Questions to answer:

1. What type of data would be best suited for addressing your research question, qualitative or quantitative?

2. From our nonscientific methods of knowing (ordinary human inquiry, tradition, and
authority), what do we already “know” about your topic of interest? How can research
move beyond this commonly accepted wisdom?

3. What is the independent and dependent variable of interest in the study? What are the attributes of these variables?

4. Discuss how you would study your topic of interest from an inductive approach and then from a deductive approach using existing theory. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy?

5. Would my research project pass the IRB standards at my institution?

6. What alternative research designs could I used to collect data, and what are the
ethical challenges posed by such alternatives?

7. What are my own feelings about the particular subject matter, and do they limit
my ability to carry out the research objectively?

8. Is it possible to establish a causal relationship between the variables of interest using
cross sectional research, or is a longitudinal research design strategy needed?

9. How differently would the research proposal be if the objective was to explore or
describe, rather than explain, the particular social phenomenon of interest?

10. Think carefully about reductionism. Is this a concern for the research project; is the
whole of the social phenomenon being ignored by focusing only on the sum of the parts?

11. What is the purpose of the research project (explore, describe, explain), and how does that affect the way in which the variables of interest will be measured?

12. What is the appropriate level of measurement for the variables that will be examined in the study?

13. What are the particular dimensions of the concepts of interest will be examined in the study?

14. Given the particular data collection strategy employed, can indexes/scales be used to measure concepts of interest?

15. If the study examines units of analysis other than individuals, do indexes/scales have
any utility?

16. If conducting an experiment, how important is having a representative sample of
subjects? Will college students suffice?

17. From the list of internal invalidity issues in Babbie, what are the three that are potentially the most critical for addressing in the experiment?

18. How can the World Wide Web be used to administer the experiment?

research paper /AN