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A Hands-On Manual for Social Work Research

How to Stop Worrying and Start Loving Research

Amy Catherine Russell

Publication Date - July 2015

ISBN: 9780190615642

224 pages
6 x 8.9 inches

In Stock


Amy Russell has designed the ultimate "not-another-research-textbook" textbook: a hands-on approach to teaching research that overcomes the resistance of the most apprehensive student. Included in this book and its supplemental materials are everything that both instructors and students need for a class built around the experience of conducting an entire practice-based research project. Students use actual data collected from their field experience to help them connect the importance of research to their own practice interests.

Russell frames her approach to research and evaluation, not as an abstract exercise in accountability, but instead as a tool to empower social service agencies. Rather than weighing students down with every possible test and procedure, this book walks readers through each discrete step of the research process and presents only the information they need to know when they need to know it! The book's casual tone and playful attitude allays students' anxieties and helps them not only understand the purpose of research but actually develop their own passion for the practice.


  • demystifies the jargon and terminology pertaining to research with glossaries at the end of every chapter
  • worksheets and exercises to be used for every step are included in the text and available online for download
  • in-class exercises and research scenarios provide opportunities for experiential learning
  • instructor's materials include sample syllabi for using this book in either BSW, MSW, or PhD programs along with quarter or semester terms

About the Author(s)

Amy Catherine Russell, (MSW, PhD, University of Houston) is assistant professor of social work at Texas State University. She is the director of the school's Richter Research Institute, which supports faculty, student, and social service evaluation, research, and grant endeavors. Her research interests include liberated identity, queer issues, and programmatic and student learning outcomes, with emphasis on creative methodologies, such as classic grounded theory, image, and art.

Table of Contents

    1. Purpose of This Manual
    2. A Different Perspective of Research and Evaluation
    3. Methods
    4. Literature in Evaluation
    5. Data Management: Between Methods and Results
    6. Results
    7. Discussion
    8. References
    Appendix A. Research Resources
    Appendix B. In-Class Exercises
    Appendix C. Sample Confidentiality Statement and Institutional Review Board Exemption

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