What is the specific research question you plan to address with your study?

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the
knowledge you have acquired in this class by developing a research question and
setting up a small study to examine this question. This paper will be comprised
of four components: an introduction, a short review of the theoretical and
empirical literature, a methods section, and a survey. Your 10-15 page paper should
be written in 12 point Times New Roman font, it should be double spaced, and it
should have 1 inch margins. Students will be expected to use APA formatting.
In addition, your survey should look professional (i.e., your survey should
look like a document you would be proud to distribute to potential
participants). Contained below is the information you will want to include in
each of the four sections.

Introduction (1-2 pages)
·
Provide
a broad overview of the subject matter you plan to investigate
o
i.e.,
Why is it important to spend time examining this subject?
·
Briefly
introduce what you plan to accomplish with your study
o
What
is the specific research question you plan to address with your study?
§ Clearly identify
the main concepts in your research question
§ Clearly
identify the relationship between these concepts
o
How
do you plan to address this question?
§ What procedures do
you plan to use to address your question?
§ What is the
population you are interested in examining?
§ How would you
gather your data?
·
Very
briefly mention how your survey is designed to collect information appropriate
for answering your research question

Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature (4-6
pages)
·
What
theoretical perspective guides the examination of your research question?
o
What
are the main propositions involved with the theory?
§ i.e., What is the
relationship between the key concepts in the theory and criminal activity?
o
How
have the author(s) defined the key concepts in the theory?
·
What
does prior research say about the relationship between the key concepts in your
selected theory and the commission of crime (i.e., the concepts that comprise
your research question)?
o
Briefly
summarize at least 5 empirical articles that have examined the
core concepts in your theoretical perspective
§ In your literature
review, you will want to cover the following information:
·
How
did the author’s measure the key concepts in your theory?
·
What
were the dependent variables and how were they measured?
·
Who
participated in the studies and how were the data gathered?
·
What
were the major findings regarding the key theoretical variables of interest from
these articles?
·
What
conclusions can be drawn based on the findings from all of your empirical
sources? (i.e., does the literature support or contradict the hypothesized
relationship between the theoretical concepts and criminal activity)

Methods Section (4-7 pages)
·
Provide
more in-depth information at this point about the population you would like to
examine
o
How
does gathering data from these individuals help you address your research question?
§ How would you
reach out to these individuals in your population if you were required to do
so?
·
i.e.,
if you are interested in examining the challenges parolees face when they are
released from prison, distributing your survey to parolees in Springfield would
be a good way to gather information on this topic
o
How
many people would you include in your study?
o
If
you plan on reaching out to special populations (i.e., juveniles or prisoners),
be sure to address ethical issues involved with including these individuals in
your study
·
What
are the main concepts involved with your research question and why have you
included certain questions in your survey?


o
For
each of the key concepts
contained in your research question:
§ Clearly define
the concept and provide a justification for your definition
·
i.e.,
Justify
why you chose to define the concept the way you have and how this definition is
appropriate for examining your research question
§ Explain how you
plan to measure each concept
·
What are the questions
you plan to use to measure the main concepts in your study and why are these questions appropriate for
measuring these concepts
·
Explain the response categories you selected for each question and why they
are appropriate for the question

Survey (minimum of 20 questions)
·
Provide
a brief explanation about the purpose of the study and why subjects have been
asked to participate before the actual survey questions (one paragraph)
o
Make
sure to include the information we covered in the section on ethics
·
Include
questions that are designed to measure the key concepts from your research
question
o
You
are required to ask both close-ended
and open-ended questions
·
Include
questions designed to obtain demographic
information

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