Skip to Main Content

Project Planning for the Beginner: Planning, Data, Writing and Dissemination

This Sage Research Methods tool is designed for the first time researcher to guide you through your research project.


Preparation is vital when planning your research project. Take your time to do the job thoroughly. You should have timetabled things so that you can work systematically. Make sure that you are familiar with the research techniques you are going to use in order to collect your data. Be sure to record your data as it will be the product of your own primary research. When writing up your research, make sure that all of the elements you have assembled is coherent so that your research question is clear and  understandable. Once you have written your research, consider the number of ways to disseminate your research to ensure that it is usable by others. Here are some best practices  and links to help you plan your research.

What Are some Best Practices to Help Me Plan My Research

Before beginning your research

During the research phase  

Writing up your research

Once your research project is complete

Case Studies Showing How Methods Are Applied In Real Research Projects

Postic, R., & Prough, E. (2019). Constructing and administering an original survey to measure support for gay marriage. SAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526486981 Methods: Research questions

Hopper, J. S. (2019). A mixed-methods approach to analyzing environmental enforcement in the American StatesSAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526465290    Methods :  

de Motte, C. (2014). A mixed-methods approach to explore the quality of life and experiences of older male prisoners in HMPSSAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781446273050135000   Methods :  

Berger, R. (2017). Conducting research under the radar: Using a case study for studying populations off the social mainstream. SAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/978152641164  Methods :  

Samanta, J., & Samanta, A. (2018). A focus group content analysis study exploring cultural and faith based values at end of lifeSAGE Research Methods Cases. Methods: Focus groups

Willoughby, J., Brickman, J., Niu, Z., & Liu, S. (2017). Focus groups and experiments for health message development: Creating a text message program for college women about alcohol and hook-upsSAGE Research Methods Cases. Methods: Pilot studiesFocus groups

Snyder, K., Schaffer, C., Lee, J., & Dinkel, D. (2018). Brain blasters: An intervention to improve the utilization of classroom physical activity. SAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526450203 Methods :  

Griffiths, M., & Dhuffar, M. (2014). Collecting behavioural addiction treatment data using freedom of information requestsSAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/978144627305014533925 Methods :  

Backstrom, L. (2018). Accomplishing empathy: An ethnography of a children’s weight loss camp. SAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526427403   Methods :  

Limjerwala, S. (2018). Conducting research on sexual violence in Gujarat, India: An argument in favor of ethnographySAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526445544  Methods :  

Fennell, J. (2018). Coed naked: Insider ethnography in the BDSM subcultureSAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526447067 Methods :  

Shaw, J., Welch, A., Williamson, M., & Mitchell, C. (2018). Developing a systematic literature review on the use of social media as a health intervention in adolescent health: A case studySAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526444424  Methods :  

Petrosino, A., Morgan, C., Fronius, T., Tanner-Smith, E., & Boruch, R. (2014). Dropout prevention studies in developing countries: A systematic review and meta-analysisSAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/978144627305013510256  Methods :  



The Odum Institute. (2015). Learn about simple regression in SPSS with data from the global health observatory data (2012). London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781473948174  Software Guide: 

Shi, F., & The Odum Institute. (2019). Learn about time series plot with fitted lines in SPSS with data from EPA’s air quality system data mart (2017). London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781526473172 Software Guide: 

Shi, F., & The Odum Institute. (2019). Learn about single mean t-test in SPSS with data from the behavioral risk factor surveillance system (2015). London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781526473189

Which Stats Test

Knowing which statistical test to use to answer your question is tricky. Use this simple tool to help narrow down the options!



Podcasts present in-depth discussions which explore stories from the field, the challenges of social science research, and how we can understand the social world.

Alkire, S. (2017). Sabina alkire on measuring poverty [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from SAGE Research Methods Methods :  

Bohnet, I. (2016). Iris bohnet on discrimination and design [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from SAGE Research Methods. Methods :