Social Science Research Paper

Social science research projects in communication studies focus on people and human behavior. Researchers are interested in people’s attitudes, perceptions, or behaviors through surveys, questionnaires, experiments in controlled environments, interviews, or participant observations. Due to the involvement of other humans as subjects or participants, you are to go through Luther Human Subject Review Board (HSRB). Final papers are typically 20-25 pages (double-spaced) in length and adhere to the tenets of good writing (organization, syntax, punctuation, APA style). The paper should include each of the following sections:

  • Introduction - Your introduction should include an attention/relevance statement, clear purpose, significance/contribution of your study, and preview the paper.
  • Literature Review - You should build a rationale for how you are extending previous research by citing primary articles as you weave an argument for the need of the study connecting concepts and variables as appropriate. You should include your research questions or research hypotheses within or at the end of the literature review section.
  • Method - Your method section will include procedures (describe the data collection process), participants (describe the detailed characteristics of participants; e.g., gender, age, class rank, nationality, majors/minors, and other demographic information that are relevant to your research), measures/materials (describe the items in questionnaires, surveys, interview, and field notes), and the analysis (describe your method of analysis (t-Test, correlations, ANOVA using SPSS, and qualitative findings like coding or thematic analysis).
  • Results - Report your results by organizing your data and findings to mirror the research questions hypotheses; focus on factual information.
  • Discussion - Provide connections to previous literature and interpret your findings in light of this. Utilize your theoretical framework and previously reviewed (and additional) literature to draw conclusions. You should also include strengths and weaknesses of your study including theoretical (your contribution to the theoretical issues) and practical (discussion about relevance, methods, and utility, as well as shortcomings) with regard to implications of your research. Finally, provide suggestions for future studies based on your strengths and weaknesses.