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Assessment: Primary Data Collection Plan for a Chosen Topic with a Social Group

Choosing a Topic Area and Developing a Research Question

Assessment  is a 2000 word primary data collection plan. You are expected to choose one of the five broad topic areas provided, specify a social group, develop a specific research question for primary research relating to the chosen topic area, discuss the methods of data collection and ethics, and create a topic guide, a discussion guide or a questionnaire (depending on your choice of research methods).

The five topics areas are as follows (you must choose one and link the topic to a social group of your choice):

1. Social media

2. Education

3. Care (including health care, social care, formal care, informal care)

4. Mental health

5. Crime and Justice Students must include the following sections in their data collection plan:

• Research question, background and rationale - a research question relating to the chosen topic area and a specific social group, background and rationale (500 words)

• Method of data collection and ethics – you must choose one of three methods as your method of data collection: semi-structured interviews, focus groups or a survey. You must discuss in detail your research approaches, the method you chose, the rationale for choosing the method, sampling strategy and ethics (1,000 words).

• Data collection tools - a comprehensive topic guide (an interview guide) OR a focus group discussion guide OR a survey questionnaire depending on your chosen method (500 words)

• You must use a minimum of 6 academic sources (ONLY peer-reviewed journal articles and academic books count). You must use academic sources for both the background and rationale section and the methods and ethics section. For the methods and ethics section, it is recommended that you use at least two books on social research methods.

• Choosing a topic area does not mean that you have to include the topic itself in your question. For example, if you choose mental health, you do not have to include the term ‘mental health’ itself in your question.

You can choose to look at one aspect of mental health or a specific mental health condition, such as depression. As long as your question is related to mental health and feasible, you can use the question.

• You are expected to develop a specific research question. You would have to specify a social group and you may also have to add an extra variable related to your topic area in order to do this.

For instance, if your topic area is social media, your question can be ‘To what extent does the use of social media affect young people’s self-esteem?’.

As you can see from this question, there is a need to specify a social group (young people) and add another variable (self-esteem) to narrow down the scope and develop a feasible research question.

• It is strongly recommended that you start developing your research question early and have your question confirmed by the seminar tutor before starting working on your assignment.

• You must choose an appropriate research method (method of data collection) which allows you to collect the data you need for answering your research question. Think about what would be the most appropriate method that can be used to answer your question.

• You do NOT need to discuss methods of data analysis in this assignment.

• Ensure that you include your in-text references. In all cases, in-text references must match up with what appears in your reference list. Every in-text citation should correspond to a reference on the list at the end (and vice versa).

• You must use the Harvard referencing system.

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