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Selecting Researchable Topics and Questions Chapter 4
Introduction <ul><li>Research Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions about one or more topics or concepts that can be an...
Introduction <ul><li>Research Topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A concept, subject or issue that can be studied through research...
Discussion - Question <ul><li>Create a research question about the social impact of living through a natural disaster. </l...
Introduction <ul><li>Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A testable statement about how two or more variables are expected to...
Introduction <ul><li>Research question vs. Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A research question is similar to a hypothesis...
Introduction <ul><li>Focal research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Studying Women’s Lives:  Family Focus in the 30s ” </li></ul></...
Quiz – Question 1 <ul><li>Identify ethical issues from the focal research. </li></ul><ul><li>How were the ethical issues h...
Introduction <ul><li>Sources of research questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The selection of a research question is often the...
Introduction <ul><li>Values and Science  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value Free? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research in the ...
Introduction <ul><li>Personal Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal interests often influence researchers’ specific resea...
Introduction <ul><li>Research and the Social, Political and Economic World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change in society influen...
Introduction <ul><li>Research Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It is always difficult to raise money for social science res...
Introduction <ul><li>Research Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding research expresses a value choice </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Researchable question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A question that can be answered wit...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Transforming a research question to a research able  question </li></ul><ul><ul...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><ul><li>Example: Cell phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You cannot study ev...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The process of searching for, re...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Sources </li></ul></ul>...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using the literatur...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feasibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul>...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>T...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time expenditures </li></ul></ul><ul><u...
Summary <ul><li>Research questions can vary in scope and purpose  </li></ul><ul><li>A review of the literature is essentia...
Quiz – Question 2 <ul><li>We can expect that the interest in certain research topics will change over time. This is due to...
Quiz – Question 3 <ul><li>Some topics that may be interesting and important but gaining access to the population may be ve...
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    1. 1. Selecting Researchable Topics and Questions Chapter 4
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Research Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions about one or more topics or concepts that can be answered through research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A research question can be about local or global governments, individuals or organizations, and an entire society </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Research Topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A concept, subject or issue that can be studied through research </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Discussion - Question <ul><li>Create a research question about the social impact of living through a natural disaster. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you know people who lived through a natural disaster such as a hurricane, a tornado, a tsunami, or the like? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In what ways do you think their lives have changed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you think their experiences are typical or unusual? </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Introduction <ul><li>Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A testable statement about how two or more variables are expected to be related to one another </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Introduction <ul><li>Research question vs. Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A research question is similar to a hypothesis, except that a hypothesis presents an expectation about the way two or more variables are related, but a research question does not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research projects that have explanatory or evaluation purposes typically begin with one or more hypotheses, most exploratory and some descriptive projects start with a research question </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Introduction <ul><li>Focal research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Studying Women’s Lives: Family Focus in the 30s ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hoffnung had personal experiences and professional interests that set the stage for her study of women’s lives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research provides basic information about the social world and understandings that can be applied to creating social policy </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Quiz – Question 1 <ul><li>Identify ethical issues from the focal research. </li></ul><ul><li>How were the ethical issues handled? </li></ul>
    9. 9. Introduction <ul><li>Sources of research questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The selection of a research question is often the result of many factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal interests, experiences, values, and passions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The desire to satisfy scientific curiosity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Previous work -- or the lack of it -- on a topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The current political, economic, and social climates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Being able to get access to data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Having a way to fund a study </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Introduction <ul><li>Values and Science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value Free? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research in the 19 th and much of 20 th century science was considered “value-free” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Today, values, both social and personal, are part of all human endeavors, including science </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group interests and values can influence research, especially influential during the creating and evaluation of hypotheses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social and personal values are not necessarily bad </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The danger comes when scientists allow their values to introduce biases into their work that distort the results of scientific investigation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Introduction <ul><li>Personal Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal interests often influence researchers’ specific research topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having a strong personal interests can lead to the willingness to the make the necessary investment of time and energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research by Hoffnung (2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal interest in career and motherhood influenced her work </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Introduction <ul><li>Research and the Social, Political and Economic World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change in society influences amount of research on topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Gender, Sexual Orientation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Before the 1970s, few studies focused on women, as a result of the women's movement in the late 1960s and early 70s, scholars began to study women and their lives </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current events focus attention: e.g. natural disasters, swine flu, etc… </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Introduction <ul><li>Research Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It is always difficult to raise money for social science research; after all, it neither directly saves thousands of lives nor enables one to kills thousands of people” (Fischman et al., 2004). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many research projects are funded through private foundations, government agencies, local and state institutions, or corporate sponsors </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Introduction <ul><li>Research Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding research expresses a value choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The particular values associated with a specific project affect funding as the appropriations process for research is part of a larger political process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The availability of funding and economic support can influence a study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The questions asked </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The amount and kind of data collected </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The availability of the resulting research report </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Researchable question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A question that can be answered with research that is feasible </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Transforming a research question to a research able question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow down the broad area of interest into something that is manageable </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><ul><li>Example: Cell phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You cannot study everything connected to cell phones </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You could study the effect of cell phones on family relationships </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You cannot study all age groups, but you can study a few </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You might not be able to study people in many communities, but you might be able to study one or two </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You would not be able to study dozens of behaviors or attitudes that change overtime, but you could study some current attitudes and behaviors </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the community in which I live, how does cell phone use affect parent-child relationships; more specifically, how does the use of cell phones affect parents’ and adolescents’ attempts to maintain and resist parental authority? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The process of searching for, reading, summarizing, and synthesizing existing work on a topic or the resulting written summary of a search </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To start a literature review, you will need to figure out which literature or sources you want to search </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Books, articles, and government documents are the most common sources </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Popular literature, including newspapers and magazines, might be good sources of ideas, but academic journals will be more useful in your literature review </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The terms used to search for sources in a literature review </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With common keywords you will generate a large number of sources – you can limit the search to title and abstracts only </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can use multiple keywords by including “and” between terms </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using the literature in a study </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Helps researcher to identify their own research question or hypothesis </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examine what previous researchers have used </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide context for your own work </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides an overview of the current state of research and narrows your inquiry </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feasibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whether it is practical to complete a study in terms of access, time, and money </li></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The ability to obtain the information needed to answer a research question </li></ul></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All monetary expenditures needed for planning, executing, and reporting research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Although many research projects are grant funded a grant is NOT necessary </li></ul></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Developing a Researchable Question <ul><li>Practical matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time expenditures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The time it takes to complete all activities of a research project from the planning stage to the final report </li></ul></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Summary <ul><li>Research questions can vary in scope and purpose </li></ul><ul><li>A review of the literature is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Planning a study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to data </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Quiz – Question 2 <ul><li>We can expect that the interest in certain research topics will change over time. This is due to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a. different sources of funding. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>changing political, social, and economic elements. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>changing personal factors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>all of the above </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>none of the above </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Quiz – Question 3 <ul><li>Some topics that may be interesting and important but gaining access to the population may be very difficult. Which of the following presents the greatest obstacles? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>College students living in a dormitory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals who are members of a bowling league </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children who are hospitalized for minor illness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals who are members of a secret cult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Singles who go on singles’ cruises </li></ul></ul>
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