Developing specific, sociological research question

1.Research Question (1pt)

1)      Develop a clear, specific, sociological research question that will investigate the relationship between two social phenomena/behaviors/facts.

2. Conceptual and Operational Definitions (5pts)

2)      Clearly identify the variables in your research question

3)      Identify which variable is your independent variable, and which variable is your dependent variable.

4)      Provide a conceptual definition for each variable. (i.e. similar to dictionary definition)

5)      Describe what ‘type’ of variable each variable is.

6)      Provide an operational definition for each variable.  (i.e. how the variable is going to be measured)

3. Hypothesis (1pt)

7)      Develop a hypothesis for your research question – a statement of what direction you believe the relationship between your two variables will be.

4. Questionnaire Construction (3 pts)

8)      Develop 5-10 closed-ended questions (*for groups: 10-15 questions)

a.       Some of these should measure basic socio-demographic characteristics (i.e. age, race/ethnicity, gender, SES)

b.      The rest should be indicators for your variables

c.       These should be constructed based on the ‘type’ of variable you are measuring.

9)      Develop 2-5 open-ended questions for to help measure your variables (* for groups: 3-7 questions)

a.       This is going to help provide some rich qualitative information and serve as a check for the internal validity of your close-ended questions

5. Sampling Design (2 pts)

10)  Describe your population, sampling frame, and method

11)   Describe your sample

6. Administer the Questionnaire (1 pt)

12)  Have 3-5 people complete your questionnaire. (*for groups: 10 people per person)

a.       This may be done face-to-face where you ask the questions, the respondent answers, and you record the information

b.      This may be done via a form that people fill out (i.e. it could have been sent to some friends/family via email or handed to them in the kitchen)

c.       When asking people to complete the questionnaire, you need to inform them that it is voluntary, and their identity will be kept confidential

i.      Do not put a place for name on the questionnaire

6. Compile the results of your questionnaire into a table (1 pt)

13)  This provides you with a simple count

14)  *For groups only: consolidate data and consult with professor by Week 6 about data analysis.

Sample Table

7. Analyze the results of your questionnaire (see chapter 12) (3 pts)

15)  Provide descriptive statistics (counts) of the responses

16)  Identify trends in the data results

17)  Conduct a chi-square test (optional)

18)  How do these results help you to answer your research question

8. Peer-Reviewed Article (3 pts)

19)  Find 1 peer-reviewed article that is related to your research question.

20)  Briefly describe the article (thesis/research question, hypothesis, methods, findings)

21)  Compare and discuss the methods and findings of the article to your own small study

9. Discussion (4 pts)

22)  Briefly summarize the research purposes, methodologies, and key findings (in a non-statistical manner) of your study

23)  What are the strengths of your study and findings

24)  What are the weaknesses of your study and findings

25)  Discuss implications for future research on your research question

10. Reflection (1 pt)

26)  Briefly discuss what you learned about research methods through this assignment.


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