Social Research Methods

Social Research Methods
Assessment Item 3 Discussion Paper
In this assignment, students are required to respond to a set of questions to discuss the
research process in relation to a nominated research topic. The assignment will
demonstrate the student’s ability to conceptualise a research project and think through
the steps, the issues and debates critical to completing a social research project. In order
to complete the assignment you need to select a topic from the list below and answer
the questions that follow in relation to your chosen topic.
You have a total of 1500 words for the assignment, use them wisely, some questions
obviously will require more than others. I have given a guide for wording for each question
but this is not strict and it is your responsibility to make sure you answer the questions
within the total words limit. Do not include long quotes, write in your own words as much
as possible, referencing your sources and remember to edit and spell check your work. It is
important to give yourself time to think through and rework your answers.
PLEASE NOTE
In the last 3-4 tutorials of the semester you will work through the questions set for the
Discussion Paper in set exercises. You can use the notes and prompts from these exercises
to assist with this assignment. If you do not attend these tutorials you cannot expect any
additional assistance with the assignment.
TOPICS
1. The relationship between crime and the youth
2. Gender roles and attitudes towards women
3. The impact of racism on employment opportunities
4. The relationship between community policing and crime reduction
5. The availability of services and supports to students at UWS
6. The impacts of new fee structures on access to higher education
Question 1: Parameters of the research (300 words)
State the topic you have selected and explain your specific interest in researching this topic.
Remember you cannot research everything, make it doable/realistic, thinking about:
• What you want to find out?
• Why is it important?
• What social issues do you see as relevant to research of this topic?
Question 2: The research question (100 words)
Based on 1. above:
(i) set out your research question CLEARLY;
(ii) Identify the assumptions underpinning your research question.
400337 Social Research Methods Assessment Item 3 Instructions Autumn 2016 Page 2
Question 3: Clearly explain your epistemological position and your theoretical framework
for the research topic you have selected. (100 words)
One word answers are not sufficient, explain your position
Question 4: Identify and explain any ethical issues associated with your research question
(100 words)
Question 5: Methodology/research design (300 words)
Briefly explain the research methodology and research design. In so doing link back to your
epistemological position and theoretical perspective and forward to your methods for
collecting and analysing the research data.
Question 6. Methods for collecting the research data (300 words)
How will you collect the research data (not secondary research)?
Identify the method(s) and explain why these method(s)
Remember, the methods you choose to collect and analyse your research data must be
compatible with each other and with your research purpose.
Question 7. Methods for analysing the research data (300 words)
How will you analyse the research data?
Identify the method(s) and explain why these method(s)
Remember, the methods you choose to collect and analyse your research data must be
compatible with each other and with your research purpose.
Question 8: Literature and References (not included in word count)
(i) Identify at least 3 books and/or articles current and relevant to THE RESEARCH
TOPIC.
(ii) Provide a correctly formatted Reference list (including the titles in (i) above).

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