Pilot Study

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PILOT STUDY: Now, you will have the chance to submit a microscopic research study, also known as a pilot study. You can choose a survey, one-on-one interview, or observation.
DESIGNS (pick one)
Survey Research

Design a survey with at least 10 questions, but no more than 15. For example, will you survey people about the death penalty or Juvenile Offenders?

Pick your sample. Decide who you want to survey. Make sure your unit of analysis is consistent with your hypothesis. For example, for your study, will your study recommend standing in the lobby and ask every 5th student to complete your survey, will you survey students in a particular class, etc. You must have 15-20 people in your sample. Discuss what the survey is looking to accomplish and why? What types of questions are you asking with your survey? What type of survey is it, and how will it be developed? ****For this study, you will not actually conduct the survey but write about the type of survey you are looking to conduct and the method.****

Field Research – observer only

*****This will serve as a way to prepare you for field observations. You will then discuss how you would conduct an observation based on your topic of study.*****

Pick a location that you can sit in and observe people without being too obvious. Pick a bench on a busy street or in a public park. Whichever place you pick, make sure it is a public place.

Decide what type of behavior you want to observe and what type of people you want to observe. DO NOT OBSERVE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY – IT IS TOO DANGEROUS, it brings up too many ethical issues, and it is not allowed!!! Perhaps you want to observe how the police interact with the public or the behavior of homeless persons in the park.

Keep a log and report on everything you see – This will serve as your field notes. Your field notes can be handwritten. What do the people look like? What are they wearing? How are they behaving? Who are they with? What can you interpret from their body language? Include everything and anything and write everything down.

Do at least three observations on three separate days for 15-20 minutes each.


Pick a focus group (6-12 people) you would interview as a moderator. Your unit of analysis should be consistent with your hypothesis.

Find a group that you would be interested in knowing more about. It could be law enforcement officers, correction officers, etc.

Write a list of interview questions. List your questions. Have at least 15 questions that include both quantitative and qualitative measures. Make sure you write down why you feel the questions are appropriate for the study.

Devise ten additional questions that you would like to ask the subjects if the interview were to have to go longer than expected. Hence, there should be 25 or more questions in total. ******This will not be a live interview that you will conduct a series of questions that you will want to conduct should your proposal/study be approved in the future.*********

Results/Discussion (1 page)

Discuss the results of your research. What did you find? Be specific. If You Conducted a Survey: What did you inquire about? Use the last couple of paragraphs to describe your experience with putting together the survey questions. Did you like it, hate it, find it interesting, etc., and why? Did you face any difficulties? Submit the typed proposal with the survey attached to the back.

If you conducted an Ethnography:

Analyze your results – did you find anything interesting? For example, do security guards at Macy’s follow people of color around more than white people? Look for trends. Write up everything you did, beginning with who you decided to observe, where you decided to observe them, what you saw, and conclude with the results of your observations. Describe your experience with the fieldwork. Did you like it, hate it, find it interesting, etc., and why? Did you face any difficulties? Submit the typed proposal with your field notes attached to the back.

If you had interview questions:

What did you want to achieve with the interviews? Submit the typed proposal, which will include the interview questions, any interesting things that your questions are looking to probe into for the findings, and some of the things you feel would be necessary to make the interview credible and valid.

Policy Implications (1 Page) What is the meaning of your research? How can it impact public policy? For example, do we require more police presence, or does it mean more sensitivity training for law enforcement?

Limitations (1 paragraph)

What are the weaknesses of your study design? How could this study be improved?

Future Research (1 paragraph)

What should other researchers focus on in this area? What is the next recommendation for future study? Why?

Works Cited Page – make sure to provide a full reference list that adheres to APA format.

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