evaluation

The primary objective of the course final is for you to demonstrate that you have
become a connoisseur of social science research. Specifically, using the information we
have discussed in the class, you are asked to critically assess someone else’s research
and provide a narrative that reflects your argumentation.
Choose one of the three research articles we have discussed in class (which can
be found on Blackboard under the Class 10 folder):
Zimmerman & Cone (2003)
Brown & Day (2008)
Chajewski & Mercado (2009)
For your chosen one article you need to write a three page paper evaluating the method
components of the research. Note, no references are needed as this paper is supposed
to be purely your own insight and thoughts. No text passed the third page will be read.
Your grade (out of 100) will be determined based on your discussion of four
elements: Research design, sampling, evaluation and analysis. For each section you
should provide a clear narrative addressing the components of each aspect.
A. Research Design
What research framework did the authors choose (experimental, quasi,
archival)? Why? Could the alternative been used? Provide two benefits
and two shortcomings of the specific research design (pre- and posttest, panel study, etc.) that was utilized. What was the justification
behind the data collection process (i.e. how they got their analyzable
data)?
B. Sampling
How were participants solicited? What were two benefits and two
shortcomings of using the sampling technique chosen by the authors?
C. Evaluation
What elements of internal validation can you identify? What provisions
were made by the researchers to assure validation of their work? If you
sought to externally evaluate the work, what components would you
need to identify? What would they be? 2
D. Analysis
Without going into ANY statistics, what was the focus of the analysis in
the research? Intuitively, were the methods used by the researcher’s
appropriate for the kinds of questions that were asking? What else
would have been informative?
Your final will be based on your ability to express your own assessment of the
research in a coherent and clear narrative, demonstrating your understanding of the
intricacies associated with developing and evaluating research.

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