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RESEARCH METHODS
Tentative Syllabus
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Cagri Bulut, [email protected]
Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Yasar University

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to
theory and practice of scientific research by teaching practical perspectives on research
design, data collection, and analysis. This is a basic course in how to do research and how to
evaluate the research of others. The explicit focus is on research design, yet some coverage
will also be given to basic data analysis techniques like distributions, inferential statistics, and
correlation/regression and presentation of research findings.

Course Goals:

Understand the framework for scientific inquiry and familiarize students with different
types of research methods;
Analyze and evaluate important research terms, concepts, techniques and analysis so
that they will have a good foundation for future learning;
Give them an opportunity to conduct their own research and to critically evaluate the
research conducted by others by articulating informed opinion about the value of
empirical research.


Required Texts
: Students are required to read the assigned chapters from the main course
book (will be announced later) as well as additional articles and other important materials
advised by the instructor prior to the weekly meeting in class. We will use both individual/
team assignments and discussions of the research readings to illuminate material covered in
these texts.

Course Requirements: There are four sets of requirements for this course:

(1) Exams: There will be two examinations, one midterm and one final. They will test your
ability to apply concepts and methods through the use of problem solving questions and
questions on the research readings. Prior to each exam a review session will be held.

(2) Group Tasks: Together the five projects will contribute to your final grade.

(3) Weekly Assignments: For each course section, you are required to submit a homework
assignment covering material in the text which you will go over.

(4) Active Class Participation: Students are required to attend class and actively participate in
class discussions. Remember to always bring the textbook and when required a copy of the
other readings.

Group Tasks and Presentations: Students are required to complete a total of five (5) mini
group-projects during the semester. The objective of these projects is to give you the
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opportunity to actively participate in making decisions concerning the design of research. All
of the projects will be done collectively. A handout with more detailed information on each
group task and presentation will be provided.

Task # 1 - Tentative Research Topic and Questions
Task #2 - Hypothesis Formulation
Task #3 - Literature Review
Task #4 & #5 - Alternative Research Designs

Weekly Assignments: xxxx

Evaluation/ Grading:
Exams, group tasks, indiviual assignments, class participation

Course Policies and Procedures: Attendence and participation policy, writing assignments,
deadlines and late submission policy for assignments, academic integrity and honesty, in-class
policy (cell phones and notebooks)



Tentative Course Outline
(weekly schedule will be provided later)


I. THE NATURE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH:

Introduction to course; What is scientific research and why do we do it? The role of
the researcher
Formulating a research problem; Theory and research; Scientific and non-scientific
questions
Ethical issues and concerns in research


II. ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN:

Reviewing literature; constructing a research framework
Theories and hypotheses
Concepts and Variables
Relationships among variables; Causality, Hypothesis formulation


III. MEASUREMENT:

Operationalization, scaling, constructing measures
Levels of measurement and unit of analysis
Validity and Reliability

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IV. SAMPLING:

Population, sampling frame, sample, simple random samples, systematic sampling
Sampling distributions, sample error, standard error
Other sampling methods, sample size


V. DATA COLLECTION & TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGN:

1. Survey Research

Survey Research Designs; Cross-sectional surveys; longitudinal designs
Data Collection Modes - practicalities and potential
Survey Instrumentation; Open- and closed-ended questions; Writing items

2. Secondary Data/ Archival Research

Prospects and problems of using documentary sources
Analysing existing documents, statistical sources and other material
Recent vs. historical; quantitative vs. qualitative


3. Qualitative Methods: Interviewing, Observation and Field Research

Listening people
Participant and Non-Participant Observation
Pros and Cons of Field Research; Case Study

4. Experiments

Causality, control group, random assignment, sampling, staging, manipulation check
Threats to internal and external validity
Experimental and quasi-experimental designs, field experiments


VI. DATA ANALYSIS:

Basic statistical models: Descriptive and Inferential statistics, T-tests, Cross-tabulation
Analysis of Quantitative Data: Correlation and Regression, Multivariate Analysis
Analysis of Qualitative Data: Content and Narrative (text) analysis


VII.
WRITING UP YOUR RESEARCH:

Presenting results: Craft of communication
Preparing research report

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