Research Methods

My topic is very much in the social science field as I hope to discover why people vote as they do and what’s most important to them in their voting decision. Therefore, my research will likely include a fair amount of empirical secondary source research as well as some original experimental or survey research. If possible, I would love to map something or create some interactive way to engage with my findings as well.

I have already begun my reading of secondary sources, and as I’m starting to comprehend the multitude of readings which I will need to complete for my research, I’m beginning to think that it might be worth my while to do a separate literature review on my topic as I way to organize the readings and my thoughts on them. While most of my sources will be secondary sources from prior research related to my topic, I would also be interested in investigating some primary sources such as interviews with voters or raw data of voting behavior. I believe that doing so would bring more originality to my project and allow me to reach a more significant conclusion.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll go about my original experimental research, but I am certain that I would like to do it. I think that my biggest challenge with this will be finding a sample of participants outside of college students so that my research can adequately represent all voters in the United States. I am excited to work with Dr. Archer on this and to give it more thought so that I can successfully gather information that will successfully confirm or deny my research hypothesis.

Finally, I mentioned above that I would love to create something more interactive than a paper to represent my findings. I’m not sure that a geographic map could be created from my research, but maybe a mind map or some other tool related to my findings could be created. I would really enjoy the creative process involved in such a project, and leaving something more tangible than a paper behind when I’m done would be very satisfying.