1) Research question: What do you seek to answer?
2) What is the independent variable? (This is the causal variable) How will you operationalize it? At what level of measurement (nominal, ordinal, or interval-ratio) (example: Weight taken as a self-reported measure in ordinal categories: Under 100Ibs; 100-140Ibs, 140- 180Ibs, 180-2201bs, 220-2601bs, over 2601bs)
3) What is the dependent variable?* (This is the outcome, or effect you wish to measure) How will you operationalize it? At what level of measurement? (example: Employment status taken as number of hours worked last week as a continuous measure, ranging from 0 to 90).
4) Unit of Analysis: What or whom are you studying? (examples: individual people, communities, schools, court records, etc. What are you observing?)
5) Research Method: What would be your ideal method of collecting this data? What type of study is ideal? (e.g., a survey, an observation in a public setting, in-depth interviews) *Note: If you have an open-ended research project, naming the independent (IV) and dependent (DV) variables won’t make as much sense. Be in touch with me by email if you need help with this.