Here is a paper on the arxiv, preprint of an encyclopedia entry, which might be useful to many to introduce the ideas and techniques used in perturbative quantization of different fields. If you are content to accept for the moment brief definitions instead of leisurely motivations of the various terms, this can provide a framework which will stand you in good stead when you come to study deeper works like Peskin & Schroder or Bailin & Love. http://aps.arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/0505/0505139.pdf From the introduction: There are several equivalent formulations of the problem of quantizing an interacting field theory. The list includes canonical quantization, path integral (or functional) techniques, stochastic quantization, “unified” methods such as the Batalin-Vilkovisky formalism, and techniques based on the realizations of field theories as low energy limits of string theory. The problem of obtaining an exact nonperturbative description of a given quantum field theory is most often a very difficult one. Perturbative techniques, on the other hand, are abundant, and common to all of the quantization methods mentioned above is that they admit particle interpretations in this formalism.