PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES ONLY!!! website ending in (.gov or .edu)
Paper Topic: Does Individual Substance Abuse Impact Society? Topics Covered: -Causes of Substance Abuse in Adults -Effects on Marriage -Effects on Children -Implications for Rehab Facilities -Mental Health Issue vs. Imprisonment Long Term & Short-Term effects Instructions:
In reviewing articles and other publications for this section, it is prudent to provide concise statements about the aim of the article and the relevant findings/conclusions as presented in the paper by the author(s). Then, provide an explanation of the author’s conclusions in the student’s own words and include a statement as to how the article is relevant to the student’s present project. Students must describe the theoretical perspective and methods utilized in each study prior to presenting the conclusions in the literature review. Students must also note any theoretical flaws and/or methodological considerations observed as not all articles are equal merit (e.g., the theory may be misinterpreted; six interviews do not equal 400 surveys). See further explication of these two aspects below. Theoretical Framework: In this section, it is incumbent upon the student to analyze the usefulness of the perspectives proffered and present the theoretical perspective(s) most useful to address the topic of study. What theoretical perspective and/or specific theories help to explain the phenomenon under exploration in the student project? In other words, do not merely submit findings, but rather provide the theoretical perspective of the author(s) to set the findings in context. Attempting to conduct research without theoretical application is a fatal flaw as the purpose of research is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Methodological Analysis: As stated in the previous section, it is necessary to provide methodological analysis within the substantive content of the literature review. This requires that the student expand the discussion on methodological limitations by providing more detail and an overall analysis of the research on the topic to date from a methodological perspective. Simply put, do not merely say Study X found Y; but rather, Study X used quantitative analysis in the form of a self-administered survey to a sample of 400, exploring A, B, and C variables. In short, this section should guide the reader/audience through the extant literature, thus leading with the sociological and/or systems context of the topic through reference to studies relevant to same and, finally, leading into the discussion portion of the paper which concludes with the research problem statement. Thus, the literature review brings the reader right to the reason the student’s project is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of the phenomena under investigation. The literature section should be approximately ten pages in length with all articles presented in social and/or systems context, addressed theoretically and methodologically, with findings relevant to the topic explained in academic terms and in the student’s own words (layman’s explanation).
Proposed Methodology:
At least one of the articles utilized should directly pertain to the methodology proposed for the project. As a result, the student should be able to directly explicate the methodology to be used in the student research proposal. Explain your methods using the methods from your literature review and the explanation of the various stages in your Methods textbook. It is also necessary to reference/cite your research methods texts when explaining the methods utilized in the paper. For example, “I have decided to use simple random sampling. Simple random sampling consists of … (cite Maxfield and Babbie). In other terms, simple random sampling means …. Do this for each and every section of the methods in your paper. Students are NOT required to carry out the project, but rather to fully develop as if s/he were going to be required to carry it out. Thus, there should be no references to “having carried out” the proposed research nor is this exercise a replication of some other study such as those assignments you completed in Data Analysis (405). The purpose of this course is to see if the student can create a brand new research project from topic identification through methodological design and analysis. This requires that the student provide a detailed methods section including all of the elements necessary to conduct a viable research project. The subsections for this requirement include: 1. Methodology – What type of methodology do you intend to employ (quantitative/qualitative/evaluation/etc.) and what is the reason you selected this type of method and why is it the most appropriate for your particular study?
2. Hypotheses – Develop at least three hypotheses using relevant variables. Note that you may present on an unlimited number of findings but you need only present the three most representative sets of variable interactions in the body of the paper.
3. Units of Analysis – What exactly is/are the subject(s) of your study? Look up the definition in your methods text; it can be anything from human subjects to rehab programs (evaluation) to perspectives (powerpoint exemplar).
4. Population – Note that there is a larger population in which you are interested and a Sample Population (below) that will serve as your subjects for analysis. For example, the powerpoint is interested in all citizens but the sample was limited to N.C. voters for practicality. 5. Sample – State the type of sampling process you will use and why it is appropriate for your study. Don’t forget to include the text definition of this and every component along with your layman’s explanation and how you will actually determine the sample. 7. Independent Variables – List, operationalize, and code your independent variables. Remember that these are the variables that may possibly cause a change in the dependent variables. This includes demographic and other control variables.
8. Dependent Variables – List, operationalize and code these are the variables where you anticipate that you may see some sort of effect from the independent variables. For example, Lax Parental Supervision (Independent) may result in Delinquency (Dependent).
9. Sample of Questions – It is not necessary to write out each and every question for the variables you intend to use in the survey instrument. Instead, provide a representative sample of the type of questions in the body of your paper. The complete proposed survey/questionnaire will include a separate appendix
10. Data Collection – It is not enough to merely have a survey instrument prepared. You must state how it will be administered, whether by phone, mail, or distribution by a designated administrator (e.g., teacher) such as to students in a school setting.
11. Data Analysis – Once data is collected, the researcher must then determine how id is going to be analyzed from a scientific perspective. In quantitative research, we do this through the use of statistics. This requires that the researcher design the project in such a way as to be amenable to statistical analysis. Explain what statistical tests you would run, why they are appropriate and the anticipated outcome. 12. Methodological Considerations – all research is flawed to some extent. There is simply no way we can study everything and include all potential variables. Thus, it is important for the student to acknowledge the limitations to his/her study. This entire section should be approximately 5 pages in length.

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