Booth, Colomb and Williams know their target audience. Throughout their guide to research, they target comments to the reluctant researcher who has to complete a Masters project in a subject in which they probably have little interest and even less expertise. That's fair enough. It's good to have the rules explained and some attempt made to explain or justify those rules. The result is a book which does spend some time teaching grandmothers to suck eggs, but has enough that will be useful to justify revising one's egg-sucking technique.
The writing is light and humorous. By this third edition, Booth is well dead and Williams followed shortly after the draft was completed. We're talking old men. But for all that, the tone is engaging and the writers mention feedback from students - to which they seem to have responded. There's credit due for that.
This is a competent, well written guide to doing research projects (and I have read others that compare less favourably); the writers do know their target audience and do address the likely reluctance on the part of that audience. It is nice to see a useful and pragmatic guide to research that does not assume that readers aspire for a career in research. I am pleased to have read this book and am finding it useful in developing my own masters project.