By Michael A. Hughes and George F. Hayhoe
Just a quick review today. This book is pretty slim for a research primer - 216pp, a chunk of which represent reprinted articles from Technical Communication, the journal of the STC - and is written for technical communication students and practitioners who are new to empirical research. Although the book doesn't specify what level of student, I could see my juniors and seniors mowing through the book with no difficulty.
The book is consistently clear throughout, carefully classifying different types of research goals and their foci (p.7) as well as research methods and their descriptions (p.11), then elaborating on each. For most sections, the authors include exercises, such as the exercise on p.12 that has readers match methods with descriptions of specific cases. I'm actually quite impressed with how the authors describe many concepts, such as triangulation and informed consent, lucidly yet with considerable economy.
The book is fairly elementary, probably too elementary for most graduate students in technical communication programs. But I could see it being used in undergraduate courses, perhaps even down to the sophomore level, and certainly by practitioners. If you're looking for a general research methods book at that level, take a look.