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Survey research is one of the most important research methods in applied social research. Researchers use surveys to uncover associations and patterns by looking at variation in variables across cases and identifying characteristics that are systematically linked among them. Although traditionally regarded as a nonexperimental and descriptive research method, survey research actually may be used for descriptive, explanatory, and exploratory research purposes.

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Broadly, survey research involves gathering data from respondents thought to be representative of some population, using an instrument composed of closed structure or open-ended questions. It allows efficient collection of data over broad populations, and is amenable to administration in person, by telephone, and over the Internet.

To prepare for this Discussion, consider ways in which survey research may be used for descriptive, explanatory, and exploratory research purposes related to your Final Project topic. Also, think about open-ended and closed-ended questions you might potentially include in a survey for your Final Project topic.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 examples of descriptive, explanatory, and exploratory research related to the research topic you are using for your Final Project. Then explain how surveys may be used in each example. Finally, provide one open-ended and one closed-ended survey question for each of the three examples you provided (for a total of six questions).

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


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