Option #1: Survey Research:
For this option, students will create their own research question about a topic of interest and design a survey that would (hypothetically) yield data that could be used to answer your research question. You will need to make sure your research question addresses a topic within criminology, criminal justice, or a related field (e.g., psychology, sociology). PLEASE NOTE: You are NOT allowed to distribute this survey and actually collect data. Instead, this assignment is designed to assess whether you can craft survey questions that would provide you with the information you would need to answer your research question.
Since this is a DISCOVERe course, you will create your survey in Google Forms. Your survey will need to have at least 20 questions and only five of them can be demographic questions (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, age, level of education, etc.). You will need to include open-ended and closed-ended questions, as well as at least one matrix question or one contingency question. You will learn more about these types of questions when I review Chapter 7. After you create your survey, you will write a paper that is at least 1,200-words in length identifying your research question, your target population (i.e., who you would give the survey too if you were really distributing it), and explain how your survey questions would give you data to answer your research question.
There have to be 20 survey questions
closed-ended questions open-ended questions 1 matrix question and 1 contingency question
The first option for your writing assignment involves designing an original survey. Please note: You WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTING THIS SURVEY AND COLLECTING DATA. Rather, the purpose of this first writing option is to demonstrate that you know how to craft a research question, create survey questions that – theoretically – could be used to elicit information from individuals, and how this information could be used to provide you with an answer to your research question.
First, you will need to select an issue or a topic you think sounds interesting/you would like to know about and that is appropriate to evaluate using survey methodology. Because this is a criminology course, your research question needs to be criminology-related. This is a great opportunity, however, to tailor your project to your specific interests in criminology.
Remember, research begins with a research question. Once you have settled on a topic of interest, you will need to craft a research question. Your survey then will consist of questions that you would (theoretically) use to collect data that would provide you with an answer to your research question. Once you have your research question, you will need to think about “who” you want to study. In other words, who is the target population for your survey? And why? You should be able to identify a population you want to study (e.g., K-12 students, college students, prisoners, victims, police officers, court personnel, the general population of Fresno, etc.).
Once you have a research question and a target population, you should begin writing your survey. You are required to include the following: appropriate demographic questions (no more than five), both open and close-ended questions, and at least one contingency OR matrix question. Your survey should contain a minimum of 20 questions, but you can include more. It may be useful to refer to both published research, as well as research pertaining to your area of interest, to gather ideas on what types of questions are useful and appropriate. Be sure your survey is not a replica of already published research! You should be using outside sources as a guide and inspiration. If you do this, include references.
As this is a DISCOVERe course, I want to make sure to expose you to new technologies that are utilized by researchers. Therefore, you will be creating your survey using Google Forms. We will review how to use Google Forms in class, but you may also need to take some time on your own to familiarize yourself with this program. You will learn in Chapter 7 that organization and design matter when it comes to using surveys for data collection purposes. Please make sure to carefully think about the wording of your questions and how they are ordered in your survey. In addition, when you are creating the questions for your survey, you should be operationalizing the issue or topic you identified (for example, attitudes about capital punishment). You should also form a hypothesis. That is, make some prediction about how two variables may be related (for example, you may hypothesize that people with higher incomes are more likely to favour capital punishment). Be sure to include questions (operationalizations) that measure all variables you are interested in.
Finally, you need to write a paper that is no less than 1,200 words that accompany and explains your survey. Your paper should begin by clearly stating your research question and at least one hypothesis related to your research question. Next, I would like to explain how the specific survey questions you have included would be able to answer your research question (should your survey have been handed out and completed by your target population) and explain how you expect the variables included in your hypothesis to be related. I would also like you to include how you determined what population to include and any ethical and practical concerns that are relevant to your proposed survey. For more information on Survey Research check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survey_(human_research)
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