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While Sociology is a wide field with many different ideas and theories Sociologists tend to use the same methods of sociological research in all their studies This paper will focus on those different methods and provide examples of each The first method of sociological research is Exploratory research which attempts to answer the question WhatHickey 1999 47 Exploratory research is generally the first step in research it provides a foundation for later research and asks previously unasked questions While not answering these questions it makes a starting off point for other research to take place Raferty1998 The next type of research Sociologists use is the Descriptive Research method Descriptive Research answers the questions What and HowHickey199947 It describes what and how something happens while trying to be as accurate and objective as possible McNeil1990 An example of this might be a newspaper article describing a social event or a newscast covering a baseball game The third type of Sociological research would be Explanatory research Explanatory research attempts to explain social phenomena by answering the questions What How and WhyHickey199949 this type of research not only explains what takes place and how it takes place but examines why people behave they way they do in any given social circumstance Dooley1990 This is one of the least used methods due to the fact that there are a wide variety of explanations for human behavior Another type of research method is the Evaluation Research Evaluation Research measures the effectiveness of a program it asks Does it work Hickey199949 This method is widely used in sociology today and in this time of limited resources this method is most likely to be funded by the government or private organizations Encarta 2000 One example of this method would be Head Start a preschool program for underprivileged inner city kids that gets them ready for school Sociologists would evaluate this program and decide if it worked and then the government would
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