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This section will draw on all your knowledge of the scientific method and statistics from your research methods and statistics courses, respectively. You will describe in great detail how you will plan to test your hypotheses. 

Three Sections 

1. Data 

2. Measures

3. Data Analysis

The methods section should be organized into three basic sections. These are Data, Measures, and Data Analysis. If you are writing a Master's Thesis, I strongly recommend the use of secondary data over collecting your own data. I have provided some links below to good sources of secondary data that you may find useful. 

  1. Data

    1. Where is your data coming from?

    2. Will you collect your own? If so, how? What are the sampling methods?

    3. Is it secondary data?

      1. If so what is this survey? 

      2. How is it collected? 

      3. Who collects it and why? 

    4. Provide any other pertinent information that you think is necessary. 

  2. Measures/Variables in the Study

    1. What is your dependent variable?

    2. What is your independent variable?

    3. What are your control variables? 

    4. How are they operationalized/coded? 

    5. Is there is any missing data (If so, how much)?

  3. Data Analysis

    1. What statistical program are you using? (e.g. SPSS)

    2. What statistical analysis are you using and why? (Correlation Matrix or Cross-Tabulations, Linear or Logistic Regression, etc.)

Methods and Statistics Resources

SAGE Research Methods Resources 

Data Sources


National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)

Bureau of Justice Statistics

General Social Survey

Statistical Resources

UCLA Statistical Methods and Data Analytics

Paul Allison - Statistical Horizons

ICPSR Summer Program and Workshops

Robert Stein's Website

Kris Preacher's Website

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