Introduction to Research Methods

Catalog Description:

Examination of social science research methods from theoretical, applied and ethical points of view. Acquaints students with qualitative and quantitative techniques and procedures used to measure human behavior, gather and analyze data, and evaluate and report on findings.

Outline of Course Content:

  • Considering Research: Describe what social science research is, the goals of social research, the process of social research, the ethics of social research, and how theory supports research.
  • Finding Research: Use library databases (e.g., EBSCOhost, ProQuest, JSTOR), Google Scholar, and interlibrary loan. Students will compose an annotated bibliography in order to keep track of their research history.
  • Evaluating Research: Explain what makes academic research different from journalistic and other types of research. Evaluate claims in the media. Describe the process and importance of peer review.
  • Doing Research in the Social Sciences: Describe research design, conceptualization, operationalization, measurement, indexes, scales, typologies, sampling, experiments, qualitative methods (field research, content analysis, evaluation research), quantitative methods (surveys), and comparative methods. Compare research methods used by sociologists, psychologists, economists, geographers, historians, criminologists, anthropologists, political scientists and other social scientists. Students will learn basic SPSS (statistical software).
  • Sharing Research: Prepare literature reviews and write about their own research. Use APA format. Discuss her or his own research in-class oral presentations.

Prerequisites: At least one course in the social sciences (SOC, PSY, CJS, ECO, GEO, HIS, ANT, or POS) with a grade ‘C’ or higher;’ Placement by assessment or MAT 006 grade ‘C’ or higher; Complete ENG 120 with a minimum graded of ‘C’


Here is a copy of the syllabus from Spring 2013. It will be revised for Spring 2014, but gives you some idea as to what to expect.

Offered Spring 2014 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-2:15 at Lake Land College.

  • Pat Ortciger

    I wish we had this when I was at Lake Land! But, alas, I have to take it next semester at ASU.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath

      Thanks! You would still have to take it at ASU because this is a more general introduction designed to better prepare you for the methods course at ASU (or wherever a student transfers). :)