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Research Methods Mad Libs
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Research Methods
Introduction to Sociology

How to Cite

Butler, Jess. 2016. “Research Methods Mad Libs”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, June. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Introducing sociological research methods in an entry-level course with a mix of sociology majors and non-majors can be challenging. This activity engages students at each stage of the research process, providing an interactive alternative to traditional approaches and allowing students from various disciplinary backgrounds to collaborate in the...

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Subject Area(s):
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This activity is useful both for introducing research methods concepts (i.e. variables, hypotheses, types of data collection, etc.) and for assessing students' understanding of how to do sociological research.

In an introductory-level course, I conduct this activity on the first day of a two-class research methods unit, after introducing key...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Identify specific sociological research techniques.
  2. Understand the connections between sociological research questions and the appropriate methodological approaches for gathering data to answer those questions.
  3. Apply knowledge of the basic elements of sociological research to two or more variables and design a "mock" sociological study.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students discuss the results of their simulated research project with the rest of the class, reflecting on what they learned about sociological research methods during the activity.
  2. Students complete a written reflection about the activity. (Sample questions provided in activity guidelines.)
  3. Students answer a set of multiple choice questions about the activity. (Sample questions provided in activity guidelines.)

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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