Seminar in Advanced Research Methods

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2013
Martin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Online Course

Dr. Roe Roberts (view Profile)

Course Objectives


The objectives of this course are:

• To synthesize an appropriate research question,

• To evaluate and select the proper research design for the appropriate research problem,

• To evaluate the research work of others,

• To complete a research paper based on primary or secondary data, and

• To effectively present the results of your research.


By the end of the course, you will be able to appropriately use each research technique in

your own research project so as to be able to complete a final version of your paper.  All students will are encouraged to discuss their own research efforts as well as comment on the research work of other students in the discussion area.

Course Expectations

The principle characteristic of scholarly and scientific inquiry, as opposed to informal, intuitive kinds of inquiry, is the use of rationally grounded procedures to extend knowledge regarded as reliable and valid. Therefore, this course will build on your first research course and will provide you advanced instruction in applying the methods and designs in social science research. For the majority of students this is your final class.  It is a writing intensive class that asks you to show what you have learned in the program and to display that you have learned how to conduct research with a limited amount of assistance from your professor.  Your research and writing efforts should result in a rigorous research paper.

Grading Standards


In this course, as in most graduate courses, there are no extra credit assignments.


Two late assignments will automatically result in a grade of C for the class unless I have given you permission to turn in the assignment late.  I will only give permission to do so IF a MAJOR life situation has occurred unexpectedly (ie hospitalization, death in the immediate family etc.)


This syllabus is subject to change. All course participants will be notified of any changes.

Submission Format Policy

Written Assignments. Several key written assignments are required. These

assignments direct you toward the course objectives and therefore it is important for you

to complete them in a timely manner.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late work will only be accepted due to extreme circumstances and IF permission is asked for at least 3 days prior to the due date and given.  OTHERWISE a grade of zero is given without exception.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Participation. Students will participate in discussions; provide input and reviews on a

timely basis. The minimum requirement is to post at least once each week. Participation

in the form of peer reviews and discussion of assignments must be substantive and

advance the discussion (defined later in course policies section). Assignments that are

graded separately (required writings) do not count towards participation.

Class Attendance. This course requires you to check into your online class at least every two days.


Other Policies

Special Needs

If you have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and need assistance, please notify the Dean, College of Health Sciences and Human Services or the Chair, Department of Health and Public Administration immediately. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate your special needs.


Course Policies

Plagiarism and Dishonesty

Your work should be your own unless specifically stated otherwise. Using someone else’s paper, copying directly from the internet, etc., are activities that are considered plagiarism. It can result in the student being dismissed and a recorded grade of “F.” Here are several websites that provide guidance to avoid plagiarism. I urge you to take the time to review them and understand what is and is not plagiarism. (this is a tutorial which you must complete and email me the results for your first discussion assignment)


By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a "limited right" in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The "limited right" shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student's work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposesThe college makes Turnitin available to the professor for the purpose of verifying the originality of a student’s work.



Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at