Winter 2001

Instructor: Martha J. Bianco, Ph.D. 
Phone: 725-4050
Office: 370-L Urban Center, 506 SW Mill St. 3rd floor
Class Time: Thursday 4-5:50 pm
Class Location: URBN 312 and URBN 240
Office Hours: Th  2:30-3:30 pm; and by arrangement


*Note:  These texts are all from last term

  • Babbie, Earl. The Practice of Social Research, 9th Edition. Wadsworth, 2001. 
  • Allison, Paul. Multiple Regression: A Primer. Pine Forge Press, 1999. 
  • Converse, Jean, and Stanley Presser. Survey Questions: Handcrafting the Standardized Questionnaire. Sage, 1986. 
  • Yanow, Dvora. Conducting Interpretive Policy Analysis. Sage, 2000. 
  • Whyte, William Foote. Learning from the Field: A Guide from Experience. Sage, 1984. 
  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. University of Chicago Press, 1996. 
  • Locke, Lawrence, Waneen Wyrick Sirduso, and Stephen L. Silverman. Proposals that Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals. Sage, 2000. 
  • Sternberg, David. How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. St. Martinís Press, 1981. 
Objective: This is the second part of a two-term course in which students learn how to conduct social science research at the graduate level. During this term, students focus on learning data-gathering techniques, such as surveys, interviews, content analysis, and archival research.  There is also an emphasis on ethical considerations and choosing analytical methodologies that are appropriate to specific research questions and designs.  By the end of the term, students will have a more developed proposal and will make a professional, conference-quality presentation describing their proposed work.
Student Responsibilities: Please be on time. If you expect to be absent, let me know. Be sure to get notes from another student if you miss lecture. All assignments are due when stated; no exceptions. All work turned in is to be of graduate-level quality. That means you must proofread carefully for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and typos. The guidelines in Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers must be adhered to. Always use the Writing Checklist at checklist.htm
Assignments: Readings, homework assignments, and due dates are indicated on the schedule. More detail regarding homework assignments will be discussed in class. 
Self-Assessments: There are on-line self-assessment exams, the purpose of which is to facilitate your understanding of key concepts and terms. It is up to you to decide when and/or if to complete the exams. You should review portions of the main text (Babbie) for questions you get wrong. 
Lecture & Discussion Guides: Lecture and discussion guides for each class session will be available online at They should be available prior to each class session. It is your responsibility to print out the lecture guides. 
Listserv: Students are required to join a class electronic discussion list, research, by sending an e-mail message from your usual e-mail account to with no subject header and no signature material, and the message
subscribe researchdesign
The primary purpose of this listserv is to accommodate class announcements, discussion, questions, etc.

Due dates are indicated on the schedule.

Proposed Methodology Draft:          20%
Final Methodology Section:           20%
Final Proposal, with work plan:      40%
Survey Assignment:                   20%
SECOND TERM TOTAL:                  100%
Plagiarism: As Earl Babbie says: "Plagiarism is the presentation of another's words or ideas as your own. It is a bad thing. Don't do it." Refer to Read Babbie, Earl. "Plagiarism." Online at   Last updated 26 Oct. 1998. Also see University of Alabama at Huntsville, "Library Research Guides: Plagiarism," at Last updated 7 August 2000. 

You are responsible for learning about plagiarism, what it is and what it is not. If in doubt, ask me. If I have doubts, I will ask you. However, PSUís Graduate Policy on Academic Honesty and Integrity provides for one or more of the following actions if plagiarism is established to have occurred: denial or rescinding of credit for the course; academic probation for one year; academic disqualification for 1-3 years; denial or rescinding of the graduate degree. See p. 53 of the 1999-2000 Portland State University Bulletin, at


(All readings are due by the date indicated)
Experimental Design
  • Babbie, Chs. 8 and 12 
  • Allison, Ch. 4 
  • Locke, Specimen Proposals 1 and 3 (optional) 
Survey Research

Self-assessment at, Chapters 8-9
Qualitative Field Research

Surveys DUE
Qualitative Research, Contíd
  • Whyte, Chs. Chs. 2-5, 9 
  • Banana Time and Honor and the American Dream excerpts
Self-assessment at, Chapters 10-13 

Pilot-tested surveys DUE

Qualitative Research, Cont'd
  • Babbie, Ch. 13 
  • Whyte, Chs. 7, 12, 13 
Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques
Methodology Draft Due
Quantitative Data Analysis


  • Babbie, Ch. 14, A40-A74 (skim) 
  • Allison, Ch. 4 
  • Babbie, Ch. 15 
  • Babbie Chs. 16-17 (skim) 
  • Allison, Chs. 6-9 (skim) 

Self-assessment at, Chapters 14-15

Process, Politics, and Ethics in Research


  • Babbie, Ch. 18-19
  • Whyte, Ch. 10-13 
  • Locke, Ch. 2 (optional) 
  • Locke, Ch. 3, 10 (optional)

Revised Methodology Section Due

Self-assessment at, Chapters 17-19

Oral Presentations


  •  Locke, Ch. 7 (optional) 
  • Information for Speakers, at speaker.html 

Final Proposal Due (with work plan)