Research Methods

Writing a Research Question

Writing a clear and measurable research question is a task that demands a lot of skill. The video shared below, encourages students to spend time researching a topic area before beginning to think about formulating a research question and then considers what makes a ÔgoodÕ research question. One helpful point included is the reference to Ôresearching, not searchingÕ so that students begin to understand this isnÕt just googling a topic! An activity which can develop from this is asking students to create ÔweakÕ and ÔgoodÕ research questions. Can they operationalise relevant content in their questions, like the example in the video? This information could be presented in a table and shared using paired groups.

Embed Video

The nature of statistics

The video below, borrowed from Psychology, considers statistics that claim social media and general mobile phone usage are ÔbadÕ for young people. Key terms include Ôstatistical significanceÕ, Ôeffect sizeÕ and Ôcorrelation coefficientÕ. It does get a little technical in places, but the overall message is clear and will be valuable for students. After watching the video, students could investigate examples of research into mobile phones and/or social media and try to ascertain how meaningful the results really are. This task links in with media topics as itÕs encouraging students to go beyond some of the sensationalist headline claims about these topics.

More Resources from Discovering Sociology


Absolutism is a political theory that suggests that power should be vested in a single individ...



The infamous ‘Anarchy in the UK’ by the Sex Pistols could be playing as students e...



A good overview of conservatism is provided by the Encyclopaedia Britannica:


Elite Theory

Elite theory is the notion that power is concentrated in the hands of a small, minority elite....


Introduction to the Political System

A range of resources are available to help with an introductory series of sessions of UK polit...



Here students could be set the task of ‘teaching the teacher’ on liberalism. This ...



Robert Dahl (1961) suggested that modern societies are characterised by pluralism. This means ...


Political Protest

Political protests have and do exist on a continuum from the peaceful to violent. Ten historic...


Pressure Groups

Pressure groups play a key role in the political system. They tend to campaign on a specific t...



The World Socialism organisation provides an account of ‘what socialism is’


The Legacy of Thatcherism


Voting Behaviour

Research suggests that whilst membership of mainstream political parties has decreased in rece...


Political Introduction

Politics are an important part of society, which, even though many may not realise it, has a cruc...