Poverty and Homicide
Overall: Each student will complete a term project in which they will develop a detailed research proposal describing a researchable problem and the methods they plan to use to study it. This proposal should have the depth and quality one might expect for a fundable proposal to a funding agency or an acceptable dissertation or thesis proposal. Proposal preparation will normally include some form of intensive investigation preparing the researcher for the research and facilitating the design of a realistic proposal.
Details: 15 pages, single-space, times new roman, 12pt. font, standard 1 inch margins, in-text citations with full reference page
Sections: Introduction, Literature Review, Significance, Research Question, Research Methods and Measurement Analysis, Conclusion, and References
A. Topic. Select an issue that really interests you. One of the ingredients for a good paper is a researcher who is sincerely interested in finding the answer to a social science question. Be sure, however, that the issue can be analyzed and that it has been the subject of social science research. Peruse academic journals and journalistic accounts to gain a sense of how the issue has been approached by others. Consider choosing a topic that may help you complete your program’s requirements whether that be a thesis or dissertation proposal. You need to think through how you will conduct an analysis of your particular topic, what questions you will answer and what your specific focus will be. Most importantly, be creative and have fun with it.
B. Introduction (1page).Once you have selected a topic for your proposal, you need to focus and narrow it. Explain why is it an issue/problem? For whom is it an issue/problem? What are the social consequences of the issue/problem? Within the first few pages, clarify the focus of the paper to the reader.
C. Literature Review (4-5 pages). Do an extensive literature review about the issue/problem. Draw upon as many sources as you can: books, journals, or other peer-reviewed academic sources. Discuss what the literature has and has not said about this issue/problem. What are the debates related to the issue? What are the limitations of the literatures in regard to your research interests? Focus on information relevant to your issue/problem only, not all of the literature on a topic. Work on developing a framework for asking your research question (or clarifying why you are asking it if it has already been stated). What is lacking in the literature that leaves open questions that you could answer? It is very important that you do not write your paper as just a summary of the articles, for example, do not organize your paper and talk about each article one by one. Use citations to validate your claims. In other words, draw upon literature to build a case for why you are asking this research question.
D. Significance (1 page). Discuss the significance & the importance of your issue/problem. How does it fit into current areas of research? This is also known as answering the “so what” question. Explain why your topic is important and why it’s significant to research.
E. Research Question (half page). Clearly formulate and state your research question(s). If you have several questions, organize them into one primary question with a few related follow up questions. The research question(s) should relate back to and logically flow from the issue/problem discussed in the introduction and the literature review. This is perhaps the most difficult task as the research questions will “theoretically frame” your analysis and the kind of findings that you are likely to produce. Your question should be one that:
• Lends itself to sociological analysis
• Is not a “yes” or “no” question
• Has more than one plausible answer
F. Research Methods and Measurement Analysis (4-5 pages). Discuss the research methodology and measurements to be used. Develop a research design utilizing a methodological approach that you have learned in this methods course. This section should consist of the research design, data acquired, and a discussion of how they contribute to answering your research question(s). Then describe how you will analyze the data that you would collect if you were to complete this project (ex. What coding strategy will you use?). Justify your choice. How will you check to see if your data is valid?
G. Conclusion (1 page). Sum up your primary themes and discuss the implications of your proposed project for social change, policy recommendations and/or possible future research.
H. References (1-3 pages). Cite all sources, both in-text and in a reference page at the end of the proposal.
REVISE, REWRITE, PROOFREAD, AVOID PLAGIARISM
1. Evaluation Process: Paper will be graded in terms of content, insight, originality, analytical skill, organization, clarity of expression, overall presentation style, spelling and grammar, and proper referencing protocols.
2. Plagiarism: students should be aware of the penalties for plagiarism and other form of academic misconduct. Please read student handbook for the university’s policies on cheating and plagiarism. Evidence of plagiarism from other students’ work or published materials will result in a grade of zero and disciplinary action will be taken.