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In action research, the researcher works in close collaboration with a group of people to improve a situation in a particular setting. The researcher does not ‘do’ research ‘on’ people, but instead works with them, acting as a facilitator. Therefore, good group management skills and an understanding of group dynamics are important skills for the researcher to acquire. This type of research is popular in areas such as organisational management, community development, education and agriculture. Action research begins with a process of communication and agreement between people who want to change something together.

If it is a journal article, remember to include the name of the journal; the page numbers of the article and the volume and number of the journal. It is also useful to include the location of this publication so that it can be found easily if needed again (website or library shelf location). Once you have stored this information electronically it is a simple job to cut and paste your references when you come to compile the reference section and bibliography of your report or dissertation (see Chapter 12).

It is the overall approach to studying your topic and includes issues you need to think about such as the constraints, dilemmas and ethical choices within your research. Now that you have read Chapter 1, some of these issues will be fresh in your mind. Your research methodology is different to your research methods – these are the tools you use to gather data, such as questionnaires or interviews, and these will be discussed in Chapter 3. RECOGNISING QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH When you start to think about your research methodology, you need to think about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research.

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