Term Paper Topic

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  1. Browse through the GSS codebook.

http://sda.berkeley.edu/sdaweb/analysis/;jsessionid=A4E4DD1AE2F86C7E2FD937D7C3B818FD?dataset=gss16

The dependent conceptual variable (FEMINISM) was assigned to each group last week; therefore, you need to find an independent conceptual variable to formulate your theoretical proposition.

You can browse using the expandable topic list that appears on the main page of this site, or you can click on the link to the codebook. A good way to search for articles that used a specific GSS variable is to go to Google Scholar and search with the keyword GSS and the variable name in quotes.For example, search for GSS “RELITEN” to see articles about religiosity that used this variable in the GSS dataset.Don’t forget to enclose the variable name in quotes.Based on the topics available in the GSS, derive a theoretical statement that incorporates both an independent and a dependent conceptual variable. Write the statement below.

  1. Select variables that may serve as indicators of each of the concepts in your theoretical statement.You should try to identify multiple indicators for either the independent or dependent conceptual variables, or for both (For your dependent conceptual variable each group has been assigned, try to decide which GSS variable or variables you intend to use as indicators).Make sure your selected variables are all from the same year in GSS and asked of the same respondents. Working with the Berkeley GSS website, copy down the names of the variables, the wording of the survey question, and the number of valid (non-missing) cases available in the data set.
  1. Prepare a one paragraph pre-proposal statement of your term paper topic, based on the General Social Survey (GSS), in which you:

a) Name the year from which your data will come

b) Name the concepts you wish to study and list the variable names from the data set which seem to measure these concepts

c) List the wording of the GSS survey questions used as indicators. List the number of valid cases for each variable.

d) Restate your theoretical statement (be sure to use the two-sentence format presented in lecture)

e) Based on the empirical variables/indicators you have chosen and the theoretical statement that you have postulated, derive a testable hypothesis (choose one indicator for your independent conceptual variable and one indicator for your dependent conceptual variable for hypothesis construction)

  1. Complete the following diagram by inserting your conceptual variables and the corresponding indicators (empirical variables) that you used to derive your hypothesis. For the indicators, simply providing the variable name is sufficient.Indicate causal direction, association, and the form of the relationship (+/-)

(Note: There will be opportunities in the coming weeks for you to change or refine your topic as you explore the data, so this initial statement is not a ‘contract’ for what your final paper will include.)

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