Social Research Process

Major aspects of the social research methodology that are central to understanding the social research process are developing a thesis/research question, reviewing the literature, data management, methods and procedures, data analysis, and presentation. It is essential to develop a strong thesis because a thesis is what is being argued in a paper. A thesis makes a claim in a paper and a research question is what your research centers around. An example of this is a research question being is China a threat to the United States? Whereas, a thesis for this question could be China is a threat to the United States because of their development of soft power politics. This is essential to understanding the social research process because this is the foundation of one’s research, so the thesis and research question need to be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Next, is reviewing the literature, this is important because you want to find sources that both back up your thesis statement or refute your thesis statement. Reviving the literature shows the research that their topic is popular and that there is educational research there already on this topic. A literature review is important for showing the different arguments and perspectives on research. Data management is significant because it is important for the research to explain how the data they will be collecting will be safe and secure. This part of the research includes obtaining and storage of consent forms, the recording of interviews, and their transcriptions. How auto files will be deleted or destroyed. Ensure anonymity which includes eliminating all identifying information such as names, locations, dates, etc from the transcription process. Additionally, pseudonyms can be used further to protect the identity of participants in the social research process.  The methods and procedures section is important because a researcher always wants to ensure their research has validity and reliability. This is significant because the research should be able to be reproduced under the same conditions and that the accuracy of a measure represents what they are intended to represent. In a methods and procedure section this is also where a researcher will explain what type of research is being conducted; probability research or non-probability research. Additionally, the research will choose a sampling method that works best for this research and explain why that sampling method is best and the pros and cons of that sampling method. If a survey or interview is being conducted the research will explain the time length of how long it will take to complete these tasks. Data Analysis is essential as this is when the research will describe the data that is being analyzed and how the data will be presented. In this part of the research process the goals for the study are further outlined. The researcher will code the data and begin to identify recurring themes found in the study. These recurring themes in the research will be analyzed and can be published in a paper or presented at a research conference. Overall, every step in the social research process is important and must be explained in detail and completed using the most ethical means possible.