Social Science Research Project Proposal- Any topic, ASA format

I’m taking a class in social science research methods. This project is a research proposal for research on a topic of my choosing. Our professor is somewhat by the book, as in she values a proposal that shows thorough knowledge of the methods of research that we have learned. The assignment is broken up into 4 parts; an annotated bibliography and 3 (approximately) 3 page papers that help to explain different parts of the project. All of the necessary documents are attached. I was hoping to do research on the social effects that short hair has on a woman (ie. more respect? less catcalling?) but research on a topic similar would work too. Another idea may be the link between the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry (ie. in recent times, has the health crisis as a result of food significantly increased pharmaceutical company profits). I’m also open to other topics, just let me know. Reference the book for things regarding research methods. Page number may vary (less).


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Sociology 305 – Spring 2018
Library Research Assignment
Due Tuesday February 13th in class
Part 1: Create an annotated bibliography of sources that you deem highly relevant to your topic.
Step 1: Identify a list of 20 potentially relevant citations. To do so, conduct a search using the
library research skills I presented in class and that you learned how to put into practice at the lab.
Please take time to identify an ample list of potentially relevant sources (at least 30). A good
way to construct a bibliography is to first identify a key article or book â?? one which resonates
with your interests â?? and then search specifically for works a) that cite that work or b) that that
work cites or c) that has citations in common with that work. Learn how to mark the citation for
future download, with accompanying abstract and then download it. The majority of your list of
sources should be peer-reviewed scholarly articles. Your list of sources should, however, also
include at least one book and a book review on that book as well as one review essay on a topic
related to your question.
Step 2: Create your bibliography using the American Sociological Associationâ??s style. You can
create it automatically using Refworks as we did in the lab, or you can construct by hand. To
construct it by hand you can consult the style guides available at the links below to learn how to
format books and articles at For book reviews,
please format them in the following manner:
Gates, Leslie. Review of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela, by Miguel
Tinker Salas. A Contracorriente, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2011), pp. 422-430.
Step 3: Annotate your bibliography. An annotated bibliography is a list of references with a brief
summary and comment on each source. For scholarly articles, include the abstract as the author
wrote it as well as your own summary in the annotated bibliography. For books, identify book
reviews on that book and construct an abstract using the book review and a brief look at the
bookâ??s introduction. For book reviews, summarize the main point of view of the reviewer and
attach a copy of the review. Your summaries of each source should identify: 1) the question
they address, 2) the main type of research they did, 3) the main argument they make and 4) a
brief statement of what you found interesting about the article and/or how you anticipate using
the work.
Part 2: Describe how creating the annotated bibliography shaped your research question. This
should include: 1) a paragraph describing your initial research topic and question (written as a
question) 2) another paragraph in which you describe how (if at all) your review of prior research
on your topic has changed what you think would be a promising research question to pursue.
Exam 1
Take-home Essay (worth 60 points)
Imagine that you are applying to the Dean of Harpur College for funding to support a research project you
intend to pursue. The review committee for such an award would include faculty members from a range
of departments as well as past recipients of the award who likely know nothing about sociology or your
topic. To apply, you must write a 1000 word research proposal in which you:
1) Justify your research (1 or 2 paragraphs)â?? in the introduction you should a) state your research question
(in the form of a question) and b) elaborate the broad social relevance of your question c) elaborate the
scholarly relevance of your question d) identify your main audience for you research (scholarly or
applied) and e) identify its purpose (descriptive, explanatory or exploratory)
2) review the literature (3-4 paragraphs)- present the scholarly debates with which you hope to engage by
a) discussing at least two distinct arguments that scholars have made regarding your question b) citing at
least 5 sources you identified in your annotated bibliography in discussing these arguments and c) making
an argument about why one of these arguments is better
3) Describe proposed research (1 paragraph)- briefly describe how you might go about researching your
question. In your description identify whether you anticipate that the research will entail quantitative or
qualitative research.
My main interest here is for you to develop your position regarding existing work on your topic. So the
bulk of your proposal should be the literature review. To refer to research or other sources you have
consulted on your topic, use in text citations. See the ASA style guide for how to do this. At the end of
the proposal list all cited references. The reference list is not included in the word count.
Link to the ASA style guide
Sociology 305: Fall 2017
Take-home Essay for Exam 2
(worth 70% of Exam 2)
Due in class on Thursday Nov. 16th
Write a 1000 word statement in which you propose a quantitative aspect of your hypothetical research
In your first paragraph introduce your proposed research design with a brief paragraph in which you a)
state the question you are researching and b) present your favored argument.
In the second paragraph derive a hypothesis that you intend to examine in your research. To do so,
describe the specific causal argument you could examine with your proposed quantitative research design.
Then, a) identify the suitable level of analysis for addressing that argument b) conceptualize (define) the
two main variables c) identify which is the independent and which is the dependent variable, d) formulate
a hypothesis associated with the variables and e) explain why the hypothesis is not tautological.
In the main section of your proposal, please describe a research design with which you could examine
your favored causal argument in as much detail as possible. This would entail a) identifying the type of
overall design (survey, content analysis or some type of secondary data analysis) and b) detailing the
design options you would pursue and why. So for example, if you propose to do a survey, justify your
survey design and mode of administration choices. It would also entail c) describing how you would
construct your sample to address generalizability concerns d) identifying the units of analysis in your
study and e) detailing exactly how you intend to operationalize your two main variables. For surveys this
means writing out the questions you propose to ask. For content analysis this means writing out the
coding scheme you intend to use for coding your content. It would also entail f) characterizing the type of
measures you have (nominal, ordinal or continuous) and g) explaining why you think your measurement
has maximized validity and reliability.
At the end of the research proposal, write a statement for an IRB board. Introduce the statement with the
subheading â??IRB Statementâ?. The statement should a) describe how your research will relate to human
subjects (what interaction if any, will you have with human subjects? Or what identifiable information, if
any, would you collect from human subjects?) b) assess the potential harms (and benefits) to subjects of
your research c) assess the risk of experiencing these harms and d) explain why the benefits of the study
outweigh any potential risk of harm.
Take-home Essay for Exam 3
(worth 66% of Exam 3)
Due in class on the day you take Exam 3
Write a 1000 word statement in which you propose a qualitative aspect of a hypothetical research project.
Your first paragraph should introduce your proposed research question with a brief paragraph. In this
paragraph you should: a) state the question you are researching as a question and b) describe the argument
or debates you hope your research can address. Your research question does not have to be precisely the
same as your original question. However, I recommend that you can propose a question which addresses
some aspect of your original topic of interest, so that you can see how you might need to adapt your
research in order to do a qualitative research project.
In the following paragraphs, you should a) justify why qualitative research, as opposed to quantitative
research would be well suited to addressing your question b) identify the main type of qualitative
research design that you think would be most appropriate for your research question (participant
observation, intensive interviews, case study or comparative research) c) explain why this design overall
is well suited to addressing your question d) identify and explain the merits of the type of sampling
strategy you would use to select your site or case (deviant, exemplars), e) describe the steps you would
take to realize your study ( how you would gain access to your research cite/subjects and how you would
represent your work to them or how would gain access to relevant data on your case(s)) f) explain how
these steps would help you attain authenticity in your research (such as why you think your approach to
gain and maintain access to a particular participant observation site, interview subjects or data on a case
or comparison is the best strategy likely to yield the most authentic results) g) identify the type of
sampling strategies you would use to select subjects or data within your sites or cases (such as quota,
snowball, availability, purposive) and h) explain how these sampling strategies within sites/cases will
shape the conclusions you are able to reach with your research (how generalizable it is, how it will enable
you to examine or refine your main theoretical argument of interest).
At the end of the research proposal, create the documents you would need to apply for IRB approval for
research involving human subjects. This would include a statement for an IRB board as well as an oral
script for obtaining informed consent. Introduce the statement with the subheading â??IRB Statementâ?.
The statement should a) describe how your research will relate to human subjects (what interaction if any,
will you have with human subjects? Or what identifiable information, if any, would you collect from
human subjects?) b) assess the potential harms (and benefits) to subjects of your research c) assess the
risk of experiencing these harms and d) explain why the benefits of the study outweigh any potential risk
of harm to the subjects. For the oral consent, adapt one of the scripts provided by BUâ??s IRB for your
project. (Go to and scroll down to
find the oral consent sample to work from.)

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