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This assignment requires you to create or identify a sociological theory of interest to you, and then assess existing empirical research that is relevant to your question. 

  1. State your Theory: What is the claim or question about a causal relationship between two societal phenomena that you will be exploring? Which is the independent and which is the dependent variable? And what is the rationale for your question–why is it a significant or important one to answer?
  2. Literature Review:  Cite and discuss four scholarly research reports that are related to your research question.  These should be peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly books (or chapters in such books). To search for scholarly research on your topic, you may find it helpful to consult the NYU Libraries’ Sociology Research Guide.

For each of the four publications:

  • – Describe the author’s key argument(s) or claim(s)
  • – Describe the research methodology used and the data collected
  • – Report the author’s key findings
  • – Discuss whether and how their findings support or contradict your theory
  • – Explain whether and why you are persuaded by the author’s argument(s)

– Taking all four of the research reports into consideration:

  • – Explain whether most of the evidence supports or contradicts your theory
  • – Identify potential additional research that would help clarify or shed further light on the theorized relationship you’ve explored. In other words, how might future researchers conduct their research somewhat differently in order to fill in gaps in our knowledge about the theory in question?
  1. References:  At the end, include the bibliographic information for the research reports you cited.  Use the American Sociological Association Style Guide to format your reference list.