The Craft of Research - 978-0226065663

The Craft of Research

Third Edition | Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams | The University of Chicago Press | 2008

From The Publisher

With more than 200,000 copies in print, The Craft of Research is the unrivaled resource for researchers at every level, from first-year undergraduates to research reporters at corporations and government offices.

Now, seasoned researchers and educators Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams present an updated third edition of their classic handbook, whose first and second editions were written in collaboration with the late Wayne C. Booth.

The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, "So what?"

The third edition includes an expanded discussion of the essential early stages of a research task: planning and drafting a paper. The authors have revised and fully updated their section on electronic research, emphasizing the need to distinguish between trustworthy sources (such as those found in libraries) and less reliable sources found with a quick Web search. A chapter on warrants has also been thoroughly reviewed to make this difficult subject easier for researchers.

Throughout, the authors have preserved the amiable tone, the reliable voice, and the sense of directness that have made this book indispensable for anyone undertaking a research project.

From the Back Cover


WAYNE CLAYSON BOOTH (1921-2005) was the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago.

GREGORY G. COLOM B is professor of English language and literature at the University of Virginia.

JOSEPH M. WILLIAMS (1933-2008) was professor emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago.

Together, Booth, Colomb, and Williams coedited the seventh edition of Kate L. Turabian's A Manualfor Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.


The practical guide to mastering the art of research from the publishers of The Chicago Manual of Style


"A well-constructed, articulate reminder of how important fundamental questions of style and approach are to all research."—Times Literary Supplement

"I recommend it to my students . . . and keep a copy close at hand as the first option offered to students who ask 'Just how should I begin my research?"—Business Library Review

"An easy-to-read guide with helpful hints for almost anyone who puts words to paper."—San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Accessible, readable and jargon-free. . . . The Craft of Research pays close attention to readers' needs and anxieties."—Teaching in Higher Education


  • An expanded discussion of the essential early stages: finding a topic and starting a draft
  • Up-to-date information on Internet research
  • A thoroughly revised chapter on warrants

ISBN-13: 978-0 226-06566-3 ISBN-10: 0-226 06566-9 $17.00

WAYNE C. BOOTH was the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. His many books include The Rhetoric of Fiction, For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals, and The Essential Wayne Booth, each published by the University of Chicago Press. Professor Booth died in 2005.

GREGORY G. COLOMB is professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Designs on Truth: The Poetics of the Augustan Mock-Epic.

JOSEPH M. WILLIAMS was professor emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. His books include Style: Toward Clarity and Grace, currently in its ninth edition. Professor Williams died in 2008.

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London © 1995, 2003, 2008 by The University of Chicago All rights reserved.

Published 2008


  • Preface: The Aims of This Edition
  • Our Debts
  • 1 Thinking in Print: The Uses of Research, Public and Private
  • 1.1 What Is Research?
  • 1.2 Why Write It Up?
  • 1.3 Why a Formal Report?
  • 1.4 Writing Is Thinking
  • 2 Connecting with Your Reader: (Re-)Creating Yourself and Your Readers
  • 2.1 Creating Roles for Yourself and Your Readers
  • 2.2 Understanding Your Role
  • 2.3 Imagining Your Reader's Role
  • * Quick Tip: A Checklist for Understanding Your Readers
  • * Quick Tip: Creating a Writing Group
  • 3 From Topics to Questions
  • 3.1 From an Interest to a Topic
  • 3.2 From a Broad Topic to a Focused One
  • 3.3 From a Focused Topic to Questions
  • 3.4 From a Question to Its Significance
  • Quick Tip: Finding Topics
  • 4 From Questions to a Problem
  • 4.1 Distinguishing Practical and Research Problems
  • 4.2 Understanding the Common Structure of Problems
  • 4.3 Finding a Good Research Problem
  • 4.4 Learning to Work with Problems
  • Quick Tip: Manage the Unavoidable Problem of Inexperience
  • 5 From Problems to Sources
  • 5.1 Knowing How to Use Three Kinds of Sources
  • 5.2 Locating Sources through a Library
  • 5.3 Locating Sources on the Internet
  • 5.4 Evaluating Sources for Relevance and Reliability
  • 5.5 Following Bibliographical Trails
  • 5.6 Looking beyond Predictable Sources
  • 5.7 Using People as Primary Sources
  • A Quick Tip: The Ethics of Using People as Sources of Data
  • 6 Engaging Sources
  • 6.1 Knowing What Kind of Evidence to Look For
  • 6.2 Record Complete Bibliographical Data
  • 6.3 Engaging Sources Actively
  • 6.4 Using Secondary Sources to Find a Problem
  • 6.5 Using Secondary Sources to Plan Your Argument
  • 6.6 Recording What You Find
  • Quick Tip: Manage Moments of Normal Anxiety
  • 7 Making Good Arguments: An Overview
  • 7.1 Argument as a Conversation with Readers
  • 7.2 Supporting Your Claim
  • 7.3 Acknowledging and Responding to Anticipated Questions and Objections
  • 7.4 Warranting the Relevance of Your Reasons
  • 7.5 Building a Complex Argument Out of Simple Ones
  • 7.6 Creating an Ethos by Thickening Your Argument
  • 13 Quick Tip: A Common Mistake—Falling Back on What You Know
  • 8 Making Claims
  • 8.1 Determining the Kind of Claim You Should Make
  • 8.2 Evaluating Your Claim
  • 53 Quick Tip: Qualifying Claims to Enhance Your Credibility
  • 9 Assembling Reasons and Evidence
  • 9.1 Using Reasons to Plan Your Argument
  • 9.2 Distinguishing Evidence from Reasons
  • 9.3 Distinguishing Evidence from Reports of It
  • 9.4 Evaluating Your Evidence
  • 10 Acknowledgments and Responses
  • 10.1 Questioning Your Argument as Your Readers Will
  • 10.2 Imagining Alternatives to Your Argument
  • 10.3 Deciding What to Acknowledge
  • 10.4 Framing Your Responses as Subordinate Arguments
  • 10.5 The Vocabulary of Acknowledgment and Response
  • Quick Tip: Three Predictable Disagreements
  • 11 Warrants
  • 11.1 Warrants in Everyday Reasoning
  • 11.2 Warrants in Academic Arguments
  • 11.3 Understanding the Logic of Warrants
  • 11.4 Testing Whether a Warrant Is Reliable
  • 11.5 Knowing When to State a Warrant
  • 11.6 Challenging Others' Warrants
  • Quick Tip: Two Kinds of Arguments
  • Quick Tip: Outlining and Storyboarding
  • 12 Planning
  • 12.1 Avoid Three Common but Flawed Plans
  • 12.2 Planning Your Report
  • 13 Drafting Your Report
  • 13.1 Draft in a Way That Feels Comfortable
  • 13.2 Use Key Words to Keep Yourself on Track
  • 13.3 Quote, Paraphrase, and Summarize Appropriately
  • 13.4 Integrating Direct Quotations into Your Text
  • 13.5 Show Readers How Evidence Is Relevant
  • 13.6 Guard against Inadvertent Plagiarism
  • 13.7 The Social Importance of Citing Sources
  • 13.8 Four Common Citation Styles
  • 13.9 Work through Procrastination and Writer's Block
  • Quick Tip: Indicating Citations in Your Text
  • 14 Revising Your Organization and Argument
  • 14.1 Thinking Like a Reader
  • 14.2 Revising the Frame of Your Report
  • 14.3 Revising Your Argument
  • 14.4 Revising the Organization of Your Report
  • 14.5 Check Your Paragraphs
  • 14.6 Let Your Draft Cool, Then Paraphrase It
  • Quick Tip: Abstracts
  • 15 Communicating Evidence Visually
  • 15.1 Choosing Visual or Verbal Representations
  • 15.2 Choosing the Most Effective Graphic
  • 15.3 Designing Tables, Charts, and Graphs
  • 15.4 Specific Guidelines for Tables, Bar Charts, and Line Graphs
  • 15.5 Communicating Data Ethically
  • 16 Introductions and Conclusions
  • 16.1 The Common Structure of Introductions
  • 16.2 Step 1: Establish Common Ground
  • 16.3 Step 2: State Your Problem
  • 16.4 Step 3: State Your Response
  • 16.5 Setting the Right Pace for Your Introduction
  • 16.6 Writing Your Conclusion
  • 16.7 Finding Your First Few Words
  • 16.8 Finding Your Last Few Words
  • Quick Tip: Titles
  • 17 Revising Style: Telling Your Story Clearly
  • 17.1 Judging Style
  • 17.2 The First Two Principles of Clear Writing
  • 17.3 A Third Principle: Old before New
  • 17.4 Choosing between Active and Passive
  • 17.5 A Final Principle: Complexity Last
  • 17.6 Spit and Polish
  • Quick Tip: The Quickest Revision Strategy
  • The Ethics of Research
  • A Postscript for Teachers
  • Appendix: Bibliographical Resources
  • Index

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

LC control no.: 2007042761
Type of material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal name: Booth, Wayne C.
Main title: The craft of research / Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams.
Edition: 3rd ed.
Published/Created: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2008.
Related names: Colomb, Gregory G.
Williams, Joseph M.
Description: xvii, 317 p. : ill.; 22 cm.
ISBN-13: 9780226065656 (cloth : alk. paper)
ISBN-13: 9780226065663 (pbk. : alk. paper)
ISBN-10: 0226065650 (cloth : alk. paper)
ISBN-10: 0226065669 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Contents: Research, researchers, and readers -- Prologue: Becoming a researcher -- Thinking in print: Uses of research, public and private -- Connecting with your reader: (Re-)creating yourself and your audience -- Asking questions, finding answers -- Prologue: Planning your project - an overview -- From topics to questions -- From questions to a problem -- From problems to sources -- Engaging sources -- Making a claim and supporting it -- Prologue: Assembling a research argument -- Making good arguments: Overview -- Making claims -- Assembling reasons and evidence -- Acknowledgments and responses -- Warrants -- Planning, drafting, and revising -- Prologue: Planning again -- Planning -- Drafting your report -- Revising your organization and argument -- Communicating evidence visually -- Introductions and conclusions-- Revising style: Telling your story clearly -- Some last considerations.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Subjects: Research --Methodology.
Technical writing.
Series: Chicago guides to writing, editing, and publishing
LC classification: Q180.55.M4 B66 2008
Dewey class no.: 001.4/2
National bib no.: GBA822140
National bib agency no.: 014530365
Other system no.: (OCoLC)ocn175218191


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