Section menuClose menu Columbia College


Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: HUMS 300
Course Title: Exploring Research
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Finding, understanding, critical analysis and communication of empirically based research for practice application. Prerequisite: MATH 150 or MATH 170.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): MATH 150 or MATH 170.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Textbooks listed are not necessarily the textbook(s) used in the course. Supplemental texts for literature and APA style are highly recommended.

Research Methods for Generalist Social Work Practice
By Marlow, Christine (Wadsworth/Thomson Learning)
The Basics of Social Research
By Babbie, Earl (Wadsworth/Thomson Learning)
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
By American Psychological Association
Preparing Literature Reviews
By Pan, Ling (Pyrczak Publishing)
Category/Comments - Recommended supplement
Evaluating Research in Academic Journals
By Pyrczak, Fred (Pyrczak Publishing)
Category/Comments - Recommended supplement
Course Objectives
  • To find, evaluate, critically analyze and communicate the literature pertinent to a specific topic, issue or question.
  • To apply empirically based knowledge to practice.
    Measurable Learning
  • Find and critically analyze empirically based research.
  • Utilize an academic library.
  • Write a literature review.
  • Write in APA format.
  • Populate and manipulate data in a spreadsheet.
    Topical Outline:
  • Lifelong learning
  • Introduction to human inquiry and science
  • Paradigms, theory and research
  • Ethics and politics of social research
  • Research design: an overview
  • Conceptualization, operationalization and measurement.
  • Indexes, scales and typologies
  • Sampling
  • Experiments
  • Survey research
  • Qualitative field research
  • Unobtrusive research
  • Evaluation research
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Applying research to practice
  • Using Microsoft Excel for data entry and manipulation
  • Literature review skills:
    - Qualitative versus quantitative reviews
    - Selecting a topic for review
    - Searching for literature and refining the topic
    - Retrieving and evaluating information from the web
    - Retrieving and evaluating information from library resources
    - Taking notes and avoiding unintentional plagiarism
    - Guidelines for evaluating sources of literature
    - Evaluating and interpreting research literature
    - Planning and writing the first draft
    - Revising and refining the first draft

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Perkins Date: February 7, 2006
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

    Office of Academic Affairs