SO308 Prin of Social Research

for U1R 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SO 308 Prin of Social Research


U1R 2012 SC


Rush-Shumpert, Paula J.


Assistant Professor of Psychology/Adjunct Faculty


Master of Science in Education
School Psychological Examiner- Certification
Bachelor's Degree in Psychology – Minor Biology

Office Location

Park University

Office Hours

By Appointment Only

Daytime Phone

Office Number: 618-744-1555


Semester Dates

June 4, 2012 to July 29, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

7:45 - 10:15 PM

Credit Hours


Babbie, E. (2007). The Practice of Social Research (12th Ed.). ISBN 13:978-0-495-59844-2

Additional Resources:

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Course Description:
SO 308 Principles of Social Research: An application of the scientific method to social science with the focus on hypothesis formulation, research design, data collection and data analysis. Replication of research studies or completion of a research problem, or both. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: SO307

Class Assessment:

1.Unit Examinations: Students will be administered four unit examinations covering specific topics which are outlined by a word list which will be provided for each unit of work. Each exam will consist of short answer questions, matching questions, true and false, or fill in the blank questions. Each unit examination (0-100 Points).

2. Social Research Practice: Four times during the semester this class requires you to write a detailed proposal for research you could conduct. You will not actually do this research (though it might form the basis for a senior research project or some research relevant to your job), but your proposal should be a “blueprint” detailed enough that you could hand to others and guide them through its successful completion. The research proposal will consist of four sections:

(A) Problem Statement: (40 Points) an overview of the topic your research will investigate. It introduces and justifies your research question, key variables, their hypothesized relations, and your guiding theoretical perspective. It explains how your planned research is unambiguous in its goals and methods, concerned with a significant issue that will add to the store of human knowledge, theoretically justifiable and testable, practical and feasible to implement, ethical and respectful of human rights, and builds on existing knowledge in the field.

(B) Research Question & Hypothesis:(40 Points) For this assignment you are providing an overview of the research question you are selecting for your proposed research study. In this paper you will introduce your research question, justify the value of your research question, identify the key variables in the study, and explain their hypothesized relationship.

(C) Literature Review: (40 Points) a critical summary of existing research your project will build upon. Your review will evaluate at least five other relevant research projects from original sources in reputable, peer-reviewed journals. The lit review discusses previous research, as it influences the proposed project. It evaluates the methodological, theoretical, or substantive strengths or weaknesses of those studies and explains how they shape your research plans.

(D). Ethics & Conduct of Research: (40 Points) summarizes potential ethical dilemmas, political consequences, and practical challenges associated with designing, conducting, implementing, and disseminating your research. It explains where your research process might go wrong and the safeguards you will put into place to minimize those risks.4.Participation: (40 Points) Participation in the form of discussion is a large part of this class. My expectations regarding participation entails, students being able to formulate thinking regarding social research.
 3. Participation: (40 Points) Participation in the form of discussion is a large part of this class. My expectations regarding participation entails, students being able to formulate thinking regarding social research.


  • 4 Exams @ 100 points each 400 pts. possible  
  • 4 Social Research Practice topics @ 40 Points each 160 pts. possible
  • Participation 40 pts. possible

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

You can gain most of this course if you make these two commitments: Attendance and Active Participation. Class attendance and active participation are extremely important for your success in this course. Attendance is important for a number of reasons:

  • First, active participation in the form of in class activities and discussions are an integral part of this course. Students will be engaged in a variety of in class activities which may include small group discussion, student presentations, demonstrations, movie reviews, etc. It’s impossible to learn from participation if you’re not in class.
  • Second, it is important to take discussions, activities, and writing assignments seriously. Use them as a means of enhancing your understanding of the topic. Class time also provides an ideal opportunity to raise questions and ask for clarification.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

06-04-12 First day of class, review of course syllabus (Course Overview, Course Objectives, Course Goals, Assessment and Grading, Computing Your Grade, Grading Requirements, Course Suggestions, Policies, Requirements, Course Calendar, and Bibliography). Chapter 1  Lecture

06-06-12 Review Chapter 1 & Lecture Chapter 2

06-11-12 Lecture Chapter 2 & Review Chapter 2 & (Problem Statement: (40 Points) due)

06-13-12 Exam One Chapters 1 & 2

06-18-12 Chapter 3 Lecture

06-20-12 Review Chapter 3 & Lecture Chapter 4

06-25-12 Lecture Chapter 4 & Review Chapter 4 & (Research Question & Hypothesis:(40 Points) due)

06-27-12 Exam Two Chapters 3 & 4

07-02-12 Chapter 5 Lecture

07-04-12 Holiday No Class

07-09-12 Review Chapter 5 & Lecture Chapter 6

07-11-12 Lecture Chapter 6 & Review Chapter 6 & (Literature Review: (40 Points) due)

07-16-12 Exam Three Chapters 5 & 6

07-18-12 Chapter 7 Lecture

07-23-12 Chapter 7 Lecture & Review Chapter 7 &  (Ethics & Conduct of Research: (40 Points) due)

07-25-12 Exam Four Chapter 7

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:5/7/2012 10:28:18 PM