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How to do your Social Research Project or Dissertation

How to do your Social Research Project or Dissertation (1st edn)

Tom Clark, Liam Foster, and Alan Bryman
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date: 17 July 2024

p. 18311. Collecting Quantitative Datalocked

p. 18311. Collecting Quantitative Datalocked

  • Tom Clark, Tom ClarkLecturer in Research Methods, The University of Sheffield
  • Liam FosterLiam FosterSenior Lecturer in Social Policy & Social Work, The University of Sheffield
  •  and Alan BrymanAlan BrymanProfessor of Organizational and Social Research, Formerly of The University of Leicester


This chapter discusses the basics of collecting quantitative material. It outlines the nature of quantitative data in the context of the research process, before exploring the differences between primary and secondary data. In doing so, it highlights some of the benefits of using secondary data sets for the purposes of dissertation-based research. The chapter then examines the relationship between research questions, concepts, and variables, before exploring how quantitative data can be measured at different levels. Finally, it offers some useful tips and advice concerning one technique that is particularly common in student projects — the questionnaire — and demonstrates the different ways in which questionnaires can be developed and administered.

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