Delta State University
SSC 470/570: Methods of Social Research
Spring Semester 2005

Potential Essay Questions for the Final Exam

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These are potential essay questions for the final exam.  On the day of the exam, two of these questions will be randomly chosen and will form the essay portion of the exam.

(1)  What is meant by the term data?  Provide examples that illustrate different forms that data might take in both quantitative and qualitative studies?  How might the collection and processing of data differ for different types of data?

(2)  What is a literature review?  Identify several reasons for conducting a literature review and explain how to construct a good literature review.  Why is it important to include a literature review into a scientific study?

(3)  What is meant by operationalization in quantitative and in qualitative research?  Illustrate your definition with an example from each approach.

(4)  Describe three TYPES of ethical issues that researchers face.  Provide an example, either from the text or from your imagination, which illustrates each issue.

(5)  What is meant by the term control in a research context?  Identify and describe two types of controls, and explain why and how you would use controls in a research project.

(6)  Discuss characteristics of a good question that you might ask a research subject on a questionnaire or interview schedule (NOT a research question).  Explain how the way you asked a question would change in quantitative and qualitative research.

(7)  What is a theory?  What is the role of theory in qualitative and quantitative research?  What is the difference between a theory and a model?