Field Research Project (Sociology 198S)

In lieu of a final exam, you will complete a semester-long research project, conducting independent and original field research. Pick an independent, locally-owned business (outside of the Duke campus) to patronize throughout the semester, observing its marketing strategy. You should select a business that you believe needs help but has potential. (To get ideas, visit http://www.sustainabull.net/businesses/). Take detailed notes about what you observe, and apply the principles you’ve learned in class to analyze the company's marketing strategy. Make recommendations about what is effective and what the business could change/add to better reach its client base, backing this up. The research paper based on the research mentioned above will include the following sections: research question, data collection, analysis, and discussion.

You are expected to produce (1) a 10 minute presentation during one of the final two class meetings of the semester and (2) a 10 to 15 page research paper, due during the final examination period. The research paper will account for 20% and the presentation 10% of your final course grade. As you develop this project you will learn how to formulate a research question, how to identify or acquire data to test this question, and how to present research findings in an academic format, demonstrating support for a line of argument. You will turn in two drafts of the paper prior to the final deadline, receiving instructor feedback on your first draft and peer review from two classmates on your second. We will arrange an additional class meeting (if necessary) during the exam period to hear any research presentations not given during the final two class meetings of the semester.