What is Social Research?

Social research can be defined as,

“The scientific study of society”.


“Social research examines a society’s attitudes, assumptions, beliefs, trends, stratifications and rules”.

The scope of social research can be small or large, ranging from the self or a single individual to spanning an entire race or country. Popular topics of social research include poverty, racism, class issues, sexuality, voting behavior, gender constructs, policing and criminal behavior.
Popular Areas in Social Sciences

Political Science
Behavioral Sciences
Cognitive Sciences

Types of Social Research

Social research is commonly applied to social science subjects, following two types of social research methodologies:
Qualitative Research

The emphasis of qualitative research is on building understanding of social phenomena through text analysis, communication and direct observation. It lays stress on subjective and contextual accuracy over generality.

Quantitative Research

The quantitative research emphasizes on social phenomena through evidence which exists in numeric or quantifiable form. It depends on statistical analysis of data and leads to valid and reliable claims and results.

What is a Social Research Proposal?

A social research proposal can be defined as,

“A document written by a social scientist that describes in details the program for a proposed scientific investigation”.

Before carrying out the social research or investigation, the researchers are obliged to present a research proposal to the approval committee; once the committee is convinced of the importance and contribution of your research in the field of sociology, permission and funds are granted.

A formal social research cannot commence without writing a proposal. A proposal gives the approval authority an overall idea of your research topic.
Format of a Social Research Proposal

A social research proposal contains the same elements as a general proposal. However, the difference is that you need to follow a different approach and style while drafting it.

Following are the basic elements that make a social research proposal effective:
Research Question

Being a researcher, you need a research question to build a focus of your research. A research question defines boundaries for your study. Research committees prefer a straightforward and simple title as it clearly communicates the readers what you are planning to do; and leaves no room for confusion.
Introduction of the Subject

The subject part needs to be constructed carefully. Begin by telling about your topic in general, then focus on the issues one by one and by the end of the paragraph, you should mention the exact points of your subject. Support the introduction by telling why you think research on your topic is necessary.

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