Queen's Learning Commons


Learning Commons

site header

Research in the Social Sciences

Social science projects may involve quantitative, qualitative, or a combined methodology for investigating your research question(s). Regardless of your methodology, you are typically expected to gather, organize, and analyze a fair amount of data before you begin writing.

  1. Create a Budget

    • You may want to write a grant to get funds for your study for things such as transcribing, computer software, and running statistical data.

    • Determine possible expenses and calculate costs.

  2. Submit application for use of human subjects from GREB (General Research Ethics Board).

  3. Establish an information database or filing system.

    • Organize your files, contacts, observations, field notes, and bibliographic information.

    • Consult resources from the bibliographic link in this Dissertation Calculator for tips.

  4. Develop a research checklist or timetable.

    • Break your work down by week, hour, and day, including tasks to be accomplished.

    • Design a visible calendar or checklist.

    • Refer back to stage 7 for tips.

  5. Proceed with data collection and input.

    • Follow your checklist to make sure you cover each step such as running test groups, or doing interviews.

    • Input data as you go along and keep up to date on notes.

  6. Complete your tasks from the timetable.

    • Writing and theory-building are part of research in the social sciences, and you need to complete each task systematically.

    • Monitor your checklist (literally marking each step accomplished) and assess what additional steps need to be taken or documented