Total word count at least 1000
Goal: Social science research progresses by scholars building on the work of prior scholars. This assignment is intended to have you practice identifying prior scholarship on a research topic and summarize the views in those articles so you can build on others (and avoid “re-inventing the wheel”).
Remember: Criteria for success are in the rubric!
Write an essay summarizing the scholarly research (research from peer reviewed articles from ProQuest) on ONE of the following
What are three important factors (IVs) that explain why some college students binge drink and others do not?
What are three important factors (IVs) that explain why school shootings occur when or where they do?
What are three important factors (IVs) that explain why some types of youth vape and some do not?
What are three important factors (IVs) that explain voter turnout (why some Americans vote and other Americans do not vote) across different demographic categories?
Essentially your essay should tell the reader how experts would explain some social phenomenon.
Pro tip: Use headings in your essay to clarify your argument. Headings make any paper stronger. For examples, see the headings in the articles you have been reading!
I. Explicitly state which question you have chosen in your opening paragraph, You can use more specific versions of these questions to focus your research. A good introduction paragraph will ALSO tell the reader the answer to the question. For example:
What explains why binge drinking is more common in colleges on Earth than on Mars? Scholars suggest that the best explanations (causes) of there being more binge drinking on Earth than Mars are a) Martians are less susceptible to alcohol’s effects than Earthlings, b) Martian law bans drinking until Martians are 50 years old and Earthling law does not, and c) Martians find drunkenness less attractive than Earthlings.
II. Using the ProQuest database
Identify three peer-reviewed social science journal articles that discuss your research question.
You MUST use this database and no others, because it ensures you have reliable sources. Other websites, newspaper/magazine articles, blogs, etc. are NOT acceptable. 10 points deducted for each article not from ProQuest.
Ensure one (and preferably all 3) articles include theoretical claims and describe evidence related to your research question.
I recommend you use 3 articles — only 1 or 2 gives you only 1 or 2 views of the IVs, while 3 begins to give you a sense of what IVs scholar agree on. I don’t recommend more than 3 for this assignment only to help keep the workload manageable!!! (I revised this part of the assignment on Monday, 10/25 at 3:40 this — it PREVIOUSLY said: Do NOT use more than three articles.)
III. Read the three articles you have identified and look for the IVs that all three argue are important as explanations of your DV.
IV. Write at least one paragraph that discusses the dependent variable (DV – the thing you want to explain) and what values it varies between.
Example of one sentence in such a paragraph: School shootings in the US vary between X per year in 1900 and Y per year in 1910. [Then, provide more detail of the facts about school shootings that need explanation.]
V. Write three paragraphs, one for each of your three independent variables (IVs), that the articles you are using argue influence the dependent variable (DV). Address the following:
Identify EACH of your 3 IVs and the values EACH can have.Example: Articles by Wesson (2014) and Baretta (2018) argue that increases in school shootings are due to increased gun sales. The variable “gun sales” can have possible values of “none,” “some,” and “lots.” This made-up example is for one IV, you need 3.
Describe the LOGIC in the articles about how EACH IV influences (causes variation in) the DV.Example: These authors say that increases in the sales of guns lead to increased school shootings because people with knives can kill fewer people. Be careful and make sure your IV explains the DV you selected.
Discuss agreements and disagreements across articles about the influence of your three IVs.Example: Smith (2012) disagrees with Wesson (2014) and Baretta (2018) that more guns lead to more school shootings. She argues that a study from a Martian town (no guns are sold on Mars) showed that school knife attacks occur at similar rates to those in the US.
VI. Write at least one paragraph about how you could conduct your own research to help us better understand the dependent variable (DV) you chose.
Example of ONE sentence — but you need a paragraph: To better understand why school shootings occur, I would compare 50 US states in terms of number of gun stores and number of school shootings.
VII. Write a conclusion.
Short Research Essay #1 – Summarize scholarly research
CriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeJournal Articles*Paper incorporates 3 articles (from ProQuest). 10 points deducted for each article not from ProQuest.*How well do your articles ‘fit’ together and answer the question you chose?
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResearch Question / Intro*Restates the question in their own words.*Summarizes the answers scholars give to the question.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDependent Variable*Identifies the dependent variable you are researching; gives at least one paragraph of explanation based on how scholars discuss it.*Tells us how the dependent variable varies over time and context.*Makes sure dependent variable matches what you are trying to explain
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIndependent VariablesOne paragraph on each of the 3 independent variables, including identifying values each IV can have, and the logic (mental model) of how variation in IVs might be expected (based on prior research) to cause variation in the dependent variable.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOverview of the Discussion in the Literature*Discuss if and how the articles you have selected agree/disagree on the IVs’ relations to the DV
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeConducting your own research*Writes at least one paragraph on conducting research to generate new understanding of DV*Identifies where your potential research would ‘fit’ in the literature on your dependent variable
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStyleWell written, with professional formatting, **citations**, and an alphabetized references list. Used headings (as noted in the Pro tip above)
Total Points: 1,000
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