Grad. Index

Analysis of Professional Literature

A semester-long research course for graduate students in the social sciences

James Neill

Class Material

Class 1: Introduction to scientific inquiry, selecting a research topic, & brainstorming research questions

Class 2: Research question, key terms, thesis statement, & annotated resource list

Class 3: How to write a literature review

Class 4: Quantitative research design: Experimental, quasi- & non-experimental designs

Class 5: Quantitative research design: Sampling & measurement

Class 6: Qualitative Research: Types & methods

Class 7: Qualitative Research: Observation

Class 8: Qualitative Research: Content Analysis


Class 9: Writing Workshop

Class 10: Research Ethics

Class 11: Quantitative Exam

Class 12: Qualitative Exam

Class 13: Literature Review Due

Class 14: Research Design Presentations I - See Sample Powerpoint Presentation for a Prospectus

Class 15: Research Design Presentations II

Check schedule for more details.

Albert Einstein -
for a guy with crazy hair,
his office sure was organized!

Good research emerges from
 a well-organized system of investigation.

Genius is
1% inspiration, and
99% perspiration.

- Thomas Edison



Course Purpose

This course teaches why and how scientific research is conducted, the process of conducting research, with a focus on qualitative and quantitative approaches approaches used in social sciences and human movement studies.


Course Process

At the start of the course you by developing a research question.  You then conduct a systematic search for relevant sources, construct a literature review outline, and write a 5000-word literature review.  Along the way you are introduced to the philosophy of science, and the rationale underlying qualitative and quantitative paradigms. 


Practical exercises involve you critically analyzing the research literature about your research question.  Then you develop and critique a variety of different qualitative and quantitative research designs for your research question and learn about how to build a research proposal and ethical issues in research. 


By the end of the course graduate students will have a well-written draft of the literature review of their thesis and a complete research methods proposal and have engaged in major research design concepts along the way.



The Writing Complex


Rozakis E-book [requires institutional subscription]

UNH Thesis & Dissertation Manual

UNH Grad School - Current Students - Research Links


Related Online Courses

Psychological Research Methods - John Davis

Methods of Educational Research - John Wasson

Note: Due dates in BOLD BLUE below were revised on 20th Feb
(Tasks 5 to 8 were put back by one week)




Due Date

Task 1: Research Question Ideas & Development


open format

Jan 29, Week 2
Task 2: Final Research Question, Research Thesis, Definition of Key Terms & Annotated Reading List


open format

Feb 12, Week 4
Task 3: Literature Review - Plan


2 pages - bullet points

Feb 19, Week 5

Task 4: Literature Review - Draft


Written paper

Feb 26, Week 6 [negotiable]

Optional: Literature Review - 2nd Draft


Written paper March 1 - March 30 [Week 7 to 10]
Task 5: Quantitative Research Exam


Short answer April 9, Week 11
Task 6: Qualitative Research Exam


Short answer April 16, Week 12

Task 7: Literature Review Final


Written paper

April 23, Week 13

Task 8: Research Design



May 1 or May 8, Week 14 or 15

Task 9: IRB Form


IRB Proposal

May 7, Week 15