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SCS 224 (Campus) - Social Science Research Methods

This guide serves as a research companion to the ON-CAMPUS course SCS-224 titled "Social Science Research Methods" taught by Professor Christine Clamp.

Institutional Review Board

Institutional review boards are committees formed to review and monitor biomedical and behavioral research with human subjects. All research involving human subjects must be approved by the IRB before research begins. Visit the SNHU IRB site to learn more, review the research submission process, and download the forms you'll need to get started.

SNHU Undergraduate Research

SNHU hosts an annual Undergraduate Research Day on campus to showcase research done by undergraduates during the year. Students select a mentor, submit a proposal by the deadline, and if accepted, conduct their research and present on the first Wednesday of April at Undergraduate Research Day. Students conducting research using human subjects are required to submit a proposal to the IRB (see box above) prior to submitting their proposal to UGR. 

This SCS224 class is encouraged to submit their research projects to SNHU Undergraduate Research Day. See the SNHU Undergraduate Research site for more information. Proposals may be submitted directly using the link below:

Undergraduate Research Flyer

Research Paper Assignment

The research paper should be a 10-page paper (5000 words minimum) based on the resources in your annotated bibliography.  If you have chosen a topic that is controversial, you need to include literature that represents all sides of the controversy.  The outline for the paper is adapted from Trochim This link opens in a new window.   It is as follows:

I. Introduction

  1. Statement of the problem: What is your research question? What is the general problem area?  Why is it important or significant
  2. Statement of constructs: What are the theoretical concepts, themes, variables in your study?

II. The Literature Review

Literature citations and review: The literature cited is from reputable and appropriate sources (e.g., professional journals, books and not Time, Newsweek, etc.) and you have a minimum of fifteen references. The literature is condensed in an intelligent fashion with only the most relevant information included. Citations are in the correct format (see APA guidelines).

III. Conclusion

The conclusions should summarize the key findings from your review of the literature.  Be sure to discuss if there are gaps in what we know about your topic based on the published literature.  Are there recommendations made for future research? 

IV. Appendix: What Proposed Methods would you use for a follow-up study?

  1. Sampling section

    • What would be your sampling procedure? The procedure for selecting units (e.g., subjects, records) for the study is described and is appropriate. Which sampling method is proposed and why. The population and sampling frame are described. If you are proposing an evaluation, the program participants are frequently self-selected (i.e., volunteers) and, if so, should be described as such.
    • Sample description: The sample should be described accurately and be appropriate.
    • What are the external validity considerations? Generalizability from the sample to the sampling frame and population is considered.
  2. Design and Procedures section

  • Description of procedures: An overview of how the study would be conducted is included. The sequence of events is described and is appropriate to the design. Sufficient information is included so that the essential features of the study could be replicated by a reader.

V. References

All citations are included in the correct format (APA) and are appropriate for the study described. 

Beginning your research...

To get an overview of your topic and the potential issues it incorporates, you might begin by searching for your general overarching topic in the CREDO database. This will provide you with tertiary sources that explain issues, so you can glean search terms for your research.

1. Start with Credo Reference database

2. Next try the Multi-Search

The Multi-Search box on the library home page searches a portion of the library's overall resources all at once. It can be a good place to begin trying out search terms using key words from your topic and perusing the results. 

Search for books, articles, and more:

About this Search  |  Search Tips

3. Then try Social Science Resources OR Databases Specific to your Topic

On the homepage of this guide you will see a list of databases that are good places to find sources for your research topic. The content held in most of them is recognizable by the title, at least those that are for specific disciplines. 

If your topic involves disciplines outside the Social Sciences, go to the A-Z Database List (also accessible from the Quick Links box on the library home page) and click on the "All Subjects" box. Then scroll down to the appropriate discipline or topic to see a page of databases to choose from.

4. For the Appendix assignment...

Use the next page in this guide, Conducting Social Science Research, and the Methods Map in the SAGE Research Methods database to help you select the appropriate method to use to conduct the follow-up study proposed in your paper.

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Qualtrics: Description & Help links

SNHU students have access to Qualtrics to construct and administer surveys. Below are some helpful links to learn how to use Qualtrics. Qualtrics is administered by the SNHU Office of Instructional Support. You may email with questions to