Search within:

SOC 3500 PBC

SOC 3500—Elementary Research Techniques

Three Semester Hours

RS 4/13


University Requisite: SOC 1000 and (404 or 3000) and (COMS 3520 or ECON 3810 or MATH 2500 or PSY 2110 or QBA 2010)

Course Overview

An introduction to the techniques employed by social scientists to identify research problems, gather data, analyze data, and reach conclusions about their research ideas. Topics include how to identify a research problem, ways to develop data gathering procedures, techniques of gathering data, ways to summarize data, and ways to analyze data. The overall goal is to provide the tools to be able to design and carry out a research project.

Methods of Course Instruction

All material for this course is print-based. Instructor and students communicate and exchange materials through postal mail. 

E-Print Option

In this course, an option exists to use e-mail to submit your lesson assignments. Your assignment will be returned to you either as an e-mail attachment or as a hard copy sent through the postal mail, depending on the preferences of the instructor and/or program. 

Textbooks and Supplies

Neuman, W. Lawrence. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 7th ed. Allyn and Bacon, 2011. [ISBN: 9780205615964]

Number of Lessons

The course has 12 lessons, including a midcourse examination and a final examination. These lessons include: 

  • Lesson 1: The Logic of Investigation: Ways of Knowing and Developing Ideas 
  • Lesson 2: Problem Identification in Science: Deciding What to Observe 
  • Lesson 3: Measurement Topics: How to Structure Observations 
  • Lesson 4: Sampling: Identifying What Observations to Make 
  • Lesson 5: Experiments 
  • Lesson 6: Midcourse Examination 
  • Lesson 7: Data Collection I: Surveys and Quantitative Analysis 
  • Lesson 8: Unobtrusive Techniques 
  • Lesson 9: Data Collection II: Observation 
  • Lesson 10: Analyzing Quantitative Data I: How to Make Sense of Large Amounts of Information 
  • Lesson 11: Analyzing Quantitative Data II: Elaboration Model and Decision Making 
  • Lesson 12: Final Examination

Types of Writing Assignments

The writing assignments for the course ask you to develop your research skills. You will employ concepts, terms, and thought processes developed in the course guide and text. The written assignments are worth one-half of the course grade. I expect that you will make every effort to prepare these assignments carefully. This means that you have written the assignment to the best of your ability and have paid attention to spelling, grammar, and the presentation of your ideas. Sloppy writing, misspellings, and poor exposition will affect the grade on the written assignments.

Grading Criteria

Your final grade will be determined by your grades on the submitted writing assignments and the two examinations as follows: 

  • Submitted Assignments = 100
  • Midcourse Examination = 50
  • Final Examination = 50
  • Total = 200