Paper / research proposal (will be covered in more detail in class)


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  • For this paper you will propose a research project to study some aspect of human – animal interactions taking a perspective from one of the following disciplines: sociology, economics, political science, psychology, criminal justice, social work, or communications (the study must involve humans – it cannot be strictly on animal behavior).
  •   NOTE: You are only writing a proposal – you do not have to conduct the actual study!
  •   Your paper will be 10-15 double spaced numbered pages, Times-Roman 12 point font, one inch
    margins, and stapled together (no clips, folders, or plastic covers
  •   Your paper should include the following six sections with BOLDED section headings:
     1 page: Overview

o A research question that should be clearly stated (as a question!) and bolded.
o A brief discussion on why you think this is an important question
o What is the social science discipline you’re focusing on and why you think that is the best 

framework to consider your question  1-2 pages: Methods 

o A discussion of which research methodology you would use to collect your data o Why you think that would be the best way to collect data to answer your research 

o How you would recruit subjects. For example, if you were conducting a study on zoos (a 

topic you CANNOT use) you may say you would: 

  •   interview all of the directors of AZA accredited zoos in the U.S.
  •   have the first 50 people, who were at least 13 years old, that were entering the
    Columbus Zoo on a given date complete your survey.
  •   prepare an email letter, with a link to an online survey, that would be sent to all
    members of the Toledo Zoo
  •   invite teachers K-12 to participate in focus groups on how they use the Cleveland
    Zoo, or resources from the zoo, in teaching their students  4-7 pages: Literature Review

o Should include 7-10 sources with a minimum of 6 peer reviewed journal articles. Please note: one of the most consistent reasons for points being deducted is for doing an Annotated Bibliography instead of a Lit Review. There are guides to Lit Reviews, as well as a sample Lit Review (though you can skip the running head!), on Isidore. 

 1-2 pages: Challenges
o What are potential problems or challenges you may run into if you were to conduct this 

o You can include ethical issues, subject recruitment, etc. 

 1 page: Role of Theory
o This will be a generic discussion of the role that theory plays in research (it will have 

nothing to do with your topic)
o In addition to class discussions, the role of theory in research is covered in the pdf of 

powerpoints, and some of the readings, for exam #1
o You should think of this part of your proposal as addressing the 4th learning objectives on 

page one of the syllabus. 


1-2 pages: Future Research
o Pick two of the following four categories: Race, Gender, Social Class, and Location 

(where you live – for example, suburban, urban, rural) and in 1-2 paragraphs for each category address the following 

 Identify a research question that connects how the category may influence your topic in general (you should also bold the text of the research question). 

 For example, if the overall topic is exotic pets and the category is Location, you could ask: Are people who live in countries where tigers are native less likely to keep them as pets? 

 In a paragraph explain what you think the answer may be and why. 

  •   You should also include
    •   A title page with: you name, your research question, the disciple you are using, and the format/style you are using (APA, ASA, or MLA – if you want to use another style, check with me first)
    •   A bibliography page at the end of the paper
    •   Stapled to the end of your paper, the outline for the proposal. The outline is due no later than
      class on on Tuesday, March 13th (you may turn it in earlier if you wish). The outline should include the following:
       Your research question
       The field of study you will be focusing on (sociology, psychology, economics, etc.)  Your methodology
       Citations for at least 2 peer-reviewed journal articles for you Lit Review
    •   The grading rubric for the proposal should be inserted loosely into the paper (you can print it back to back or staple together the 2 pages)
    •   Page numbers, beginning with 1, after the title page
  •   There is a folder under Isidore titled “Paper Assist.” Here you will find resources as well as the paper
    rubric which you must print out and insert loosely into your paper.
    •   Papers are due Tuesday, April 10th
    •   If your paper is not turned in by the time I dismiss class on the day they are due, they are
      officially late
    •   Late papers may be turned in by the end of the next class period with a 15 point deduction
    •   I will not accept papers by email
    •   Late papers must be put in my mailbox and must be signed by someone in the Sociology office
      with the date and time the paper was being turned in

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