How to Write a Sociology Research Paper with Ease - Guide 2021
You will find our Dissertation Writing Services guidelines useful in structuring your own research paper.
Tips for Writing an Outline:
Make sure to identify and define all variables used in your study. Make sure that you include a detailed definition of each variable or factor (this is called operationalization) as it is one way of determining if your experiment was controlled properly.
Don't forget to include the entity being studied! Also make sure that you have specified how you measured each variable according to the operationalization definition above. Sometimes people think this is obvious but please still try and specify when possible how you measure the independent variable(s). For example, did you use a 7 point scale 1-7? Did you use a 7 point scale 1-7 with 1 being 'awful' and 7 being 'excellent'? Were the independent variables manipulated, randomly assigned, or observed (a.k.a., self-reports).
Let your variable(s) guide you! It is often helpful to color code different types of information: do this by placing headings that announce what each category will cover such as "Independent Variable", "Dependent Variable", etc. Also be sure to include a section for references at the end of the paper.
As your research paper develops it can be useful to use an outline - either in script form or on index cards - to help you organize your thoughts. When organizing look for themes and patterns.
When do I write an outline?
You may find it helpful to start writing your outline as soon as you have been awarded the independent variable(s) by your instructor or experimenter.
How long should my outline be?
There is no standard length for a research paper outline; however, most outlines are between 2 and 10 pages in length depending on how much detail is provided.
How detailed should my outline be? Make sure that your work plan contains enough information so that someone else could do the same study if given the opportunity. This means including any step-by-step instructions about how to acquire participant(s).
Tips for Writing a Research Paper according to our thesis writing help guide:
Make sure to include the following:
In experimental research design a control group is a group of individuals that have not received the independent variable(s) of interest. Data should be collected on some control group members as opposed to simply being used for comparisons at the end of the study. A control baseline can be established by looking at test scores or survey responses before manipulation (this step is also sometimes called pre-testing). The next time you are in class, look around and notice how many people are carrying cell phones around with them. Ask yourself if these people would report higher levels of stress if they did not carry cell phones around with them? Would their stress levels increase because there was something wrong with their phone? You will need to think up an answer and then answer it in your study.
Are participants randomly assigned to control or experimental groups? It is a good idea, whenever possible, to use random assignment and to make this fact clear. Randomization ensures that members of the control group are equivalent on all demographic variables (age, race, gender) and any other relevant factors such as smoking status or blood pressure at baseline. This latter point may seem trivial but if you measure someone's blood pressure before they smoke a cigarette it will be higher than after they smoke one so baseline measurements must remove anything related to the hypothesis under investigation. If you fail to do this then measurement error will inflate effect sizes and perhaps lead you to reject real effects when deciding on whether statistically significant differences exist between your two groups. Are your participants data coded to preserve their anonymity?
How do you know that the independent variable(s) does not have any confounding variables (this is sometimes called the "variable X" problem)? Even if your study is a true experiment, there will always be some lurking variables. You may need to recruit extra participants and use analysis of covariance or multiple regression in order to control for an important potential confounder. Will you be able to measure all of the variables that are necessary in order to draw conclusions about your hypothesis? For example, if your hypothesis suggests that watching violent media leads people to act more aggressively then what would happen if someone was asked how they felt after watching something violent on television but had been beaten by the researcher's right-hand man during the experiment. It is good to get any ethical issues out of the way before you begin your research.
How will you analyze your data? This section should include any statistical test that you plan on using as well as how many times these tests will be applied to each group and why this will help improve the study's validity (you may want to consult an introductory statistics textbook for more details). You may also consider running pilot studies or preliminary studies in order to see how much variance exists between groups (or within a control group if there is no manipulation) and whether it falls within reasonable bounds. Finally, make sure that you run all necessary analyses (including those involving multiple regression or analysis of covariance where needed), report them correctly
- Created: 03-11-21
- Last Login: 03-11-21