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SOC385 - Yang

Introduction to Social Research

SOC385 - Introduction to Social Research - Yang

Welcome to the course guide for SOC385: Introduction to Social Research with Dr. Yang. This guide was designed to help you complete the Literature Review portion of your Final Proposal. In these library sessions, you will learn how to identify an empirical research article, how to search for empirical articles in library databases, and how to organize your research so that you can write your literature review synthetically.

Literature Review Instructions

Instructions from Professor Yang about your assignment:

Minimum Requirements

  • 5 complete double-spaced pages, font no larger than 12-pt, with regular margins
  • Must be written synthetically by theme with an introduction, five themes, and conclusion. Follow the example provided on D2L under "How to Write a Literature Review."
  • 5 themes/categories with minimum of 3 peer-reviewed articles each
  • 10 peer-reviewed articles, 5 of which must be from the posted list of sociology journals

Tips from Prof. Fic

I have worked closely with this class for several years. Allow me to share my past experiences and observations to save you some trouble!

  • The research proposal that you write in SOC 385 may be used in SOC 386 when you collect and analyze data for a study that you will undertake. Do a thorough job on your proposal this semester, and you will set yourself up for success in 386. It will be much harder and more time consuming to start from scratch.
  • Pick a topic you can live with for 2 semesters. Choose something that is interesting to you or you may grow to resent it for an entire year.
  • You need more than just a topic. You need a research question for which you can develop a hypothesis. You must be able to test this hypothesis using a sample of Shippensburg University students.
  • Not all topics and research questions work well for SOC 385 & 386. Think of the population you will be studying and the types of life experiences your participants will be able to answer questions about. Most college students will not be married, divorced, have children, own a home, etc. Of course, there are exceptions, but you want a research question that will be generally applicable to the broader student body so that you will be able to collect adequate data for your study.
  • On the flip side of that topic coin, you need to conduct research that is related to research sociologists have already undertaken. New research builds on prior research. Also, you are required to find scholarly articles in sociology journals. If you choose a topic that is more of interest to educators or college administrators than it is to sociologists, you are going to have a hard time finding articles in the appropriate journals. Heads up - I have seen many students struggle to find articles on Greek life for their literature reviews. Think like a sociologist.
  • Time management is important. It takes time to finalize a topic/research question, find articles, closely read the articles, determine the themes you will discuss in your literature review, and write and revise your literature review. Make a game plan. If you need assistance, ask for help sooner rather than later.