recommend as the latter, as the view it presents to the former is needlessly simplistic for an advanced graduate student. That said, there are still plenty of lessons to be gleaned from books of this sort, and this one is particularly good for reminding its readers (at whatever level) to stay calm about the process of conducting and writing ...more
Aaron Downs
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
The authors of The Craft of Research know how to write, and they know how to write well. Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams put their experience and skills together to guide writers, old and young alike, through the process of writing a good research paper. These authors help writers to think well, to research well, and to write well.

The research process is difficult, and is all the more when one does not know the direction in which to go, much less where to start. The Craft of Re
I think this is going to be a useful book as I progress through this doctoral process. Because I am just getting started here, the first couple of chapters were the most interesting to me -- formulating a research question, finding a general direction, and articulating the whole are all skills that the book helps form in the reader. Later, I'm sure the chapters on writing and proofing will come in handy. It's not a satisfying book, but I think it will help me navigate academia. (On that note, co ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really excellent read.

Glad I bought it, I'll definitely be referencing this again--multiple times throughout my graduate school career!

Highly recommend it.
Thomas Salerno
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-on-writing
The Craft of Research was recommended to me by a professor while I was studying for my undergraduate degree. I wish now that I had taken him up on that recommendation, because this book would have saved me semesters' worth of grief and anxiety over term papers. Booth and colleagues have written perhaps the definitive how-to guide for researching, drafting, and revising a research paper. From formulating your research question, to finding and reading sources, to assembling an argument from the ev ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
I would argue that the more accurate title would perhaps be The Craft of the Research Paper, given that two-thirds of the book focuses on writing style and structure rather than researching per se, but that's a quibble. Craft is neatly structured to mimic the progression any researcher would follow from the inception of an idea to the exploration of sources to organizing arguments, and pauses along the way to hit pertinent side-topics like the standard writer's Oh God, what am I doing anxiety.It ...more
Kessia Reyne
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: school

This book would be a great companion for a college research writing course. Now in my 12th year of college (don't ask), it was underwhelming and exceedingly basic. The section I found most personally helpful was the final one, on editing style.

In the book's favor, it is (thankfully) well written and surprisingly engaging for a text about research writing. It's clear why this has become a classic in the field.

For students who have strong research skills and are approaching more significan
Nita Shashidharan
Right from thinking about your research question, to developing your quest for the research topic and writing, to the planning process. The book covers all these crucial steps.

Recommended for beginners in the field of research. The pages on developing your arguments in a clear fashion was very useful to me. This will be especially relevant to young students for whom the art of crafting arguments does not come naturally.
Sandy H
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dmin
It's a book about research--so not exciting reading, but they do a good job breaking things down into manageable bites. Definitely reads more for new researchers (freshmen in college) than advanced (doctoral studies) but it's a good starting point to get me thinking and will be filled in with other resources as I go.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Yes, I read a book about how to do research. And it was totally helpful. It's really more about the process of writing, how to edit down tons of information, and how to build a cohesive and valid arguement without loosing your own voice. Couldn't we all use a little of that? The entire internet should read this book.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
One of my supervisors insisted that I read this book before beginning the process of writing my thesis and I'm so glad he did! An excellent book I'd highly recommend to anyone and everyone in research regardless of how long you've been at it.
Dua'a Al-hajjar
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english_books
Never wrote a research article before? This is your start.

Highly recommended!!
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, kindle
Fantastic. Invaluable. I wish I'd had this in high school. Learned much of this on my own, through work. I think I'm going to order a paper copy.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
easy to read and useful.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
"I am working on X to learn more about Y, so that my readers can understand Z."
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is easy to read and covers all aspects of research.
Farah Mendlesohn
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been teaching for twenty years. I first came across this on a colleague's desk and was entranced that it was so close to what I'd been telling students at Undergrad level, and how much it actually taught what I was trying to teach.

I won't take on a PhD student now until they've read it: it gives them a very good sense of what they are signing up for, a clear idea of how to write the proposal and what they are trying to achieve, and how to break it down so they can tackle it bit by bit.

Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Here is my summary in scribd:
Here is the text of the summary:
Part I
Topic>thesis>note cards>draft>revision
Problem>argument>anticipate reservations>Introduction, conclusion>reader/writer
At a glance
How to find a topic
- Create research problem, Find sources, Engage sources, Research argument, Evaluate claim, Judge evidence, Respond to objections, Logic of arguments
Report draft
- Draft, Test draft
Introduction and conclusion
Edit style
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For anyone seeking help with non-fiction writing in general, but especially research writing and, to a lesser degree, organizing and conducting research, this is a great read. It is very accessible, interesting and engaging. The intended audience is undergraduates and above, but there are a lot of tips I would share with high school writers as well.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not something I was “dying to read,” but an extremely clear and well-written refresher on writing and research before I plunge into a new academic adventure. Looking forward to referring back to it as needed.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: museum-study
This is the 4th edition of a classic book for students. It is a thorough guide to writing a research paper, from developing a theme to final organization and writing tips. I've been writing for a long time and I picked up some excellent ideas and reminders.
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“intellectual understanding is one of the best versions of the Golden Rule: Listen to others as you would have others listen to you. Precise demonstration of truth is important but not as important as the communal pursuit of it. Put in terms of Kant's categorical imperative, When addressing someone else's ideas, your obligation is to treat them as you believe all human beings ought to treat one another's ideas."
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