The trouble with research for most people is that it falls outside of their comfort zone.  Research, therefore, becomes something we take for granted until the imperative to actually do some kind of scholarly or applied investigation envelops us.  That's the time people begin to squirm more than just a little.  Their need is to move beyond knowing about research to understanding how it all works and where it all sits in the scheme of things.  They require, in order to achieve understanding, a framework that merges theory with principles of practice so that they locate what they wish to do against models of research and knowledge development.

This paper provides beginning and advanced researchers with such a framework for understanding.  It captures some of my thinking about research which has evolved over many years and which became even more clearly crystalized for me as I wrote this paper. 

Specifically, the commentary was developed as an accompaniment to a slide show I used for workshops at the César Chávez Institute (a community of socially engaged scholars working in partnership for social justice at San Francisco State University).  Others, however, have found it to be useful so I thought I'd include it here.   

The ideal way of using the material is to click on these links:

  • To see the notes and slides together as a PDF click hereYou may want to print them off to use whilst you are looking at the slide show.
  • To view the accompanying slide show whilst reading, click hereDo note that some of the slides are automated so be measured in your clicking-on rather than hasty.
  • My suggestion is that you work through the slide show and then read the notes whilst you re-examine the slide show.  Happy learning and do share this resource with others if you think it is worth-while.