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sociology data collection paper

Guidelines for Data Collection (and Rubric for Data assignment)

For all of you, whether you’re doing Interviews/Surveys, Discourse Analysis, Content Analysis, or an Experiment, your data and analysis will have the same basic components:

  • Raw data
  • Themes
  • Evidence
  • Initial ideas about connections to course concepts and theories

However, these components will look different depending on the method, so there is a separate Data Collection Guidelines/Rubric sheet for each.

You’ll also be evaluated on the organization and overall quality of your Data assignment (please see below).


When you submit your Data assignment, please turn in the following:

  • Raw data (8)
    • A complete list of your interview/survey questions. If you did a “semi-structured” interview and allowed yourself the flexibility to ask your interviewees follow-up questions that you hadn’t pre-planned, include these follow-up questions to the extent that you can remember them after the interview. (Please write them down right away after the interview.)
    • Detailed notes from each of your interviews. These can be handwritten if that’s how you took notes during the interviews. [Note: for those of you who talked to me about doing a written survey, you should just turn in the actual survey sheets; that’s your raw data.]
    • Grade will be based on following the above instructions, as well as: organized and legible presentation of data, completeness, and sufficient quantity of interviews/surveys, thoroughness and effort.
  • Themes (5)
  • Evidence (5)
    • For Interviews: Highlight (either on the computer or by hand) your interview notes to indicate the parts of your notes that illustrate your 2-3 (or more) themes. Please use a different color for each theme. If you don’t have that many color highlighters, you can use pens or colored pencils or markers or something along those lines.
    • For Surveys: If your survey consisted more of yes/no questions, then instead of highlighting as described above, your evidence will come from a quantitative (numerical) analysis of your data. Create a numerical summary of your responses; this will be your evidence. Please see me if you’d like further guidance on this.
    • Grade will be based on following the above instructions, we well as: the extent to which the evidence selected is sufficient and varied enough to demonstrate the theme in a compelling manner; thoroughness and effort.
  • Connections to course theories and concepts (1)
    • Write down a few ideas of course concepts and theories that you think might help to contextualize, explain or interpret your findings. These could come from lecture, readings, or readings that you (or your groupmates) selected for your Annotated Bibliography. Provide at least one sentence describing why that concept/theory is relevant to your findings. Doing this right now is mostly just to get you started as you head into the Discussion assignment, which is when you’ll dive more deeply into this process of comparing your findings to theories and course concepts.
    • Grade will be based on following the above instructions, as well as: multiple course concepts are noted, and at least one theory is noted. Concepts and theory/ies identified are relevant.
  • Write down 2-3 (or more) themes that emerged from your data. These are your results, the findings from your research. They’re like patterns that you saw in your data that relate to, and help you answer, your research question. Please write these down and give a few sentences description of each.
  • Grade will be based on following the above instructions, as well as: Insightfulness/thoughtfulness of themes identified (demonstrates deep thinking and/or reading about course content); relevance of themes to the research question; themes are sociologically relevant; thoroughness and effort.
  • Organization (1)


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