SOC/CRJ 3610: Social Research, Fall, 2014 --  WRITING ENRICHED

 Professor: Stephen M. Marson, Ph.D., ACSW

Office: D. F. Sampson 217; 521-6475  Inclement weather: (910) 521-6888

Office Hours:  11:00 Monday, 5:00 Tuesday (RCC), 3:15 Thursday, 4:30Wednesdays, 11:00 Fridays  for tutoring only
   * Wednesday office hours will be in room 15 of the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship .

 Course Prerequisite: SOC 1020 or SOC/CRJ 2400

 Course Description: This course is designed to develop an understanding of the basic research methods available to social scientists. The principal purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with these methods in order to aid the critical analysis of social science research from academia, government agencies, the media and other sources. The student will be given the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned by conducting a survey, analyzing the data, and presenting the results at the end of the semester.  This class utilizes Blackboard for communication, posting of electronic readings, and turning in assignments.  This course is a writing enhanced course. 


Academic Honor Code Computers Final Exam Procedures
Assignments Course Competencies Grading Religion Policy
Attendance Policy Course Outline with Reading Assignments Handouts & PowerPoints Required text
Blackboard Disabilities How I grade papers Tutoring
Cell Phone & Texting Policy Dropping Late Assignments  

Course Competencies


1.      As a Writing Enhanced Course students will gain experience in the employment of strategic writing skills which meets the expectations of graduates from sociology and criminal justice.

2.      Gain insights into the groundwork associated with thinking about social research methods.

 3. Understand the relationship between theory and research and the degree to which natural science approach is an acceptable framework to study social science.

 4. Understand the fundamentals of social research design with emphasis placed on survey research, case study research and experimental designs.

 5. Comprehend the "research question" in conjunction with the uniquely suited research design.

 6. Will be able to complete a review of literature.

 7. Will comprehend research ethics.

 Quantitative Methods

 8. Understand the components of quantitative methods including but not limited to: sampling; data collection (interviewing, instrument construction, structure observations and content analysis).

 9. Understand the non-technical aspects of selecting a method of analysis.

 10. Will understand how computers are used in data analysis (Excel will be emphasized).

Qualitative Methods

 11. Understand the components of qualitative methods including but not limited to: subject selection, document selection and unit of analysis.

 12. Comprehend ethnography, participant observation, semi-structured & unstructured interviewing, focus groups, conversation & discourse analysis, and document examination.

 13. Understand the diverse research methods available for qualitative analysis.

 14. Will understand how computers are used in data analysis.

Comparisons of Methods

 15. Will comprehend the differences between qualitative and quantitative methods.

 16. Will understand the uses of the Internet for the social sciences.


Course Outline and Reading Assignments:




Week 1

Overview of course. Assignments are laid out. We will explore ways in which social research is located in a wider context which will demonstrate why social research is complete in a particular manner. Much of what is addressed is an overview of the entire course. The goal is to gain ground work for the rest of the course. On the second day of class, we will receive library instruction for conducting a review of literature.  Instructions will be given in the correct manner to cite. NO ONE MAY LEAVE THE LIBRARY WITHOUT THEIR ARTICLE.

Chapters 1 and 3

Week 2

A guide to starting one's first research project. Strategies for constructing a research question and conducting a review of literature is addressed. We will refer back to the presentation offered by the librarian. The principle task at this stage includes reviewing ideas and research related to one's area of interest. Examples of reviews of literature are provided.



10 citations for proposal

Week 3

We exam the skills related to questionnaire development and use Survey Monkey. In addition, we examine the employment of structured interviews and content analysis. Research NOT in your text: What is the difference in the response rate between written questionnaires and online questionnaires.  Emphasis is placed on using computers.   Reading on Measurement

Chapter 10, 11, 13 & 14

Week 4

Research designs are addressed. Focus is given to different design frameworks for the collection and analysis of data. A research design relates to the criteria that are employed when evaluating social research. A research design is a framework for generating evidence that is suited both to a set of criteria and to the research question in which the investigator is interested.

Chapter 3

Review of Literature due and MUST be loaded into SafeAssignment--Draft 1

Week 5

Qualitative research emphasized words rather than analysis of data. An examination of non-probability sampling and acquisition of research material. Ethnography and participant observation is included.

Chapter 17, 18 & 19.


Week 6

We will examine the nature between theory and research and the degree to which a natural science model is appropriate. Here the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods are first noted (repeated in more detail later).

Chapter 2

Week 7

One of the most complex components within the quantitative model is sampling.

Chapter 8

Week 8

Interviews that are employed within the quantitative model differ from research interviews conducted within the qualitative model. We focus on the quantitative interviews.

Chapter 9

Articles are due

Week 9

Quantitative research methods (like it or not) dominates the social sciences. However, its influence is waning. We study patterns found in quantitative research.

Chapter 7

Week 10

Introduction to statistical analysis

Chapter15 & 16

Week 11

Ethical issue arise at variety of stage in social research. A NOVA film entitled Do Scientists Cheat? will be used as a basis for discussion and analysis. The films are available on YouTube. An old but very important citation:

An old but very important citation: Environment, Heredity And Intelligence. Reprint Series No. 2.

Chapter 6

Week 12

Unstructured and semi-structured interviews are included.

Chapter 20

Week 13

Focus groups are addressed

Chapter 21

Week 14

Language of qualitative methods, documents assess and general strategies for analysis

Chapter 22, 23, 24 & 25

Week 15

Combining qualitative and quantitative methods

Chapter 26.

Week 16

Final Exam



Final Exam: Go to  for exam schedule:
Since this is a 3 hour class, the above schedule affords this class to two different exams times.   On the first day of class, the students voted for Monday at 1:30 PM.


Procedures:  Lectures and class discussion, written assignments with feedback, role-playing games and related active learning class activities, occasional audio-visuals and guest speakers.


Required Texts: Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods. NY: Oxford University Press.


About Computer Usage: Students are required to have an email account to submit and receive assignments.  All students receive an email account from the university at the point of application. Student email addresses are all of the form that ends in It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her university supplied email account in order to stay current with university communications. Following admission, his or her UNCP email account will be closed after the first regular semester in which he or she is not enrolled.    Students are encouraged to store and backup all their assignments on the space of the server that is allocated to them.   By following directions found at (download Fillzilla), students can save and upback all their material from any location off campus.  


Assignment: Due dates are listed on the course outline (after first of class).



Grade Basis


Article 1: Select article from the approved list.  If you have an article you would prefer to review, show it to the professor on the second day of class.   Each article must be reviewed by using the approved outline. An example of how a final product should look is also available

·     Practice professionals writing.  

·     Enhance critical thinking skills

·     Apply course content to real situation

Waypoint rubric


Oral Report will be short lasting no more that 3-5minutes.  Each student will present their article.  

Ability to synthesize

Each student will receive feedback from student and professor using the oral report rubric.


Every student will be required provide written feedback using the departmental rubric for oral reports.

Provide experience in giving and taking peer feedback.



Using the same directions for the first article, write a review for the Koger article.

·     Practice professionals writing.  

·     Enhance critical thinking skills

·     Apply course content to real situation

Waypoint rubric


A research proposal is required for this course.  A research proposal is defined as a document that describes the design, schedule and budget for conducting a research project.   The paper should be 17 to 20 pages long (excluding title and abstract page).   The required outline can be found by clicking the hot link.

Apply and practice research skills.

Research Proposal

Rubric and Blackboard SafeAssignment


In conjunction with the research proposal an oral report is required.  The oral must be made without the use of notes and must present to total finding of the proposal. The report should be between 5 to 10 minutes.

·    Enhance critical thinking skills

·     Prepare students for professional presentations
Oral Report Protocol 5%

Two (2) Quizzes

Demonstrate level of knowledge from text, lectures and assignments.

Answers to items will be assessed individually


(10% each)

Final Exam

Comprehensive assessment of knowledge from text, lectures and assignments.

Answers to items will be assessed individually



To demonstrate self-discipline

See Attendance Policy



Attendance Policy

Attendance and class participation are critical to the learning and integration of materials.  Students are therefore encouraged to be mindful of absences and make every effort to be in attendance. Students are expected to have read assigned material prior to the class. Students are also expected to participate in class discussion, exercises, “minute” papers, and any Blackboard discussions that may be announced.  Students are considered in attendance only if present for the entire class. Arriving late or leaving early is disruptive will be dealt with by the instructor.  Attendance will be used as a criterion in determining the final grade.  (Present 1 point; Tardy 1/2 point; Not present 0 points)  For more details see “Class Attendance” in The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. WARNING: At the end of the semester, I do not negotiate changes in the manner in which I record Not present or Tardy.   Students must review their record on the problematic day.   For example, if a student attends class but is tardy, one is well-advised to check to make sure that the professor use a tardy marker rather than an absent.


Grading Components Scale:  For more information how grades valued in percentages see: Assignments

A 92-100

B 82-86

C 72-76

D 62-66

A- 90-91

B- 80-81

C- 70-71

D- 60-61

B+ 87-89

C+ 77-79

D+ 67-69

F 0-59


Students with Disabilities: Federal laws require UNCP to accommodate students with documented learning, physical, chronic health, psychological, visual or hearing disabilities.   In post-secondary school settings, academic accommodations are not automatic; to receive accommodations, students must make a formal request and must supply documentation from a qualified professional to support that request.Students who believe they qualify must contact the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) in DF Lowry Building, Room 107 or call 910-521-6695 to begin the accommodation process. All discussions remain confidential.  Accommodations cannot be provided retroactively. More information for students about the services provided by ARC and the accommodation process may be found at the following link:


Religion Statement: The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has a legal and moral obligation to accommodate all students who must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams in order to observe religious holidays; we must be careful not to inhibit or penalize these students for exercising their rights to religious observance.    To accommodate students’ religious holidays, each student will be allowed two excused absences each semester with the following conditions:

 1.      Students, who submit written notification to their instructors within two weeks of the beginning of the semester, shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith.  Excused absences are limited to two class sessions (days) per semester. 

2.      Students shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.

3.      Students  should not  be penalized due to absence from class or other scheduled academic activity because of religious observances.  

A student who is to be excused from class for a religious observance is not required to provide a second-party certification of the reason for the absence.   Furthermore, a student who believes that he or she has been unreasonably denied an education benefit due to religious beliefs or practices may seek redress through the student grievance procedure.  


Cell Phone Policy: Students are not permitted to conduct phone conversations during class time.  Students are not permitted to have cell ring during class time.   Students who use conduct a phone conversation or allow their phones to ring during class time will be drop 10 points on the next quiz or 5 points for their final exam.   During an exam, phones and hand held computers are not permitted in the room.   No texting is permitted during class time.


Office of Academic Excellence

Tutoring  is available by subject with peer tutors who show proficiency in courses and have been trained in effective tutoring strategies.  The tutoring sessions can host up to five students per session.  To get the most effective results students should sign up for tutoring as soon as possible.  Students should also come to tutoring sessions with specific questions prepared regarding course material.  The more consistent the attendance to tutoring sessions, the better students will understand the material and perform at a higher level in class.  Sign up for tutoring in the Center for Academic Excellence office.

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is available to assigned classes that present historically difficult material.  An SI Leader is an upperclassman, model student who has taken the course and shown proficiency, and has been trained in effective Supplemental Instruction leadership strategies.  An SI Leader is assigned to the course to attend all lecture sessions and host at least three study sessions per week for students to attend voluntarily.  SI sessions will provide supplemental material for students to use to improve their understanding of the course material.  SI sessions also provide an opportunity for students to ask questions, and gain insight from their classmates.  Students are encouraged to attend as frequently as possible to review the class material consistently.  The more frequent the attendance at SI Sessions, the better students will understand the material and perform in class.

The Resource Learning Lab offers computer based, self-paced tutoring in basic writing skills from composing sentences, paragraphs, and essays, to addressing common writing problems, basic reading comprehension, and word problem dissection.  These programs are 4 – 8 weeks long and offer non-credit, collectable test performance data on each student during their progression through our programs. The Resource Learning Lab also offers tutoring that improves academic study skills through self-help DVD’s, such as Values and Goals, Time Management, Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving, Active Listening and Note-Taking, Researching, Reading and Writing, and Studying and Test-Taking.  These programs are designed to enhance college-level reading comprehension and writing skills, and to improve the areas where students find they have deficiencies.  The Resource Learning Lab is available to all students, whether right out of high school or non-traditional students needing a refresher.


Blackboard Usage:  Explorer version 8 does not function well with Blackboard.  As a result, the computer staff recommend that student use Firefox .  If you do not have these browsers on your desktop, download them now.   Both browsers are free and the hotlinks are provided on this syllabus.  Although SOC/CRJ 3610 is not designated as a “Blackboard” course, Blackboard is used under two circumstances.   First, if the course is canceled or the professor is unable to attend class and cannot find a replacement, lectures and assignments will be posted on Blackboard.  Second, depending on the nature of the course, some quizzes will be posted on Blackboard.