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Chapter 15: Reading and Writing Social Research

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Amanda Admire

on 26 August 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 15: Reading and Writing Social Research

Chapter 15: Reading and Writing Social Research
Literature Review
What to focus on when reading/skimming an article:
Key findings?
Theoretical orientations?
Research design?

Literature Review
Reading Social Research
Read the abstract first
Then, read the introduction and conclusion
Only read/skim literature review, methods, and findings sections if you need more in-depth information

Literature Review
Literature reviews address the question, What do we know about a given topic?
How can we find out what is known?
Determine keywords (a key concept or population)
Identify keywords if you were interested in criminal behavior among female college students.
Identify keywords if you were interested in cohabitation among gay and lesbian couples.
Conduct a search
By keyword in: online search engine such as Sociological Abstracts (aka Soc Abstracts); Library of Congress, school library
Snowball Search to find other works
Look at the bibliographies of the articles you find
Literature Review
For your final paper, you need to review the literature on your topic (NOT SUMMARIZE)

You need to compare and contrast the articles and present your review as a cohesive narrative

Questions to ask yourself when reviewing an article – what are the strengths, weaknesses, contributions, similarities/differences from other works and from your work
Organizing your literature review
Quiz 5 tomorrow
Chapter 10, 3, 15
Open note/book
On ilearn under "assignments"
1 hour to complete; open from 8am-11:30pm
Final paper due Friday, Aug 28 by 5pm via SafeAssign
NO late papers will be accepted
I eval closes tonight at midnight
What NOT to do
Admire, Vito, and Hughes (2015) did a study about hegemonic masculinity and its relation to mass school shootings. They drew the theory of aggrieved entitlement which says “blah blah”. The authors conducted a content analysis of Elliot Rodger’s manifesto and found “blah blah.”
The second article I read was written by Marg (2011). Marg did a study about violence in the media. He used “blah blah” theory in his study, which says “blah blah.” Marg used secondary data analysis using the General Social Survey. Marg found “blah blah.”
The third article I read was about student perceptions of violence on campus (Kwon and Blum 2003). Kwon and Blum (2003) used a cross-sectional survey of 3,567 students in California and found “blah blah.”

Writing Social Science Research
Scientific reporting should:
Clearly communicate data and ideas
Provide sufficient detail so others can evaluate your report
Contribute to scientific knowledge
Stimulate and direct additional studies about your topic

Writing Social Science Research
When reporting research, consider…
Who the audience is
Academic? General public? Policy makers? Etc.?
What the appropriate form and length of the report is
Journal article? Book? Brochure? Website?
What the aim of the report is
Inform future research? Guide public policy? Inform public opinion?
Organization of your final paper
Introduction and significance (A.k.a. Purpose and Overview)
Literature review

Organization of your final paper
Methods (A.k.a. Study Design and Execution)
Ethical issues
Summary and Conclusion
A literature review serves to:
a. lay the groundwork for your research.
b. answer your research question.
c. discuss the sample used.
d. provide a list of suggested reading.
e. examine problems in your research.
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