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A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Social Research Paper

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Social Research

Have you ever wondered why people act the way they do, or why some are highly successful, and others are not?

You could speculate and make inferences, but without a well-grounded understanding that comes from the recent past and accurately evaluates the present, you are left with assumptions rather than reality.

In its broadest sense, social research is the study of society and how people behave and influence the world around us.

But there is an opportunity to test your hypotheses about human behavior and do so with rigorous research to back them up.

Social research is a production of scientific knowledge about the structure, transformations, and changes in social reality. This is achieved with the application of theoretical categories, strategies, and procedures.

The process of building scientific knowledge has the following characteristics:

It recognizes the antecedents, that is to say, that it does not start from nothingRequires a base capital: theoretical and methodological.Raises concerns and answers.Acknowledges that there are no unique rules to apply to a problem.Research is dynamic.Social research moves from the abstract to the concrete and vice versa.The process, as such, suggests steps.Stages of Social Research of the problem: Object of study, objectives, and theoretical framework.

It is the definition of the situation to which you want to find an answer or solution. That is, to investigate is to solve problems. 

Steps for the problem statement:Identify, delimit, and specify the problem. What is the knowledge gap?Submit the problem to the process: Ask about the circumstances in which it appears, the elements that compose it, the relationship between those elements, the explanations that have been given, and the conceptual model that can explain it. It is “breaking down the problem.”Formulate the problem: What are you trying to study? What are the key elements, characteristics, and variables?

For example, a student may decide to study the broad topic “Drug Abuse” and narrow his specific research to a particular segment such as:

The cause of Impact of on the familyPsychological help for patientsDegree of in societyReview of Related

After the research problem has been selected, the next step to take is to review relevant literature associated with the study. Relevant literature includes books, articles, journals, and . The aim of reviewing the literature is:

To come to terms with all the aspects of the topicTo acquire knowledge on all the research that has been done on a particular fieldTo determine where there is an emptiness that needs to be filledTo give your a theoretical framework to build uponFormulation of research objectives

The objectives constitute the purpose of work, that is, what is intended to be achieved by conducting the research. The objective follows the same idea as the question, written, however, as a direct affirmative sentence. If the research problem is the issue to be investigated, the objective is the result to be achieved. So, let’s say you choose the Impact of Drug Abuse on the Family as your research topic. The following questions can be raised:

What is the impact of on adolescence?How does affect communication?How does influence behavior in society?

Depending on the magnitude of the research project, the objectives can be divided into general and specific. As the name says, the general objectives are those that are broader. Most of the time, the researcher’s first and greatest goal is to obtain a satisfactory answer to his research problem.

However, in order to fulfil the general objectives, it is necessary to de more specific actions, called specific objectives. It is these specific objectives that, together, will provide the achievement of the general objective.

Objectives are formulated – whether general or specific – using verbs in the infinitive: evaluate, test, describe, investigate, identify, etc. So, it becomes:

To investigate the impact of on adolescentTo investigate how affects communicationTo investigate how affects behaviourDevising Hypo

A hypo is a provisional answer to the problem, with findings to be demonstrated later. The hypo is necessarily a statement, which consists of an answer to the question ded as a research problem that has not yet been tested.

This possible solution to the problem, the hypo, will be declared false or true after scientific research has been carried out. Much of the statistical tests are performed to assist in making decisions about whether to reject a hypo or not.

Example of hypo:

The higher the illiteracy rate, the higher the povertyThe higher the poverty, the higher the crime rateThe higher the crime rate, the higher the abuse of the drugMethodological Design

Methodological design accounts for the following questions:

What information is required?What concepts appear?What kind of study to do?Which instrument to use?How to collect the information?How will the information be systematized and analyzed?What statistical data can be used?How to analyze the information with the proposed theoretical framework?Sampling cedure

Sampling can be described as a means of defining the area of the population that will be studied. It is quite difficult to study a whole country due to many reasons, such as time, cost, and . As a result of this, a particular part will be focused on. The amount of people used for the research is known as the sampling size.

What then is the sampling procedure? It is the way respondents from a large pool are selected for and how their views reflect the larger population’s whole views.

It is worthy to point out that the sampling procedure is stated in the work’s methodological design.

Data Collection

The following stages must be followed:

Design or adapt a valid and reliable instrument for collecting information.De the target population (sample)Carry out the fieldwork to apply the instrumentsValidate, code and systematize data to analyze measurements

There are two major types of data, primary and secondary data. Primary data is the one just collected by the researcher from participants in research, whereas; secondary data is the information that has been gathered before in a book, publication, or article.

Analysis, reading, interpretation, explanation, and understanding of the data

To get appropriate results, the data collected will be analyzed correctly. There are four stages of data which includes:

Data editing: a stage where information gathered is cross-checked for errors and corrected.

Data coding: a stage where information gathered is scaled to make it measurable.

Data measurement: in this stage, data is grouped based on importance to the . When grouped, data is presented in the form of a table, graph, or even text for the researcher to make use of.

Data interpretation: this is the stage where data is carried out to find out the important information for the .

Hypo Testing

When data gathered has been analyzed, the hypo which the is premised upon is tested, whether it is correct or wrong. For example, take the statement that higher crime rates lead to an increase in when the relationship between crime and has been analyzed; it will lead to the rejection or acceptance of the hypo.

Derive findings, conclusion, and suggestions

When you are done with your research , you get findings. When writing your research findings, be sure to only present conclusions. It may seem a little obvious, but this section is often misused to reaffirm the survey results merely. Do not waste the time of the reader: he has already read the results and the discussion. Now, in conclusion, your audience wants to understand the solution to the research problem clearly.

After drawing up the conclusions, criticize them, and try to overturn them. The conclusions you are unable to overturn will be the basis of your article. Limit yourself to conclusions based on the results you obtained and that answer the research questions that are following the objectives.

After this, you present a recommendation to the , institution, or reader of the .

Report Writing

When you are done with your research, your research findings and processes are compiled into what is called a Research Report. The aim of doing this is for record purposes and to present an understandable format to your audience.

Your research report must include the following:

Preliminary stage: This stage includes, title page, abstract and table of content.

The main body of the work: This stage includes the five chapters of the research: Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Review, Chapter 3: Research Design, Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Interpretation; Chapter 5: Findings and Suggestions.

Closing Stage: This stage includes the references and bibliographies.

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