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What you are trying to achieve

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Preparing to write the methods section

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What you must include:

Two moments of method

Elements to include

Styles of Writing

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General Principles in Types of Research

Descriptive and Causal Statistics

  1. Define Concepts central to your reasoning.  Operational definitions of variables.
  2. Instrumentation.  Develop ways of measuring the variables reliably and validly. Evaluate using the four types of validity:
    1. Content:  Does the concept capture the common sense of the notion it transforms into social scientific expression?
    2. Predictive or Concurrent:  Can the concept capture the notion that it is describing or predicting?
    3. Construct:  Do the relationships of the concept match the theoretical underpinning of the concept?
  3. Sampling.  Develop ways of achieving a sample of sufficient size and character to permit generalization to the population you are characterizing.
  4. Step-by-step procedures.  Develop well-controlled procedures to move you from your data to your claims related to your research questions.  Include human subjects considerations.
  5. Statistical Procedures.  Select and justify the statistical transformations that you will use.
  6. Process for reaching conclusions.  Explain the propositions, tests, and decision rules that will move you to the evaluation of your claims.
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Historical -- Descriptive or Causal

  1. Data to be used and how to access it.  What is your primary data for the study?  Where is it located?  How will you gain access?
  2. Questions with which to query the data.  What are the assumptions of the questions?  Are there categories to frame the data?  Why use those categories?
  3. Tests of your claims.  How will you risk your claims?  What would prove you wrong?

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Critical Research

  1. The authentic text.  What is the communication that you are criticizing?  How do you access it?  How do you authenticate it?
  2. Assumptions.  What is the image of communication from which you proceed?  What frames of interpretation will help you structure and understand the communication?
  3. Questions to ask.  How may you query the communication?  Why those questions?
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  1. Selection of interviewees and justification.  Who will you interview?  Why?  What do you expect to find out?
  2. Strategies for gaining access.  How will you persuade the interviewee to respond to your questions?  How will you assure commitment to your project?
  3. Preparation for the interview.  How will you research for the interview?  What do you need to know?  How can you find it out?
  4. Potential barriers and strategies to overcome them.  What are the resistances to your questions and how can you overcome them?
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