HST3501 Health Research Project
Instructions for Assessment 1 Social Health Research Study: Literature Review & Study Design (30% of total marks)
Plan a social health research study.
Note: In Assessments 2 and 3 you will implement a research project using this plan.
On completion of this assignment students should be able to:
Identify a relevant social health research topic; Write a literature review; Generate a research question and specific sub-questions; Define key concepts; Justify the research design; and Describe the research methodology
LENGTH: Maximum of 2500 words.
DUE DATE: Sunday 24 August at 11:59 PM
REQUIRED ASSIGNMENT CONTENTS
ECU Cover Page Assignment Title Page Contents Page Section 1: Introduction Section 2: Literature Review Section 3: Research Questions and Sub-questions Section 4: Definition of Key Concepts Section 5: Research Design Section 6: Research Methodology References
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DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAIN COMPONENTS
Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 1&2
While there are no topic themes prescribed for this unit, you are strongly encouraged to adapt the research design that you created for HST2122 for this research project. But please note that while this will be a good starting place, your HST3501 assessments are expected to be more advanced and developed than those submitted in HST2122.
The following criteria must be met for all research projects conducted in this unit:
Research questions be associated with a social health research topic
Design and methodology must utilise a quantitative approach (unless approved by the Unit Coordinator)
Research questions CANNOT require any sensitive groups as participants or qualify as particularly sensitive topics; and
Research questions must be relevant to an easily accessible population such as people on the ECU campus. THIS IS IMPERATIVE BECAUSE YOU WILL BE PILOTING YOUR PROJECT WITH FELLOW STUDENTS AND FAMILY/CLOSE FRIENDS and thus, your questions must be relevant to them (e.g specialised participants are not needed).
For example, your topic may relate to diabetes but your questions must be such that they can be answered meaningfully by the general public, not just people with diabetes.
Section 1: INTRODUCTION (~100 words)
One paragraph introducing the reader to the research proposal by: stating the general topic area of the research and outlining the sections to follow.
Section 2: LITERATURE REVIEW (~1500 words) Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 2
Purpose of literature review
Describe previous studies that are similar to your proposed research questions with an emphasis on summarising research findings. Studies reviewed must be closely integrated with your proposed research question.
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For example, if the research topic is attitudes toward prostate cancer screening, the literature review should refer to screening behaviour and men, and not be just a description of prostate cancer.
Structure of literature review
The literature review must include an introduction, body and conclusion.
Introduction must: state the topic provide a brief, succinct overview of the prevalence of the social health issue/problem, the outcomes of having the health problem and the costs incurred by society due to this health problem and explain the structure of the literature review that follows. Body of literature review must:
review a minimum of fifteen (15) articles or book chapters of which at least ten (10) are peer-reviewed academic journal articles, most of which have been published after 2004; critically evaluate the research upon which the literature is based; briefly summarise all the findings of the research reviewed in a manner which draws similarities and differences in the results; and be organised according to common themes across the literature and NOT be presented as a summary of each article retrieved; Order your review in subsections with each paragraph addressing a single theme (discuss multiple articles/books in one paragraph).
For example, if the research topic is attitudes toward prostate cancer screening, the literature review should refer to screening behaviour and men, and not be just a description of prostate cancer. The review might have 4 subsections related to themes such as: the nature of prostate screening programs, men’s attitude toward participating in a prostate screening program, effects of prostate screening programs on prognosis, health promotion strategies for promoting prostate screening programs.
Conclusion of the literature review must:
draw relevant conclusions from the literature reviewed and identify gaps in the literature with a view to identifying areas for future research [NOTE: identifying gaps is a standard part of a literature review but is NOT required for your first research project –it has been included here to ensure that you know that this is standard practice in conducting formal research.]
Section 3: RESEARCH QUESTIONS & SPECIFIC SUB-QUESTIONS (~ 150 words) Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 2 & 6
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Main Research Question:
The main research question must: address a narrow piece of the topic that you stated in the introduction to the literature review and make sense to the reader by naturally following from the literature review and its conclusions.
The main sub-questions should break your main question into distinct parts, providing more detail of your main question. Provide 2 or 3 sub-questions.
Section 4: DEFINITION OF KEY CONCEPTS (~100 words) Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 2 & 6
Identify and define the main concepts (2-5) used in your research questions. Definitions
are needed for any terms that you will be measuring in your data collection and must be referenced – preferably using the work of previous researchers. Your definitions should be drawn from the literature, consistent with how researchers doing similar studies have defined these concepts.
For example, if the research topic is attitudes toward prostate cancer screening, define what you mean by attitudes and prostate cancer screening as you will need these definitions when crafting questions to ask your participants
Section 5: RESEARCH DESIGN (~300 words) Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 3&6
1. Identify whether your study will be a qualitative or quantitative study AND explain why this suits your research aim and questions using principles of research design methodology.
2. Identify whether your study will be a cross-sectional or longitudinal study AND explain why this suits your research aim and questions using principles of research design methodology.
3. Identify whether your study will be a descriptive or explanatory (comparative) study AND explain why this suits your research aim and questions using principles of research design methodology. (If explanatory, specify your dependent and independent variables).
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Section 6: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (~300 words) Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 4 & 6
Data collection (~100 words)
Indicate what type of data collection method you will use AND explain why this suits your research aim and questions using principles of research design methodology. For this assignment, you will be conducting a quantitative study and you will utilise a selfadministered questionnaire to collect data from your participants. Indicate if your data collection will be in-person or over the internet.
(Note: If permission has been granted by Unit Coordinator to conduct a qualitative study, you will design an interview guide which you will utilise to collect data from your participants through interviews. Indicate if your data collection will be in-person or over the phone.)
Study Participants and Sample (~200 words)
In this section, you will describe your study participants, you desired survey respondents, as specifically as you can – imagine, when you have collected your data, what is the make-up of the group of people who have responded to your questionnaire?
1. Identify the study participants as specifically and clearly as you can. Who are they? Gender? Ethnicity? Country of birth? Socio-economic status? Age? Role: student, staff, academic staff? Course of study? Other descriptors?
2. Describe your sampling approach: Theoretical population Accessible population Sampling frame Type of sampling techniques you will use Generally explain how to determine the sample size (don’t actually calculate it.)
3. Briefly explain the way in which you will recruit your participants: How will you identify them? How will you contact them?
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Resource Materials: HST2122 Session 2
Minimum of 18 references (2002+) in total (including the minimum of 15 references for literature review itself).
All materials used to inform your work should be properly referenced according to the ECU referencing guide available at:
NOTE: Plagiarism will not be tolerated whether it results from ignorance of proper referencing conventions or actual intent to misrepresent your work. FAILURE TO REFERENCE PROPERLY WILL BE TREATED AS MISCONDUCT (PLAGIARISM) AND YOU RISK FAILURE OF THE ASSIGNMENT, UNIT OR OTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
The documents should NOT exceed 2500 words (the list of references is excluded from the word count) Line spacing for lit review: 1.5 Font: Arial Font size: 12 point font
ASSESSMENT MARKING See marking grid posted under the Assessments page of Blackboard.
It is essential that you understand that the quality of your first assignment will determine the quality of your 2nd and 3rd assignment as they are all linked– assignments 2 and 3 continue and build upon those that come before. If you put good effort into assignment 1, the remaining assignments will be easier for you and your overall mark in this unit will undoubtedly improve.
As this is a Research Proposal, it should be written in future tense, e.g. “Data collection will be accomplished through …”
NO data will be collected in this 1st assignment.
2,500 words minimum. Instructions attached.
HST3501 Health Research Project
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