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Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches [Paperback]

John W. Creswell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15, 2008 1412965578 978-1412965576 3rd

                The Bestselling Text is Completely Updated and Better than Ever!

Praise for the Third Edition:

“I have used the older edition with great success. The new one is even better.”
—Kathleen Duncan, University of La Verne

The Third Edition of the bestselling text Research Design by John W. Creswell enables readers to compare three approaches to research—qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods—in a single research methods text. The book presents these three approaches side by side within the context of the process of research from the beginning steps of philosophical assumptions to the writing and presenting of research. Written in a user-friendly manner, Creswell's text does not rely on technical jargon. He cuts to the core of what a reader needs to know to read and design research in part by showcasing ideas in a scaffold approach so that the reader understands ideas from the simple to the complex.

Key updates to the Third Edition

  • Presents the preliminary steps of using philosophical assumptions in the beginning of the book
  • Provides an expanded discussion on ethical issues
  • Emphasizes new Web-based technologies for literature searches
  • Offers updated information about mixed methods research procedures
  • Contains a glossary of terms
  • Highlights “research tips” throughout the chapters incorporating the author’s experiences over the last 35 years

The Instructor’s Resource site at contains: 

  • Sample Syllabi
  • PowerPoint Slide Sets
  • Sample Student Proposals
  • Suggested Studies Published in Journal Articles
  • Application Activities and Tutorial
  • Peer-Feedback Group Activities
  • Study Design Group Activities
  • End-of-Chapter Checklists

The Student Study Site at offers:

  • Sample Student Proposals
  • Application Activities and Tutorials
  • Peer-Feedback Group Activities
  • Study Design Group Activities
  • End-of-Chapter Checklists

Research Design, Third Edition appeals to students taking research design and research methods classes throughout the social and behavioral sciences—from undergraduates to the most advanced doctoral programs.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John W. Creswell is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He teaches courses on mixed methods research, qualitative inquiry, and general research design. In these three areas, he has authored numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and books. He is currently working on his 22nd book (including new editions), and his books are translated into many languages around the world. At Nebraska he founded the Office of Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research and has held the Clifton Endowed Chair. He also co-founded the SAGE journal, the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, and has been a popular speaker on mixed methods and qualitative research in the US and abroad. As an applied research methodologist, he served as an Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan and as a consultant for the VA health services research unit in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a methodologist, he helped to design the methods for a number of successful NIH and NSF projects. He has been a Senior Fulbright Specialist scholar to both South Africa (2008) and Thailand (2012) lecturing on qualitative and mixed methods approaches to research. Recently, he served as a co-leader of a national working group developing “best practices” for mixed methods research at the National Institutes of Health in the US. Visit him at his Web site:

Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 3rd edition (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412965578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412965576
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John W. Creswell is a Professor of Educational Psychology at Teachers College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is affiliated with a graduate program in educational psychology that specializes in quantitative and qualitative methods in education. In this program, he specializes in qualitative and quantitative research designs and methods, multimethod research, and faculty and academic leadership issues in colleges and universities.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for researchers and PhD students May 22, 2009
I initially bought this book when I writing the proposal for my PhD about three years ago and Cresswell's little gem proved invaluable during that time. The book is very well written and unlike other books on the topic, Cresswell is not content with explaining theory and providing examples but goes further to provide excellent templates for the process, writing, structure, and format of every phase of the research process. These 'templates,' coupled with a clear writing style and an excellent, logical structure, elevate the book from 'very useful' to 'invaluable' in my opinion.

For example, in chapter 4: The Introduction, he begins by explaining the purpose of the Introduction and its importance and then provides models for writing introduction in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research. This format is mirrored in almost every chapter including Chapter 2: Review of the literature where he provides an excellent process for maximizing the effectiveness of the initial literature review process. In Chapter 5, he simplifies purpose statements with step-by-step guidelines for the three methodologies while in Chapter 6 he does the same for the research questions and hypotheses.

While Cresswell is an Educational Researcher himself, he does not limit the examples in the book to his field but endeavors to include samples from the social and human sciences including justice, management, psychology, sociology and marketing. These numerous examples throughout every chapter of the book serve to illustrate the templates and guidelines effectively, leaving little doubt in the reader's mind on the 'how' of applying the guidelines.

Overall, this is the best of the pick if you need clear, straightforward guidelines on writing a proposal or planning your research project.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Beginning Researchers November 14, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My impression of "Research Design" is that Creswell sincerely wanted readers to understand how to conduct thorough research with confidence. While I focused more on the chapters on qualitative and mixed-methods research, the quantitative chapter was equally easy to understand as the more inquiry-based methods. As an education student, I've always feared doing quantitative research, however this book makes it as available and comprehensible as either of the other two methods discussed. However, I would venture to guess that if you were in a highly technical field, this book would not suffice to supply you with the complete methodologies to conduct quantitative research.
The author conveniently structures each chapter with the learner in mind. For each section of the book, Creswell supplies easy to follow steps and checklists for students and researchers to cover most angles of research. At the completion of each chapter (all of which are short and easy to digest), there is a small section on writing practice to provide practical application for the reader who might not have a professor to rely on for further instruction, or for the professor who wants an easy, practical assignment right from the text. I studied this book independently, and while I feel a second read through might be in order, it was absolutely easy to understand and useful in my independent study.
I recommend this book for its straightforward style and practical approach to conducting basic research.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to school July 29, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was required for a Master's research class. It is detailed, but easy to read, and I read every page! This is one for the bookcase, if you're involved in research report writing, you'll want this around as a reference.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fraught with Misinformation (from a peer) December 2, 2011
By Psydea
I find myself in the unfortunate position of using this textbook to teach a course in mixed methods research. I have been conducting and teaching research for over 30 years and have never encountered a book so fraught with incorrect information and self serving opinions. This book could not possibly have been thoroughly peer reviewed. Creswell is confusing my students by inventing new terms for old concepts and suggesting that these concepts (not just the terms) originated with him. He is also using existing terminology in his own unique way, further confusing students that are struggling with the language of research. He indicates that causality is demonstrated by qualitative research themes when experienced researchers would be tenuous about discussing possible relationships. His cookbook approach severely limits the range of research opportunities by suggesting that these are the only available valid methods. This book might be a simple read for new researchers, but it actually adds confusion rather than clarity to a difficult field of study.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and understand. January 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was easy to read, understand and navigate. I recommend this to any graduate student taking a research class.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Dissertation Students June 10, 2009
Excellent book for dissertation students needing additional information with examples to make their paper better. The author makes it very simple for average students to understand the concepts and theories that exist for each required section for a successful dissertation. The author also explains the information for Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods users which I feel is very helpful for a clear understanding in all areas. This book is worth the buy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars meh.....
I got this for my master's capstone course. Didn't really use it all that much. Required text. The three methods of research could easily be explained in 10 pages. Read more
Published 2 days ago by TD
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 days ago by Amy T. Ortiz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I received the book well, thank you!
Published 9 days ago by Kim Hyoung Geun
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
this is a fantastic resource for me while I am working towards my degree. I also plan to hold on to this book as a future reference.
Published 2 months ago by Justin M Downing
4.0 out of 5 stars Ecopath Community (ecology) Patch dynamics Cross-boundary subsidy Edge...
The experimental methods proposals can seen as standing at the outskirts of any town and / or city notice the same layouts
from the civilized setting to the outskirts of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Derek Allan Elj
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book covering the essentials on the varieties of research...
The high rating of this book speaks to its in-depth coverage of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach to research design. It is a permanent member of my library! Read more
Published 2 months ago by F.H.Navarro, Fontana, CA
5.0 out of 5 stars Research Design (3rdth) Edition)[3E].. Quantitative, Quantitative and...
Overall, it, a great book for your research courses! follow and comrehend and it also easy to understand, without being over simplified.
Published 3 months ago by william leekins
5.0 out of 5 stars Methodology
This books was required for my PHD Coursework. I use it a quick reference guide for topics related to research design. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Adrima Caesar
4.0 out of 5 stars Not terribly interesting
I had to buy this for a class at USD. I only opened it twice during the semester and still made an "A" in the class.
Published 4 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version
Easy to read. I like the electronic version. I am still able to highlight and make notes through my ipad.
Published 4 months ago by Kimberly S. Waller
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