Bachelor of Applied Social Science
Introduction to Social Research Methods
Name of assessment Assessment 3: Critical Report on the research process
2000- 2500 words
Learning outcomes addressed
C, D, E
End of week 11, Sunday 11:55pm
Assessment brief summary:
Write a critical report on a recent social research study critically
evaluating the research process
Students are advised that any submissions past the due date incur a 10% penalty per day, calculated from the total
mark e.g. a task marked out of 40 will incur a 4 mark penalty per day.
Please note: you must attempt ALL tasks in a subject to be eligible to pass the subject.
More information, please refer to the Academic Progression Policy on http://www.think.edu.au/about-think/think quality/our-policies.
Soc202a Assessment 3 Page 1
For this assessment, you will be provided with a journal article about a current social issue. You will need
to critique the methods used in the study. To do this, you should first briefly describe the paper,
1. the topic being investigated
2. the stated rationale and background for the study
3. the aims and objectives of the study
4. an overview of the research methods used, including the techniques for sampling, data
collection and data analysis.
Next, conduct a critical assessment of the methods used. This should include a critical discussion of
the following areas:
1. the overall research design
2. the way key concepts were defined and measured
3. the sampling process
4. the data collection methods
5. the way the data was analysed
6. the approach to interpretation of results
7. ethical issues
In your assessment, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the methodological approach
showing what could have been done differently and why. Issues of validity and reliability should
also be mentioned.
Soc202a Assessment 3 Page 2
Background discussion – clearly explains the research question, the
justification for the research, and objectives of the study.
Ethical discussion – clear discussion of ethics in the study 10
Review of Methodology used – clear discussion of the methods used in
Assessment – clear and effective assessment of the research methods
including techniques of sampling, data collection and data analysis.
Soc202a Assessment 3 Page 3
The APA recommends the use of Times New Roman, font size 12 or a clear, legible font. Papers should be
All papers that are late without an approved extension will be penalized at 10% per day of the total
possible marks for that assessment.
Marks will be deducted for failure to adhere to the word count – as a general rule you may go over or
under by 10% of the stated length.
Students must attempt all tasks in the unit to be eligible to pass the unit.
The assessment MUST be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format. Other formats may
not be readable by markers. Please be aware that any assessments submitted in other formats
will be considered LATE and will lose marks until it is presented in Word.
Notes for Essays:
This essay will incorporate a formal introduction, main points and conclusion; the main points can be
distinguished by sub-headings. The work must be fully referenced with in-text citations and a
reference list at the end. We recommend you work with the APA 7th Edition to ensure that you
References are assessed for their quality. You should draw on quality academic sources, such as
books, chapters from edited books, journals etc.
Before submitting your assignment, please review this video by clicking on the following link, on why
sources of information need to be acknowledged: Plagiarism Man (thanks to Swinburne for this
You must search for peer-reviewed journal articles, which you can find in the online journal databases
and which can be accessed from the library homepage. Wikipedia, online dictionaries and online
encyclopedias are acceptable as a starting point to gain knowledge about a topic, but should not be
overused – these should constitute no more than 10% of your total list of references/sources.
Additional information and literature can be used where these are produced by legitimate sources,
such as government departments and research institutes.
SOC202a Assessment 2 Brief T3 2021 Page 4