Researching, Representing and Evidencing the Social World


Submission Deadline Marks and Feedback
Before 10am on: 20 working days after deadline (L4, 5 and 7)
15 working days after deadline (L6)
10 working days after deadline (block delivery)

Unit title & code Researching, Representing and Evidencing the Social World – ASS081-2
Assignment number and title One – Research Portfolio
Assignment type Portfolio
Weighting of assignment 100%
Size or length of assessment 3000 words
Unit learning outcomes On completion of this unit you should be able to: 1 Demonstrate the following: Knowledge and understanding of the social research process and methodology from selecting a topic to the presentation of findings. 2 Demonstrate the following skills and abilities: Critically assess the existing research on a topic, define a research question and consider the ethical design of research to enable the collection and analysis of relevant data

What am I required to do in this assignment?
There is only one assignment for this Unit. You are required to develop a portfolio relating to a single topic. You must agree your topic in advance with your seminar group lead tutor. Your topic has to be specific and it can be in the question format. You should develop a 3000 word portfolio comprised of the following eight different elements:

Introduction (150 words approx.) – introduce your topic, its relevance and importance, any important background information and key definitions A literature review (1,000 words) – You must explain your methodology first in this section in 2-3 paragraphs (i.e. how you conducted your literature searches, which database you used, what search criteria you applied, how you narrowed down the search results and how you selected your key articles). The rest of this section must present findings from your review of peer-reviewed journal articles, through the analysis and synthesis of the relevant research evidence (i.e. what you can find about your topic in the literature). Data analysis (500 words) – analysis of statistics relating to your topic (e.g. prevalence data, demographic data, etc.). You are required to produce your own table using the existing statistics and reference the original source below the table/figure you produced (not just copying tables and figures from websites). You are expected to analyse trends (ideally using two variables) so you are expected to discuss at least two different periods in time. Discuss what the changes in figures mean in relation to your topic. Policy analysis Or Media analysis (newspapers only) on your topic (500 words). If you choose to do media analysis, you must use a minimum of 2 newspaper articles from different points on the political spectrum to discuss the media representation of your topic. A reflection statement about your learning from the elements listed above (200 words) – what you have learned and what gaps in the literature and research you found from your literature review, data analysis and policy or media analysis. This section provides the rationale for the new research you are proposing. A research proposal (500 words) – You are introducing a new research study you are proposing here. Your research proposal must include your research question, the methods of data collection, research ethics and the methods of data analysis. You are expected to propose a primary research study in this research proposal. Therefore, the discussion of research ethics should be about how primary data will be ethically collected and the description of the methods of data analysis must concern how the primary data collected will be analysed in your proposed research. Conclusions (150 words) References – a minimum of 8 academic sources must be included, excluding newspaper articles, statistics, policy papers, research reports, etc. Academic sources only include peer-reviewed journal articles and academic books.

You must include all the elements listed above in your portfolio.

What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)

In order to pass the Assessment you will need to: Complete each element of the portfolio Demonstrate the ability to locate and review relevant research, data and either policy or media documents Propose an appropriate question and method for the collection of primary data

How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?
As the student completing this assignment you will complete this section in the session in which the assignment is introduced. Please do bring a hard copy or upload a copy to your laptop/device so that you can work digitally in completing this.

How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?
This Unit aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge for carrying out a well planned literature review and to develop understanding of the social world. The scheduled sessions are designed to build your knowledge and capability, and together with your own wider reading, they will enable you to tackle successfully each of the tasks required for the research portfolio which you are tasked to produce.

How will my assignment be marked?

Your assignment will be marked according to the threshold expectations and the criteria on the following page.

You can use them to evaluate your own work and consider your grade before you submit.

3rd Class – 40-49% Lower 2nd – 50-59% Upper 2nd – 60-69% 1st Class – 70%+
1.Structure, focus and quality of written communication 20% Begins to address the task but frequently goes off track. Literature is poorly reviewed. Limited demonstration of logical, easy to follow structure. Language is adequately structured to understand meaning. Written expression is adequate but there are several errors in grammar and spelling Has focused on the task according to the assignment brief. Some elements may not be so well addressed. Clearly structured with organised sections. Language is adequately structured to understand meaning throughout. Written expression is adequate but there may be some errors in grammar and spelling. Good focus on the task in accordance with the assignment brief. Literature is well reviewed. Clear and well-structured throughout. Arguments expressed well with clear sentence structure. Written expression is good including grammar and spelling. Excellent focus on task in accordance with the assignment brief. Each element of the task is very well addressed. The literature review is excellent. Clear, logical, relevant discussion throughout. Arguments are expressed clearly and consistently. Written expression is excellent including grammar and spelling.

2.Critical reflection, analysis of data and policy or media 20%

Some critical reflection. Basic analysis, evaluation of policy, practice, theory as relevant.

Good critical reflection. Some attempt to carry out rigorous analysis, evaluation of policy, practice, theory as relevant.

Very good critical reflection. Strong analysis, evaluation of policy, practice, theory as relevant.

Excellent critical reflection. Comprehensive analysis, evaluation of policy, practice, theory as relevant.

3.Research question and rationale 20% A research question is identified and some connections are made to learning from some other elements of the portfolio: A clear research question is defined, there is a rationale which demonstrates some learning from most/all of the other elements of the portfolio: A clear research question is defined with a good rationale. The proposed research is feasible, relevant and interesting. The rationale demonstrates learning from the other elements of the portfolio: A clear research question is defined which summarises the issue the researcher will investigate. The proposed research is feasible, relevant and interesting. There is a strong rationale for the question. It builds well on learning from the other elements of the portfolio,
4.Methodologically and ethically appropriate research proposed 15% The proposed methodology will enable the research question to be answered. Ethical considerations are identified. The proposed methodology is appropriate and will enable the research question to be answered. The ethical implications of the proposed research are considered. The proposed methodology is appropriate and well thought out. Ethical implications are considered and the chosen methodology will enable the research question to be answered in an ethically sound way. . The proposed methodology is appropriate and well matched to the research topic. Ethical implications are thoroughly considered and the chosen methodology is a strong foundation for excellent research to be carried out in an ethically sound way. Methodologically robust and will enable the research question to be answered. The ethical implications of the proposed research are analysed.
5. Use of literature and appropriate referencing. 25% Uses 8 or more credible sources in total but used only 5 academic sources. Little relevant literature demonstrating limited understanding. Poor referencing. Uses 8 or more credible sources in total but only 6-7 academic sources. Some relevant literature demonstrating some understanding of standard texts. Mostly correct referencing but with occasional errors.

Uses 8 or more academic sources. Uses relevant literature demonstrating good understanding. Some evidence of analysis and synthesis of relevant literature. Mainly correct referencing. Uses 8 or more academic sources. Evidence of analysis and synthesis of relevant literature. Evidence of wide reading .Clear consistent & accurate referencing.

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