Top critical review
36 people found this helpful
Useful for certain disciplines
on August 10, 2012
Roberts' book is most useful for those doctoral candidates who intend to collect data, use samples or instrumentation, and analyze their results. For others, like me, who will not be collecting and analyzing data, the book has some gaps. Although Roberts offers formats and suggestions for both qualitative and quantitive methods, I think her distinction is more in terms of analyzing data, not epistemological. I dispute Roberts' assertion that regardless of discipline, research follows the scientific method (20). Interdisciplinary research such as a cultural studies perspective is not aligned with the scientific method.
Also, I find it troubling that Roberts needs to remind readers (who are commencing to write a dissertation!) to be careful about using internet sources because anyone can put anything on the web (77). Possibly, I'm being unrealistic in expecting doctoral students and candidates to understand the (un)reliability of the Internet.
If thirty dollars and odd change is not a lot of money for you, and if you are working in the hard or soft sciences, then you will find this a very helpful book and I would go as far to say it's a must-read. However, for those of us working in alternative conceptual frameworks and methods, her book is okay - if you can find it in a library, or borrow it from someone else, then read it. But if you are like me, and $30 is a lot of money, you might re-consider buying it.