Discussion postings should be completed by their respective deadlines (Wednesdays/Sundays and Fridays/Sundays at 11:59 pm CT) of each assigned week. Students are required to post a thorough response to the question, interact substantively with peers in each topic, and read the majority of peer responses to receive full credit.
The major project in this course is a 15-20 page research proposal. You will write the proposal in stages.
Assignment 1: Research Statement and Annotated Reference List
In Week 2, it is imperative that you focus on your research question and begin looking for sources you will use. You are required to have 8 peer-reviewed sources. This means that your sources have been evaluated by other professionals in the field. For the nature of this course work, journal articles would be best, although books will count as peer-reviewed sourcing. Items that will not count towards your source totals are business or agency websites, government publications on government websites, popular periodicals such as Time or Newsweek, dissertations or theses, or newspaper articles. For your first assignment, research your topic of interest. In one Word document, provide a one paragraph research statement of what you will be examining in your proposal. Include why it is important to study this, how you intend to study this, and what you expect you would find. Then, provide a brief annotated bibliography, addressing for each source (separately) why you think it would be valid and relevant to your study. Submit the one document containing your Research Statement and your Annotated Reference List of 8 resources in APA style, by Week 2 Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Assignment 2: Literature Review
In Week 3, you will submit a Literature Review; this draft will include the title page, abstract, literature review, and reference list (without annotations). Review the research proposal outline presented in the Research Proposal Guidelines area of the course. You will need to have the main ideas here (such as your research question and key points of the literature review). It should be written in third person (eliminate personal anecdotes and first-person language). This is a rough draft, so it is not expected to be perfect; it should still be complete, and proofread. If the proposal is riddled with grammatical errors I will simply return it to you and require you clean it up before I will grade it (and you will lose points for a tardy submission). If you do not have access to a writing center and writing is not your strong suit, contact another student in the course to request a ‘paper exchange’ to swap papers and help each other proofread. Please submit by Sunday of week 3 at 11:59 pm CT.
Assignment 3: Methodology/Conclusion
In Week 4, you will submit a plan for conducting the research and collecting analyzing the data.
Describe the methods for data collection and analysis and a conclusion for your proposal and submit it to the dropbox by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT. Be sure to reference the Research Proposal Outline presented in the Content area of the course. Enlist an outsider to help edit/proof read this for you. This outsider can be a member of the Columbia College campus community or the Writing Center. It can also be a member of your family or some outsider who may not have any sociological knowledge, but will be able to help make sure your paper logically flows, is well written, and has limited spelling and grammatical errors. This should include your complete methods (sample, methods, data analysis, conclusion, reference list, and appendices with copies of consent and instruments).
Before submitting your paper, refer to the guidelines at the beginning of the syllabus and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your research design (methodology) explicit? Are your justifications for your choice of research design explicit?
- Are you using your sociological imagination? In other words, are you ‘taking it big? Are you analyzing your research question in terms of larger social and historical circumstances within which the phenomenon occurs?
- Are you using APA formatting style (in the body of the text as well as on the reference page)?
- Have you eliminated spelling and grammatical errors?
Submit by Sunday of Week 4 at 11:59 pm CT.
Assignment 4: Peer Review
In Week 6, you will provide peer review of another classmate’s proposal. You will read one of your colleague’s papers this week and provide written feedback on his or her final paper, using the criteria in the Content area by 11:59 pm CT Sunday. I will assign you a classmate to peer edit and post that in the course announcements by Monday of week 6. By Wednesday of week 6, you need to send a full draft to your peer reviewer (intro, abstract, literature review, methods, data collection and analysis, and conclusion) via the designated group discussion board. By Sunday of week 6 you need to return the draft with your comments to your partner via the group discussion board.
Assignment 5: Final Proposal
After giving and receiving peer review, you will revise and submit your final proposal in Week 7. Submit the final draft of your research proposal. This paper is expected to be 15-20 pages in length (at least 15 pages of content, not including title page, abstract, or reference page(s). It must be properly formatted (see your text for guidance) and must include the use of at least eight academic sources.