Introduction to Social Research Methods

BASS – AB3 – SOC202A Page 1

Assessment Brief
Program Bachelor of Applied Social Science
Subject Introduction to Social Research Methods
Subject code SOC202A
Nameof assessment Assessment 3: Case Study Report
Length 2500 words
Learning outcomes addressed
bythis assessment:
C, D, E
Submission Date: End of week 11, Sunday 11:55pm
Assessment brief summary: Write a report on a recent social research study critically
evaluating the rationale, methodology and findings.
Total marks 40
Weighting 40%
Students are advised that any submissions past the due date incur a 10% penalty per day, calculated from the total
mark e.g. a task marked out of 40 will incur a 4 mark penalty per day.
Participating in the forum discussion is mandatory. Please note: you must attempt all tasks in a subject to be
eligible to pass the subject.
More information, please refer to the Academic Progression Policy on

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Assessment Task:
For this assessment, source a journal article of your choice on recent research about a current social
issue. The study should have been conducted within the last 5 years. The assessment asks you to
critique the paper by discussing the component parts.
In answering this assessment, students should first briefly describe the paper, including:
1. the stated rationale and background for the study
2. the aims and objectives of the study
3. an overview of the research methods used, including the techniques for sampling, data
collection and data analysis.
Then, after the above description of the paper, conduct a critical assessment of the methods
used. This should include a critical discussion of the following areas:
1. the overall research design
2. the way key concepts were defined and measured
3. the sampling process
4. the data collection methods
5. the way the data was analysed
6. the approach to interpretation of results
7. ethical issues
In your assessment, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the methodological approach
showing what could have been done differently and why. Issues of validity and reliability should
also be mentioned.
Marking Criteria:

Max. in
Background discussion – clearly explains the research question, the
justification for the research, and objectives of thestudy.
Review of Methodology used – clear discussion of the methodology
Assessment – clear and effective assessment of the research methods
including techniques of sampling, data collection and data analysis.
Word count, grammar, structure and presentation 5
Referencing – Use of appropriate references and referencing style 5

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What we want to see:
The work must be fully referenced with in-text citations and a reference list at the end. We
recommend you work with your Academic Writing Guide to ensure that you reference correctly.
You will find a link to this document on the main page of every unit, under the ‘Assessments’
section. Correct academic writing and referencing are essential tasks that you need to learn. We
recommend a minimum of ten references.
Referencing: References are assessed for their quality. You should draw on quality academic
sources, such as books, chapters from edited books, journals etc. Your textbook can be used as a
reference, but not the Study Guide and lecture notes. We want to see evidence that you are capable
of conducting your own research. Also, in order to help markers determine students’
understanding of the work they cite, all in-text references (not just direct quotes) must include the
specific page number/s if shown in the original.
Researching: You can search for peer-reviewed journal articles, which you can find in the online
journal databases and which can be accessed from the library homepage. Reputable news sites
such as The Conversation (, online dictionaries and online
encyclopedias are acceptable as a starting point to gain knowledge about a topic. Government
departments, research institutes such as the National Health and Medical Research Council
(NHMRC), international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local not
for profit organisations such as the Cancer Council are also good resources.
Formatting: The assessment MUST be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format. Other
formats may not be readable by markers. Please be aware that any assessments submitted in other
formats will be considered LATE and will lose marks until it is presented in Word.
What we don’t want to see:
Plagiarism: All sources of information need to properly be acknowledged. Please refer to the
plagiarism website on blackboardi. By clicking the ‘Upload this file’ button you acknowledge that
you have read, understood and can confirm that the work you are about to submit complies with
the Flexible and Online plagiarism policy as shown in the JNI Student Handbook. Like other forms
of cheating plagiarism is treated seriously. Plagiarising students will be referred to the Program
Word Count: Marks will be deducted for failure to adhere to the word count – as a general rule
you may go over or under by 10% than the stated length.
Late Submissions: Students are advised that any submissions past the due date incur a 10%
penalty per day, calculated from the total mark e.g. a task marked out of 30 will incur 3 marks
penalty per day.
No submission: Students must attempt all tasks to be eligible to pass the unit.
More information can be found in Think Education Assessment Policy document on the Think
Education website.
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Resources Available to YOU:
1. Academic writing guide link
2. Writing & referencing: The link to the Learning and Academic Skills Unit
(LASU) is on the left pulldown menu on the blackboard home page:
LASU also provides a series of academic skills tutorials. Please contact Caroline
Spaans ([email protected], 02 949 232 14).
3. Researching: A guide to researching is available on the library page
Please contact the online and Pyrmont librarian for Health, Dawn Vaux
([email protected]) if you would like further help or a tutorial on how to do
research this way.