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Students will write a 4-5-page, double-spaced paper outlining a proposed sociological study.
This study should be theoretically feasible for an undergraduate student to conduct. My hope is
that some of you will actually complete this study during your time at Oglethorpe! The proposal
should include a clear and concise research question, stated as a question. This question should
be sociological and should not be something you already know the answer to.
After stating what your research question is, you need to provide a theoretical or empirical
justification for the question (e.g. why is this worth studying? What gap in the empirical research
would this study fill? How would this study support, modify, or create theory?). When
describing why your proposed research is important and worth conducting and how your
proposed research relates to the existing literature, you should explicitly reference at least 3
academic sources. At least one of these 3 sources needs to be a reading from the class (i.e. a
chapter from the textbook or one of the readings on Moodle). At least one of these 3 sources
needs to be an outside of class source. Outside sources need to be academic in nature;
specifically, they should be peer-reviewed journal articles or books published by an academic
press. (If you have questions about whether a specific source you found is academic, please ask
me.) Thus, you have the option of referencing 2 course readings and 1 additional academic
reading or 1 course reading and 2 additional academic readings.
Additionally, the proposal should include a detailed description of the methodological procedure
you would use to answer your research question. This description should include discussion of
all of the following (not necessarily in this order):
 Will your study use qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods?
 What specific type of study design are you proposing? (i.e. are you designing an
experiment, a survey-based study, an ethnography, interview-based study, etc.)
 The nature of the sample and the sampling procedure (i.e. How many participants will
there be? How will you select your sample?)
 Description of procedures (i.e., what exactly will participants be asked to do?)
 Materials to be used (e.g., sample survey or interview questions, materials needed for the
experiment, etc.)
 Data analysis technique (i.e., how will you make sense of the findings?)
 Discussion of research ethics as it relates to your study
In addition to describing your planned methodological procedure, you should discuss why these
methods are suitable for the proposed research question. (For instance, if you are designing an
experiment, why? Why is an experiment the best method to use to answer your research
question? Why not use a survey instead?)
Finally, you should be sure to draw heavily on chapter 3 from the textbook (“Studying the Social
World”) to justify and support your methodological choices. Chapter 3 from the textbook does
not count toward the 3 sources mentioned above. So, in all, you need to reference a minimum of four sources in this paper: three when describing the importance of your research and
its connection to previous research and theory and one (chapter 3 from the textbook) when
justifying your choice of methods.