Thinking Sociolinguistically - How to Plan, Conduct and Present Your Research Project

by Paul McPherron
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Paul McPherron Thinking Sociolinguistically - How to Plan, Conduct and Present Your Research Project
Paul McPherron - Thinking Sociolinguistically - How to Plan, Conduct and Present Your Research Project

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This is a practical guide to planning, conducting and presenting a sociolinguistic research project. Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book begins with a brief review of what sociolinguists study and how they study it, before guiding students step-by-step through the research process. It presents a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods, including surveys, interviews and corpora, supported by examples from both published researchers and student projects. Drawing on the experiences of their own students, the authors provide supportive guidance on common areas of difficulty, such as framing questions, selecting participants and interpreting data. The final part shows you how to organise and write up your findings. Chapters are further enriched with hands-on activities and discussion questions.

This is an essential companion for budding sociolinguistic researchers with a desire to understand the linguistic landscapes around them and communicate their findings to others.



Paul McPherron
Trudy Smoke

Further information


Thinking Sociolinguistically provides a clear and accessible guide to researching language in society. This book will encourage readers to think about their own experiences with language and the social world and to question their assumptions. Chapters feature colourful examples and exercises help to get the creative juices flowing. – Janet M. Fuller, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

With its unique blend of practical step-by-step guides, homage to the works of established linguists, and candid insights into the messiness of social science research, I predict this volume will fast become a go-to primer for (future) applied linguists. – Tamara Sniad, Temple University College of Education, USA

This is a most engaging guide for students embarking on sociolinguistic projects large or small. Its discussion of different approaches, sample topics, and the tips on presentation of research and writing style will be invaluable to readers. – Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town, South Africa

As a teacher, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your students will inductively figure out how research works simply by reading a lot of published articles, but having the mechanics of a project explicitly pointed out is an important but often overlooked part of that learning process. (…) This book provides enough scaffolding that students can start to experiment with small projects, and figure out not only how research works, but also how they work as researchers.

– Evan Hazenberg, University of Sussex, UK.


  • Takes a practical approach to the key research methods and approaches in sociolinguistics, with engaging activities throughout

  • Contains international examples of research which address a variety of languages and research contexts alongside suggestions for further reading

  • Supplemented with examples of student research that will inform and inspire readers in their own work

  • Includes an extensive glossary of key terms

  • Is supported by a companion website with additional resources to help students develop their research skills

Media Type:
Macmillan Education
Biography Artist:
Paul McPherron and Trudy Smoke are based at Hunter College, which is part of the larger City University of New York system. They have taught sociolinguistics for many years, and the book has been inspired by their experiences of guiding their own students through the research process.
Number of Pages:

Master Data

Product Type:
Paperback book
Release date:
November 14, 2018
Package Dimensions:
0.235 x 0.155 x 0.015 m; 0.418 kg
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