Defining a sociological problem helps frame a question to be addressed in the research process.
Sociological researchers review past work in their area of interest and include this "literature review" in the presentation of their research.
A hypothesis is a potential answer to your research question; the research process helps you determine if your hypothesis is true.
The research design is the methodology and procedure a researcher follows to answer their sociological question.
Defining the sample and collecting data are key parts of all empirical research, both qualitative and quantitative.
Data analysis in sociological research aims to identify meaningful sociological patterns.
Sociological research publications generally include a literature review, an overview of the methodology followed, the results and an analysis of those results, and conclusions.
The goal of a survey is to collect data from a representative sample of a population to draw conclusions about that larger population.
Ethnography is a research process that uses fieldwork and observation to learn about a particular community or culture.
Experiments are tests designed to prove or disprove a hypothesis by controlling for pertinent variables.
Documentary research involves examining texts and documents as evidence of human behavior.
Studying existing sources collected by other researchers is an essential part of research in the social sciences.
Sociologists should take all necessary steps to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their subjects.
There are many guidelines in place to protect human subjects in sociological research.
If a researcher deceives or conceals the purpose or procedure of a study, they are misleading their research subjects.
Research funding comes from grants from private groups or governments, and researchers must be careful to avoid conflicts of interest.
Value neutrality is the duty of sociologists to strive to be impartial and overcome their biases as they conduct their research.