Touchstone 3: Presenting a Research Plan
SCENARIO: Your supervisor has approved your research question and plan for studying some aspect of diversity and/or collaboration in a community group. Now it is time to conduct your literature review and develop your hypothesis and research plan.
ASSIGNMENT: In the first Touchstone, you developed a research question and prepared a preliminary bibliography for your literature review. You will now conduct your literature review, formulate your hypothesis and research plan, and develop a set of notecards that summarize your work.
REQUIREMENTS: You must create 8-11 notecards using the touchstone template below. Your notecards will include:
First, return to the community group description, research question, and proposed bibliography that you submitted in Touchstone 1, and make any necessary changes based on feedback from the grader. You will likely want to refine your reading list based on the feedback you received and what you learned about diversity and collaboration in Unit 3.
Next, complete your reading for your literature review.
Reminder of attributes of good readings for your literature review:
As you complete each reading, take notes. Some of the questions you could ask about each reading include:
As you did for your first Touchstone, you will include five key elements for each source, with each element separated by a period:
Next, formulate a hypothesis for your research question and choose a sociological research method appropriate for testing your hypothesis. While you won’t be conducting the research, you will write up a description of how you plan to conduct your research. (HINT: Refer back to Lesson 1.3.5: Formulating a Hypothesis, Lesson 1.3.6: Collecting Data: Quantitative Approaches , and Lesson 1.3.6: Collecting Data: Quantitative Approaches for help.)
A formal hypothesis states the relationship between two variables—one is independent (IV) and one is dependent (DV). It must also be formatted as an If/Then statement, for instance:
Operational definitions identify important concepts related to the research. For example, If your community organization includes students, are they K-12? College? Medical? Or are students defined as: young adults between the ages of 18-21 who are attending a particular college or university?
Deciding on a research method will also take some thought and planning:
Finally, incorporate Steps 1-4 to prepare a set of notecards for your proposed research study. Use the template provided to create 8-11 notecards that present the work you completed in Steps 1-4.
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