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Tricks of the Trade: How to Think about Your Research While You're Doing It (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing and Publishing) Paperback – 21 Jan 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (21 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226041247
  • ISBN-13: 978-2913264045
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
I am posed on the brink of my proposal and have been reading similar books about writing and research. This one is by far one of the best. Howard Becker is having a conversation with the reader about doing research in the social sciences. I find the concepts easy to follow and feel that his ideas have a universal applicability. I enjoy Dr. Becker's writing style, which is light on the jargon and heavy on the realities of graduate school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 Aug. 2009
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This book is very good. Written in a more personal style than a textbook, yet page after page, there is valuable insight (with citations so you can check the original arguments). This is definitely worth buying, especially for early researchers. I think Becker has distilled his experience very well in this book, and understanding the tricks here will prime you very well to navigate the problems you will encounter in qualitative research.
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Becker's Guide to Complicating your Methodological Analysis without falling into chaos.

Assuming you are armed with and thoroughly trained in Research Methods ( I'm not yet!) This book will add to your range of armoury by expanding your perspectives and helping you to launch out into unchartered waters without feeling too insecure. This should be read along with Booth' The Craft of Research' as I am only half way through it raises important but entirely complimentary questions which address the insecurities coming from the unknown questions that feature in any real research. ( My 'research puts me into the Unknown without any guiding posts only asking questions getting them answered, asking deeper questions and so forth).

I like Becker because he takes an sympathetic organic and curiosity driven approach to his Research. His comment about The Academy not liking it's Research methodologies being applied to it is a moot point (Becker 1998,218) as he did Research into Campus life pp210-212). He is inspired rightly by Jazz, he is inspired rightly IMHO by LIFE and to my my way of thinking is more grass roots than your average Academic and I believe it makes him a Winner as evidence d by his academic awards and status in the Academic community as a whole.
In this book he gives the Reader the tools to go beyond the current range of available methodologies and THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX a key skill for would be Social Scientists: this he does by employing IMAGERY, SAMPLING TRICKS, TRICKS, AND LOGIC with the important proviso that one practices these tricks until they are second nature (p218 Coda) and become that Dragon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
An invitation to sit in on a graduate seminar in methodology 11 July 2001
By L. L. Stallings - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Howard S. Becker's Tricks of the Trade is an invitation to sit in on a graduate seminar in methodology with an experienced social science researcher. The tone is conversational and thought-provoking, often humorous. Through a quirky set of examples that includes embezzlement, theatre casting, transvestitism, forestry, and opiate addiction, Becker describes common methodological problems in research and some "tricks" that might be helpful in unlocking them. Although the word "tricks" in the title might put some readers off, the author explains that he has found these to be useful tools in "tam[ing] theory...[by providing] ways of thinking that help researchers faced with concrete research problems make some progress" (p. 4). These tricks are not shortcuts to the solution of theoretical problems; in fact, Becker points out that they may cause more, rather than less, work because they "suggest ways of interfering with the comfortable thought routines academic life promotes and supports" (p. 6).
Becker's very readable book will probably be most interesting to someone who has some research experience and has grappled with the methodological and theoretical problems it addresses. For that reason, it would be less useful as an introductory methodology textbook than it would for a beginning researcher, but reading Tricks of the Trade will benefit researchers of any experience level. The usefulness of a particular trick to a given researcher will depend on the researcher's interests and experiences, but this may well be one of those books that yields fresh insights each time it is read. The main strength of Tricks of the Trade is the glimpse it provides into the thinking of an experienced and respected researcher.
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Addresses the research process in an easy to understand way. 17 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am posed on the brink of my proposal and have been reading similar books about writing and research. This one is by far one of the best. Howard Becker is having a conversation with the reader about doing research in the social sciences. I find the concepts easy to follow and feel that his ideas have a universal applicability. I enjoy Dr. Becker's writing style, which is light on the jargon and heavy on the realities of graduate school.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Good For the Social Scientist 14 July 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book hoping it would help me do my research for my dissertation. It seems to be a reasonably sound book if you're in the social sciences (sociology, psych, anthropology, but I would advise humanities majors and researchers to skip this one. Most of the information presented in this book has no relevance to many other disciplines.
Great content but problems in publishing 8 Nov. 2012
By Muntasir Sattar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Highly informative for doctoral students but a bit of a pain to read because there are missing punctuation marks and letters. The publisher really needs to do their homework before putting something like this out. In spite of the problems, still worth it for the price.
Essential reading for qualitative research 16 Dec. 2013
By D L P - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
detailed instructions for organizing your framework. if you don't know Howard S. Becker you are falling behind. Books are meant to be read not consulted. you read it and write the review.
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