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Research Methods for the Social Sciences

What is Research?

Research is a careful and detailed study into a specific problem, concern, or issue using the scientific method. It's the adult form of the science fair projects back in elementary school, where you try and learn something by performing an experiment. - Study.com

Formulating a Research Question:

Step 1: Do some preliminary reading on your topic. 

Step 2: Consider who your audience is.

Step 3: Start asking questions about your topic that your audience might find interesting. Focus on identifying a problem or a gap in the literature you've read so far.

Step 4: Create your research question.

Basic academic research formula:

IF______ THEN _____ BECAUSE______

In other words...

Identify/state a problem, explain the expected outcome (based on your literature review) as a result of your experiment (meaning you change something or measure something).

Literature Search Handout