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2.1G: Preparing the Research Report

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    7917
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    Sociological research publications generally include a literature review, an overview of the methodology followed, the results and an analysis of those results, and conclusions.

     

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

     

    Describe the main components of a sociological research paper

     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    Key Points

     

    • Like any research paper, a sociological research report typically consists of a literature review, an overview of the methods used in data collection, and analysis, findings, and conclusions.
    • A literature review is a creative way of organizing what has been written about a topic by scholars and researchers.
    • The methods section is necessary to demonstrate how the study was conducted, including the population, sample frame, sample method, sample size, data collection method, and data processing and analysis.
    • In the findings and conclusion sections, the researcher reviews all significant findings, notes and discusses all shortcomings, and suggests future research.

     

    Key Terms

     

    • methodology: A collection of methods, practices, procedures, and rules used by those who work in some field.
    • quantitative: Of a measurement based on some quantity or number rather than on some quality.
    • literature review: A literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge including substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic.

    Like any research paper, sociological research is presented with a literature review, an overview of the methods used in data collection, and analysis, findings, and conclusions. Quantitative research papers are usually highly formulaic, with a clear introduction (including presentation of the problem and literature review); sampling and methods; results; discussion and conclusion. In striving to be as objective as possible in order to reduce biased interpretations of results, sociological esearch papers follow the scientific method. Research reports may be published as books or journal articles, given directly to a client, or presented at professional meetings.

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    The Scientific Method is an Essential Tool in Research: The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.

    A literature review is a creative way of organizing what has been written about a topic by scholars and researchers. You will find literature reviews at the beginning of many essays, research reports, or theses. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what you have learned through a careful reading of a set of articles related to your research question.

    A strong literature review has the following properties:

    • It is organized around issues, themes, factors, or variables that are related directly to your thesis or research question.
    • It shows the path of prior research and how the current project is linked.
    • It provides a good synthesis of what is, and is not, known.
    • It indicates the theoretical framework with which you are working.
    • It identifies areas of controversy and debate, or limitations in the literature sharing different perspectives.
    • It places the formation of research questions in their historical context.
    • It identifies the list of the authors that are engaged in similar work.

    The methodssection is necessary to demonstrate how the study was conducted, and that the data is valid for study. Without assurance that the research is based on sound methods, readers cannot countenance any conclusions the researcher proposes. In the methodology section, be sure to include: the population, sample frame, sample method, sample size, data collection method, and data processing and analysis. This is also a section in which to clearly present information in table and graph form.

    In the findings and conclusion sections, the researcher reviews all significant findings, notes and discusses all shortcomings, and suggests future research. The conclusion section is the only section where opinions can be expressed and persuasive writing is tolerated.

     

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