Social Research Topics

Research Question (2 pts)

There many topics within the world of social research. The best research projects have strong, specific questions. Vague questions that are not direct and specific can led to weak research projects. Strong social research questions are subjected to verifiable observations. The research question can include hypotheses.

Here are some topics within social research: 1) Social research topics can deal with social problems such as alienation, racism, or urban sprawl. 2) Social research topics can deal with topics within specific subfields. For example, residential segregation is a topic in urban sociology and environmental inequality is a topic in environmental sociology. You can pick a subtopic from a previous course you took. 3) Pick at topic you are interested in.

4)Research questions should address the following three dimensions: 1) what are the entities (e.g. individual people, groups, formal organizations, nations, etc…) that are to be studied, 2) what aspects or characteristics of these entities are of interest (e.g. discrimination, participation, income, etc…), 3) what kinds of relationships among the characteristics are anticipated (e.g. variable A increases with variable B, variable C exists with variable D, etc…).

Examples of good strong research questions
Are athletes better integrated into UO’s social networks than non-athletes?

Is social capital stronger in gated communities?
Does university racial/ethnic diversity increase student retention rates?

Are there differences in pollution exposure among different racial/ethnic groups?
How is disability portrayed in the television series Superstore?
What strategies do workers deploy in unpredictable scheduling work environments?

Does decreasing national meat consumption reduce environmental impacts?

Abstract (3 pts)

An abstract is a brief summary of a research thesis, review, research article, conference proceedings, or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline. The abstract is used to help readers find out the purpose of a report. The abstract is usually written at the end of research process because it is at the end when a researcher knows what they have done. However, a strong piece of advice by some researchers is to write a draft abstract at the beginning to help guide the research process.

The abstract should follow this order: background of the topic (e.g. use a statistic, definition, or some other hook), methods (e.g. which measurements or methods are used), results (e.g. highlight the findings), conclusion (e.g. implications of findings)

The abstract should be between 100-200 words. Your research has not been done, so the abstract should be written as what you *think* you will find and its *hypothetical* implications.

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