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  • January 29th, 2016


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Module 2 Assignment: Starting the Research Process: The Research Question, the Literature Search, and Problem Formation (20 points)

Overview of assignment tasks


In this assignment, you will understand some of the first steps in the process of doing research by writing the first part of your course-long research paper.  Please allow sufficient time to complete this assignment. This is explained in more detail on page 2.

  1. First, formulate a research question (RQ) of your choosing (on a topic of interest to you). In particular, see Chapter 2 in the text for guidance and the video on Developing the question. You should run your RQ by me for feedback before proceeding to the next step.
  2. Then, perform a scholarly literature review to find journal articles that address your research question. Be sure to watch the video, ‘Literature reviews: An overview for graduate students,’ and read the Library guide on literature reviews, found in the Library and writing resources section.
  3. Next, formulate hypotheses and identify variables that are important for your research question (based on this literature review).
  4. Write up your review of the literature by summarizing the information you found in your search under steps 2 and 3 (see steps below).

Before you attempt any part of this assignment, do all of the folder reading and viewing assignments. Read Appendix A and Appendix B in the Bachman and Schutt text. Also make sure to read/view the multiple library websites and handout. Watch the two assigned videos.

Assignment Resources to Read/View:

  • Bachman and Schutt, Appendices A and B; Module Video on Literature Reviews


Detailed Instructions


You will need to write a 4-6 page paper (approx. length) and submit a typed/word processed Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) compatible document, following the guidelines below:

  1. After formulating your RQ,
    1. Identify 8-10 scholarly articles that pertain to your research question
    2. (Look up (‘find’) and download (save) three of these articles/papers that you think will help you address your RQ (the entire paper starts with the title page, and ends with all references). (You will need to provide these later to me, electronically.)


  1. First, read these three articles to help you develop your RQ and support (justify) your hypothesis and variables of interest. In other words, the reader needs to see the connection between the research you have examined and what you propose to do/what your scholarly interest is.  Refer to this research in your paper as you answer the questions in the instructions.  g., “Although much has been written on employment and crime, recent research (Smith & Jones, 2010) indicates that we still don’t know about the effect of using Facebook at work on deviant behavior.”  Thus, in this paper, you also need to write a literature review of these three articles (which you should know how to do after completing the assigned reading and viewing).


  1. Then formulate one or two hypotheses that pertain to your question of interest. Justify the hypotheses (/is) in terms of the literature you have read in these three papers (i.e., how does previous research or theory support your hypothesis/es?).


  1. Using these three papers, identify five (5) key variables that help you answer your research question and test your hypothesis. Refer to this research in your paper. g., “The first variable of interest is gender.  Previous research (see Smith & Jones, 2011) has indicated that gender is an important predictor of risk of sexual assault victimization.”


Paper outline (following ALL APA formatting guidelines)

  1. Title page
  2. Write an introduction to your paper. State your research question and why it is important. State the purpose of the study (one or more of description, exploration, prediction/explanation, evaluation).
  3. Write your review of the literature as explained above, including (but not limited to) a discussion of major findings, your hypothesis, and variables of interest.
  4. Construct a bibliography (‘Reference’ page) of these items using APA (American Psychological Association) style.

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