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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


OER Course Conversion Projects


SSC 325: Social Science Research

Research Methods in Criminology and Sociology

                                       OER for SSC 325


This course introduces students to the fundamental methods sociologists and criminologists use to conduct research and gather information about the social world.  It discusses such topics and issues in research as conducting literature reviews, asking research questions, the importance of ethics, the distinctions between qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the implications of mixed methods research.  The course will focus on key works in sociology and criminology to show students how scholars have used these issues in their own research.  Students will demonstrate their understanding by designing their own research projects, collecting their own data, and writing either a research proposal or paper.

Learning Outcomes

  • Based on critical readings in the field of Criminology and Sociology, by semester end, students will  be equipped with the tools, skills and knowledge to:                 
    • Identify and apply the fundamental methods utilized to conduct research and gather information about society.
    • Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and strategies.
    • Examine and understand the components of critical scholarly articles published by sociologists and criminologists.
    • Articulate and assess ethics in sociological research.
    • Identify and analyze key research questions and engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers.  
    • Prepare a literature review related to criminology and/or sociology.
    • Develop, design and write a research project, linking methods with theory/ theories.
    • Explore unobtrusive methods of data collection, including historical comparative methods.
    • Evaluate and interpret  reports of sociological research.
    • Determine and propose how  research will relates to real life in the new decade                       
  • Students will successfully achieve the learning outcomes by:
    • Critically reading and analyzing course  materials.
    • Defining key terms, theoretical concepts and  definitions in weekly quizzes.
    • Analyzing research methods and strategies in the data collection process.
    • Preparing a  literature review  mid-semester..