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Research Methodologies Guide

A collection of resources describing research methods in the social sciences and the humanities

Action Research

Action research is defined by O'Leary (2007) as

"Research strategies that tackle real-world problems in participatory, collaborative, and cyclical ways in order to produce both knowledge and action."

It refers to a type of research methodology which works toward a kind of change (whether social or professional). Because its goals are oriented toward change rather than knowledge-gathering alone, active research studies are often based in everyday issues, and concern themselves with the creation of practical solutions to these problems.

Elements of action research studies include:

  • Identify a problem
  • Research the problem and its probable causes
  • Develop a response to the problem
  • Implement the proposed solution
  • Observe the implementation of the solution
  • Reflect on the results (and start over, if necessary)

For more in-depth information, browse the resources below:

Where to Start

Below, a few tools and online guides that can help you start your action research project are listed. These include free online resources and resources available only through ISU Library.

Online Resources