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Assignment | Criminology Research Proposal & Presentation (Phelps): Getting Started

SOCI 2336 | Prof. K. Phelps (Fall 2019)

Your Assignment

Research Goals:

  • 6 peer-reviewed journal articles
  • APA style citations

Explore Your Topic

Preliminary Research

What question do you want to try to answer that's under the umbrella of your research topic? Doing some initial research will help you come up with some possible directions and will also help you feel out your topic: have other people actually done research on it before that you can use as your sources? Has enough time passed for meaningful research to have been published?

Most importantly, though: think about what interests you! You're going to be spending many hours with this subject, after all.

Develop Your Search

Once you know your topic and your research question, you need to figure out how you're going to find more in-depth information.

First, pick out the key terms from your research question: 

What effects on the education system does racial discrimination have?

Next, you'll want to brainstorm some related and alternate terms for these keywords to give you some variability in your search strategies.

 Effects Education Racial (Race) Discrimination
Impact Public schools Ethnicity Prejudice
Results Charter schools Specific examples: black, Hispanic, etc Bias
Graduation rates K-12/primary   Advantages/
Completion rates Secondary school   Inequity, inequality
Retention rates School funding   Affirmative action
Education gap Socioeconomic clusters in school zoning    

You may also want to try drawing out a mind map at this stage. Text 2 Mind Map is an online tool to try if you want a digital mind map.