Approved by Faculty Senate.
Sociology 378, Lab in Social Research
Instructor: Dr. Brian C. Aldrich
1. Practice and processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their field:
The Laboratory in Social Research is organized around a seven-step procedure for presenting the results of research:
- General Statement of the Research Problem
- Background of the Problem
- Design of the Study
- How the Data were obtained
- Analysis of Data
Students write rough drafts of each of these seven steps as the research project progresses throughout the semester. Each section is connected to the work in the classroom, is discussed, and each student is assigned to write a rough draft. These are turned in, evaluated and discussed in class.
2. Understand the main features and uses of writing in their field:
The above seven steps are standard in the field for presenting the results of a research report. In addition, students are required to review the other types of writing from data sources, including the textual analysis paper, the library research paper, and the ethnographic field research paper (A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers). These cover the main features and uses of writing in their field.
3. Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their field:
These are the major forms of writing expected by readers in the field. Emphasis is placed primarily upon presenting quantitative and qualitative research reports.
4. Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their field:
There are several technologies used in this process. The data access and review
technology associated with on-line searches for the review of the literature (Background of the Problem) is a primary one. Of equal or greater importance is the use of statistical analysis programs to analyze the data and put it into tabular form for presentation and discussion in the paper. The third use of technology is the ability to use word processing programs effectively for drawing together the text and the tables into an integrated paper.
5. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their field:
The seven steps in the above process are organized around the empirical research process generating evidence (the design of the study, obtaining data and analyzing it), then documenting systematically how the evidence supports the hypotheses of the study. The study is formatted in a systematic fashion so that questions can be asked, the research can be designed and carried out, and the results of the analysis used to document answers to the questions raised. This is a systematic, widely shared and understood process. The purpose to the writing in the class is to make certain that students exit the course with the ability to communicate in writing with other professionals in the field in this standard fashion.
Purpose: To introduce students to the basic techniques and methods of conducting a social survey, analyzing the results and presenting a research report on the conclusions.
Project: Collaborative learning
Grades: Chapter quizzes 25%
Lab assignments 25%
Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis 25%
Final paper 25%
The Sociology Writing Group, A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers, Third Edition.
Week 1 1/9, 11
T, Introduction to course/project
Week 2 1/16, 18
T, Ch 3: Quiz and discussion of steps in research project (1)
Week 3 1/23, 25
Week 4 1/30, 2/1
Week 5 2/6, 8
Week 6 2/13, 15
Week 7 2/20, 22
Week 8 2/27, 3/1
Week 9 3/13, 15
Week 10 3/20, 22
Week 11 3/27, 29
Week 13 4/10, 12
Week 14 4/17, 19
Week 15 4/24, 26