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Sociology in Action:
A comparative study of embedded interventions for improved research and writing in
the introduction of sociological research methods
Kari D. Weaver, Instructional Design Librarian, University of Waterloo Libraries, Waterloo, ON,
Canada, and Doctoral Candidate, School of Education, University of South Carolina,
Dr. Michelle Petrie, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Honors Program,
University of South Carolina Aiken, Aiken, SC, USA, MichelleP@usca.edu
Student Engagement in Researched Writing
Image from: Clipground (2017)
The Importance of Reflection
Image from: My Aspergers Child (2017)
Reflection in the Sociological Curriculum
Image from: Cole (2018)
Research Methods Courses in Sociology
Image from: The Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru (2017)
This Study - A Tale of Two Labs
Image from: Public Domain Pictures (2018)
Reflective Prompt 1
Describe the process you have been engaged in to develop your research question. Have you been able
to narrow your broad topic into a manageable research question? If so, how did you accomplish this? If
not, what steps are you planning to take to help yourself? What are your plans for the
next several weeks to move the paper along? What support do you need or want?
Let’s suppose you are interested in employing survey research methods to learn more about your
research topic. What type of population would your survey address? How would you develop a sample to
address this population? What method of survey administration would you choose and why? How would
you ensure an adequate response rate for your study? What types of survey questions would you include
and how would they help you address your research question?
Reflective Prompt 2
Describe the process you have been engaged in to search for sources and organize your literature review.
What has been most successful? What has not worked as well? What are your feelings about your
progress? Do you have concerns? Where, specifically, have you been to search for information? What
are your plans for the next several weeks to move the paper along? What support do you need or want?
Suppose you are interested in employing qualitative research methods to learn more about your research
topic. What qualitative methodology would you choose and why? What type of population would your
survey address? How would you develop a sample to address this population? How would you ensure an
adequate response rate for your study? What type of analysis would you conduct on the data to address
your research question?
Reflective Prompt 3
Describe the process you have been engaged in to develop your literature review. What are your feelings
about your progress? Have you spoken to anyone about your work? If so, how have they been able to
help you? What are your plans to move the paper from the current draft to the final version? What
support do you need or want? How are you staying motivated to keep up momentum on the
Thinking about your research question, what types of secondary data sources might you use to address
your question? Where might you locate this information/these sources? How would you develop a
sample? What sort of analysis would you conduct? What strengths and limitations exist in these types of
data sources you selected?
Final Common Reflective Prompt
Describe the process you engaged in this semester to write your literature review.
Now that you have completed it, what are your feelings about the final product?
What went well?
What would you do differently if you had it to do over again?
Expected Student Performance
Image from: Touro College (2013)
Thematic Coded Findings
● Affective aspects
● Value in learning
● Engagement with the research process
● Need for intervention
● Time management
Image from: Essay Writing Service UK (2018)
References and Recommended Readings
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assign? Teaching Sociology, 41(1), 46–59.
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Class, and Gender in Everyday Life. Teaching Sociology, 41(1), 82-93.
Shostak, S., Girouard, J., Cunningham, D., & Cadge, W. (2010). Teaching graduate and undergraduate research methods:
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Sitko, B. M. (1998). Knowing how to write: Metacognition and writing instruction. In D. J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky, & A. C.
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