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Michigan State University

CSUS 802 Survey of Research Methods: Course Information

Dr. Steven Gray, Fall 2017

Course Materials


Instructor: Steven Gray
Office Address: Natural Resources Bldg.
Office Hours: by appointment

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the nature of interdisciplinary research. It will also assist in the development of skills in critiquing, evaluating and interpreting published research, as well as conducting research. The course is built on the idea that interdisciplinary research presents numerous challenges, including the integration of multiple literatures derived from various research paradigms and disciplines.
Various methodological approaches and research techniques that are used in interdisciplinary studies in the social sciences and in the Department of Community Sustainability will be explored. This course provides students with the necessary skills to become competent consumers of published research. In addition, it forms a foundation from which students may begin to conceptualize their own research proposals, including a thesis or dissertation, and to choose which methods courses best suit their purposes.

Course Objective

This course has the following objectives
1. To introduce the basic nature, logic and processes of research.
2. Explore the ethical and practical dimensions of fieldwork.
3. To introduce some methods used in the department of Community Sustainability.
4. To understand and critique primary research literature.
5. To improve skills in thinking critically, and with reconciling disparate or conflicting information.
6. To develop a research proposal that coincides with the student’s interests. Preferably this is a potential topic for your thesis or dissertation.

a. Formulate a research question
b. Develop a literature review in the context of the research question.
c. Select the methodology to answer that research question
d. Describe the data collection procedures needed to address the research question

Michigan State University