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THE SOCIAL SCIENCES METHODOLOGY Note: This Powerpoint will be revised continually through the semester. Written and Revised by Scott Fritz, Ph.D. on August.

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Presentation on theme: "THE SOCIAL SCIENCES METHODOLOGY Note: This Powerpoint will be revised continually through the semester. Written and Revised by Scott Fritz, Ph.D. on August."— Presentation transcript:


2 THE SOCIAL SCIENCES METHODOLOGY Note: This Powerpoint will be revised continually through the semester. Written and Revised by Scott Fritz, Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm

3 WHAT IS METHODOLOGY? “A systematic procedure, technique or mode of inquiry employed by …a particular discipline.” (Webster’s Dictionary 1967) “A systematic plan followed in presenting materials for instruction.” (Webster’s Dictionary 1967) Analysis: “The process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it.” (Wikipedia)

4 ANALYTICAL THINKING Hypothesis Educated Guess Tentative assumption based on observed data, but not proven empirically Thesis Analysis of fact and their relationship to one another Facts prove hypothesis  turns into Theory

5 EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESIS/THEORIES Class Stratification Gender Inequality Environmental Destruction World System Theory Can you come up with an example?

6 INDUCTIVE V. DEDUCTIVE REASONING Inductive Reasoning Specifics to general Deductive Reasoning General to specifics

7 QUALITATIVE V. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH Qualitative Research Used to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ Good for individual case studies Infer that case study reflects larger trend, but this needs to be proven through quantitative research Qualitative Research studies humans behavior How do people decide? Where does certain behavior occur? When do actions occur Why do people act the way they do? Differs from Quantitative Research because much of the data of qualitative methods is non-numerica Used to prove an assertion or hypothesis Use of numbers, data, etc.

8 EPISTEMOLOGY “Branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and limits of knowledge.” (Wikipedia) What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? To what extent is it possible for a given subject to be know? How do we know what we know?

9 THE OBJECTIVITY QUESTION Qualitative researchers question the ability to study in an objective way Do scientists ‘filter’ their research through their personal worldview? Should researchers understand their own biases? Example: Historians’ interpretation of the past can reflect more of themselves rather than an accurate reconstruction of the past


11 TOPIC V. THESIS The topic of this paper is _______________________. In this paper I will argue ________________________.

12 ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Lists books, articles, and sources that will be used or might be used Each source is summarized Make sure that you summarize it and explain how it is going to apply to you paper topic The goal is to discover what has not been researched in your discipline (or topic).

13 EXAMPLE OF AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1995. Print. Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic. In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York: Henry Holt and Company. In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Wal-Mart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.

14 PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES Primary Sources Is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied Newspaper articles, study results, etc. Secondary Sources Is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. Article in a professional journal, a book, etc.

15 TYPES OF ESSAYS Analysis Essays Argumentative Essay Persuasive/Persuade Cause and Effect Essays Comparison and Contrast Essays Definition Essays Narrative & Descriptive Essays Division & Classification Essays

16 PAPER PROPOSAL A standard research paper proposal should not in general be longer than ten per cent of the total length of your planned paper A standard research paper proposal contains: the topic, the thesis, the outline of planned research written in proper academic style, the outline must demonstrate that you have researched preliminary sources in your topic and have analysed your paper Additionally, a research proposal has to present a list of annotated bibliography describing the main significance of each source for the paper and advisably a list of further sources which you intend to use in addition to the main literature.

17 PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL WRITING Make sure that you write somewhere in your essay that this is a “senior thesis paper” W.C.=Word Choice U.C. = Upper Case; L.C. = Lower Case Awk. = awkward Spell-out acronyms the first time Spell-out abbreviations, particularly the first time When using dates write it like 1900s, not 1900’s Spell out contracts, like “don’t” to “do not” or “won’t” to “will not” Use page numbers Do not be redundant in your use of the same word Change pronouns to nouns

18 PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL WRITING Read out loud to yourself your sentences to see where the “flow” of your sentences hesitate When you do this, you will catch yourself saying the sentences in a more pleasing way, and revise the sentence accordingly Be concise, and whenever you can say an idea with fewer words, do so One way that you can reduce the number of words, write in the active voice (lets now talk about writing in the active voice)

19 WRITING IN THE ACTIVE VOICE To the house the dog went. The dog went to the house. It was the summer that we went to the beach. We went to the beach in the summer. To think that it was bad was the proclivities of the group. The group thought that it was bad.

20 WRITING IN THE ACTIVE VOICE YOU TRY It was the ship that ran aground. __________________________________. Walking through the streets of Istanbul was our objective. ___________________________________. The destination of Odessa was that which our tour guide thought was best for us. ___________________________________.

21 WRITING IN THE ACTIVE VOICE YOU TRY The best food in the trip that we had was in Quebec. _________________________________________. It was through hard word that we accomplished the goal. ______________________________________________. To see the mosque was the goal of the group. ___________________________________________.

22 META-DISCOURSE USED TO FILTER-OUT ONE’S OWN PERSONAL BIAS Researchers examines themselves within the subject that the facts are about Do I as a researcher have a socially or culturally constructed bias that could skew my interpretation of the facts? Does our worldview provide a superior model interpretation?

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