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I have many people to thank for helping me move this book from idea to reality. It was in Professor Ken Root’s research methods class at Luther College where I discovered with delighted surprise that the topic can indeed be taught in a way that is both accessible and engaging. Since then, I’d been kicking around the idea of writing my own text. But first, of course, I had to learn something about teaching.

From my students I learned, and continue to learn, how to teach research methods. I thank them for not being shy about telling me when my efforts fall flat and for bearing with me as I continue to work out the kinks in my teaching. They have also graciously endured my never-ending attempts to convert them to be as enthusiastic about research methods as I am.

Working in an extraordinarily supportive department made it possible to complete this book. Steve Barkan and Laurie Cartier have been especially wonderful, cheering me on and cheering me up throughout the writing process, but especially as I neared the finish.

Living with a tremendously supportive spouse also made this work possible. Lance Blackstone is truly a partner extraordinaire.

The folks at Unnamed Publisher have been out-of-this-world amazing. Without Michael Boezi’s helpful encouragement, I may never have taken the leap and gone for it. Vanessa Gennarelli did much of the heavy lifting, patiently walking this novice textbook author through a few dark moments and offering positive thoughts when needed along with the right balance of tough love to keep me on track. Denise Powell seamlessly transitioned in and picked up exactly when, where, and how I needed her to. I know how very lucky I am to have had the chance to work with each of them.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the careful, clear, and extremely helpful feedback I received from the reviewers and editors who gave their time to help make this a better book, including all those listed here.

Editorial and Production Staff

  • Vanessa Gennarelli—Project Manager, Unnamed Publisher
  • Denise Powell—Project Manager, Unnamed Publisher
  • Ellen Bohnstengel—Production Manager, Scribe Inc.
  • Rubi Garcia—Production Manager, Scribe Inc.
  • Traci Yoder—Permissions Manager, Scribe Inc.
  • Rajiv Narayana—Supplements Manager, ANSR Group


  • Joyce Bell, University of Pittsburg
  • Judith DeSena, St. John’s University
  • Ginny Garcia-Alexander, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Lauren Ross, Temple University
  • Annette Nierobisz, Carleton College
  • Katherin Parks, Lora’s College
  • Allison Vetter, University of Central Arkansas
  • Melissa Weiner, Holy Cross

Thank you all.