Developing A Research Plan Sociology

Touchstone 1: Developing a Research Plan

SCENARIO: Imagine that you work for a nonprofit organization that is focused on increasing diversity in community groups in your area. Your supervisor asks you to develop a sociological study concerning topics of diversity and collaboration in a specific community group of your choice. Eventually you will prepare to share your research with colleagues. 

ASSIGNMENT: For this Touchstone, you will begin by formulating a question about diversity in a community group that you have access to. Then you will use the steps of the scientific method to prepare a research plan, including a bibliography for a literature review. As you learned, sociologists follow the scientific method so that their results are both scientifically valid and useful to the greater sociological community. A literature review allows researchers to learn from completed studies and to build upon their conclusions. 

Use the following Touchstone template to fill in your research plan as you develop it. When you have finished, submit this template to move on to the next unit. 

Touchstone 1 Template

Lesson 1.3.3: Asking Questions and Lesson 1.3.5: Formulating a Hypothesis for help.)

Google Scholar that specifically searches scholarly literature. However, keep in mind that much of this literature may have limited or paid access. Another good place to search is in a public or university library catalog or database. Whichever way you choose to search, make sure that you are selecting credible sources. 

What makes a source credible? Credible sources are written by authors who are well known in their field. They are based on scientific data—not opinions or with biased observations. Sources should be from reliable outlets, like major publishers, universities, think tanks, and credentialed current practitioners. (HINT: Refer back to Lesson 1.3.4: Researching Existing Sourcesfor more guidance.)

How to format sources in your bibliography: Sociologists use American Psychological Association (APA) format for their research. However, you will use a more simplified method to format sources for your bibliography. You will include five key elements for each source, with each element separated by a period:

  • Author’s name(s)
  • Publication date
  • Title of the source
  • Page numbers (if applicable)
  • Source's location for web-based texts (URL)



Developing A Research Plan Sociology

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EXAMPLE Alireza Behtoui. 2015. Beyond social ties: The impact of social capital on labour market outcomes for young Swedish people. p. 711-724. journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1440783315581217


B. Rubric

 Advanced (90-100%)Proficient (80-89%)Acceptable (70-79%)Needs Improvement (50-69%)Non-performance (0-49%)

Research Question

Research question is well crafted.
Research question is sufficiently specific to be researchable while tying in to broader themes in sociology. Independent and dependent variables are clearly identified and are in the correct relationship.Research question is sufficiently specific for research but does not tie in to broader themes in sociology. Independent and dependent variables are clearly identified but are not in the correct relationship.Research question is too specific or too broad for research purposes, but can be revised. The relationship between the dependent and independent variables is unclear. Research question demonstrates little understanding of the general principles of developing a research question.Did not submit a research question or submitted so little work that no credit can be given.

Identify Community Group

Paragraph is well developed and answers all parts of the question.
A voluntary, recreational community group is identified and described thoroughly. Group attributes/characteristics and discussion of the student’s experience with or access to this group is provided.A voluntary, recreational community group is identified and described, with some gaps remaining. Group attributes/characteristics and discussion of the student’s experience with or access to this group is provided.A voluntary, recreational community group is identified and described insufficiently. Student discusses group attributes/characteristics or their experience with or access to this group, but not both.An inappropriate community group is identified or community group is described insufficiently. Group attributes/ characteristics and discussion of the student’s experience with or access to this group may not be provided.Did not submit a response or submitted so little work that no credit can be given.

Bibliography

Sources appropriate for a sociological literature review are identified. 
4-6 credible, relevant, recent, and properly cited sources are provided. 3 credible, relevant, recent, and properly cited sources are provided. 2 credible, relevant, recent, and properly cited sources are provided. Only 1 credible, relevant, recent, and properly cited source is provided. Did not submit any credible, relevant, recent, and properly cited sources.

Writing Mechanics

Writing follows conventions for standard written English.
There are 0-2 errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.There are 3-4 errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.There are 5-6 errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.There are 7-10 errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.There are more than 10 errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.

C. Requirements

The following requirements must be met for your submission:

  • Use a readable 11- or 12-point font.
  • All writing must be appropriate for an academic context.
  • Composition must be original and written for this assignment.
  • Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.
  • Submission must include your name and the date.
  • Include all of the assignment components in a single file.
  • Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx.



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