This paper should be based on the pre-determined topic used in your topic related HW assignments.
Copy and paste the bolded headings and italicized questions below into a separate document.
Below each heading/subheading/question, discuss your answer to the questions asked/instructions provided.
Style and tone should be professional, clear, and free of any errors in spelling, grammar or organization.
Be sure to use distinct paragraphs and do not use any direct quotes.
If it is appropriate (eg – steps in sampling strategy, steps in contacting subjects) – you may list information, but still keep style and tone formal.
The paper should be double-spaced, standard margins. You should number your pages, there is no need for a running header.
This paper is must be submitted to BB as a Word .doc or .pdf.
Papers that do not meet the above criteria will be subject to a grade deduction of up to 20 pts off the final grade.
**Please submit the paper on time! Late papers are subject to 5 pt per day grade reduction and will result in an incomplete in the class.**
Assumptions: You have a large but not unlimited budget; think big but not unrealistic. People and places will cooperate with you so long as you follow proper procedures for requesting assistance (eg: 4 steps, warnings etc). COVID is over (yay!) so there are no concerns about travel, in-person mtgs etc.
Intro: 5 % (approx. ½ – 1p)
Describe your research topic.
Discuss terms and concepts that pertain to your topic, provide statistics, describe processes etc.
Be sure to support all information with citations
Eg – discuss types of pleas, stats on truancy etc
Lit Review: 10% (approx. 1-2 pp)
Briefly explain what you have learned from reading existing literature.
You should discuss at least three of your articles – empirical articles that meet CRAAP guidelines only!
Do not discuss the details of each article, and do not discuss each article individually. This section should be comprised of a few paragraphs as follows:
Paragraph #1: Introduce the research questions/hypotheses across all articles in one brief paragraph.
Paragraph #2: Discuss the sample generalizablity of research based on sampling techniques and samples used across the 3+ articles. You may also touch on external validity.
Paragraph #3: Discuss validity of measured variables across all articles due to operationalization & methods; also touch on causal validity if authors are seeking to demonstrate a cause ->effect relationship (did thye use control/comparison groups?)
Paragraph #4: Discuss methods used across research in one brief paragraph. Note any trends (Eg – all quantitative, mostly secondary data etc)
Paragraph #4: Discuss any other issues – gaps, weaknesses etc – you see in the existing literature. Conclude by noting how the concerns in exisitng literature have lead you to propose the project that you propose.
You must cite all sources here in APA style.
Your notes on articles you have read on your topic should serve as the starting point for this section.
Hypotheses, research questions & variables: 5% (approx. ½ p)
Present your research question, hypothesis and operationalized key variables
Describe the broad research question(s) you are asking and the specific hypothesis(es) that flows from it.
Be sure your question & hypothesis clearly fit into one of the pre-selected categories!
Be sure questions and hypotheses follow requirements (eg: clear & focused ques, declarative hypo etc)
Provide clear operationalized definitions for all major concepts of interest.
You may list each of your variables and their operationalized definitions, or refer to questions in your appendix that specify operationalized measurements.
Eg: “Truancy is operationalized with Q5, Q12 &13 in appendix A”.
Do not justify your measures here, simply list/describe them.
Refer to reading & notes on operationalization and use your operationalization assignment as a starting point for this section.
Sample & justification: 20% (approx. 1-2p)
Describe your sample and justify its use.
Who/what is your population of interest? To whom do you hope to generalize your findings?
Who are your subjects? How many subjects will you have? Who will they be and why did you choose them? Keep in mind the need for a comparison/control group!
What is your selected sampling strategy? Describe both the strategy itself, and how it will be implemented in your study. Justify its selection.
Discuss the generalizability of your research based on this sample.
Consider both sample generalizability and cross-population/ external generalizability.
In regards to sample generalizability, discuss if/how you meet each of the criteria for generalizability. If you do not meet the criteria (eg- you use non-probability methods, have a small sample), be sure to justify.
Your sampling assignment and other assignments that asked you to think about subjects for your project should serve as a starting point for this section. Also refer back to sampling readings, PPTs, the textbook discussion of your chosen method, and class notes.
Methods & justification: 30% (approx. 2-3 p)
Discuss the method you have selected to explore your question/answer your hypothesis.
You must include either a survey, (semi) structured interview, structured observation or an experiment that includes a survey/interview/hypothetical scenarios as a key part of your method. You can use multiple methods from these options and/or supplement with secondary data or other methods as well.
Be very specific and provide justification for all decisions here.
Describe your proposed research step-by-step
Consider things (depending on you chosen method) like gaining access to subjects, developing a survey or interview instrument, improving response rates, developing & maintaining rapport, choosing an observation type or survey type, recording and coding data.
Discuss how your method will help you to understand the hows & why of your subjects decision-making and/or behaviors.
Discuss why your method is best in light of your purpose, question, ethics, subjects etc.
Think about your question/hypothesis, practical/logistical concerns, ethical issues, your likely subjects, and access to them… all of these things should impact your choice of method(s).
Discuss how you will mitigate weaknesses associated with your method (eg- reactive outcome effect, safety, reliability, honesty, groupthink etc) , and why the method you have chosen is still the best despite noted weaknesses.
Assess expected validity of findings in relation to method. Consider both measurement and causal validity.
Measurement: You must refer to specific questions/measures in your instrument to illustrate your measurement validity, that is, discuss which questions measure which concept and why they are good measures.
Eg: “I have measured truancy with Q9, Q12 &13 in appendix A. Here is why I believe these questions will provide me valid measures of students actual truancy …. why I believe they have content validity… Here is how I used constructs or multiple methods to assist in getting valid measures ….”. (If you are not validating with mult measures, acknowledge this).
Causal: can you control for threats to causal/internal validity, and if so, how? (eg- control group)
This is one of the most important sections of your paper! You are explaining how you will get accurate measures of subjects recidivism, LE decisions, prosecutor decisions, deterrence of punishment, suspect behavior etc, and how you will accurately demonstrate that one variable causes another (eg- incarceration leads to higher truancy rates, suspect attitude causes arrest etc).
Your methods assignment should serve as the starting point for this section. Also refer back to readings, PPTs and class notes relating to the method you have selected, and relating to causal and measurement validity. Re-read the textbook chapter on your chosen method.
Ethics: 15% (approx. 1-2 pp)
Discuss ethical concerns and how they will be addressed.
List each of the following ethical concerns, and address how your research design addresses each one: harm, informed consent, incentives, anonymity/confidentiality, deception, special populations).
Assess each guideline – note how you will meet each and mitigate any concerns, and provide justification for any issues that may be problematic. If one does not apply, note this (eg – if not using incentives, note this, do not skip over it).
Refer back to your CITI training, readings, PPTs and class notes.
Appendix: Survey instrument, or interview schedule, or structured observation checklist 10%
Attach your experiment hypotheticals/pre-or-post-test survey, survey instrument, interview schedule, or observational checklist.
Your instrument should be detailed, well organized, and attractive.
Keep in mind all considerations regarding flow, question construction, instructions for subjects etc. Include categories for all forced choice questions/structured observations.
The questions/items included should provide comprehensive, valid measures of your key concepts.
In your Methods sections you should discuss your specific questions/ structured observations. This section is is the final instrument you would use if you conducted your study.
If you have a mixed methods design you should have an appendix for each:
(eg: if you use interviews and observation you need: Interview schedule =Appendix A, Structured Observation = Appendix B).
Ref List: 5 %
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