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Other titles in the Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing series:

The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing)


The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With more than 400,000 copies now 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.
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.

About the Author

Wayne C. Booth (1921-2005) was the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago.  His many books include The Rhetoric of Fiction and For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Gregory G. Colomb is professor of English language and literature at the University of Virginia.  He is the author of Designs on Truth: The Poetics of the Augustan Mock-Epic. Joseph M. Williams is professor emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Together Colomb and Williams have written The Craft of Argument. Booth, Colomb, and Williams coedited the seventh edition of Kate L. Turabians A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

Table of Contents

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 UnderstandingYour 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: Disagreeing with Your Sources

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 Evaluting Sources for Relevance and Reliability

5.5 Following Bibliographic Trails

5.6 Looking beyond Predictable Sources

5.7 Using People as Primary Sources

      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 Read 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

      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 

      Quick Tip: A Common Mistake – Falling Back on What You Know 

8 Claims

8.1 Determining the Kind of Claim You Should Make 

8.2 Evaluating Your Claim

      Quick Tip: Qualifying Claims to Enhance Your Credibility

9 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 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 Predicatble 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 Plaigarism

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 Guidlines 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 Place 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

General Sources


Product Details

Booth, Wayne C.
University of Chicago Press
Williams, Joseph M.
Colomb, Gregory G.
Booth, Wayne G.
Research -- Methodology.
Technical Writing
Science Reference-General
Edition Description:
Third Edition, Third Edition
Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
24 line drawings, 7 tables
8.5 x 5.5 in

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History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Reference » Research
Reference » Science Reference » General

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