Field Research

Field Research Overview

To truly understand the many perspectives on an issue, you need to see how the issue impacts people who have a stake in it. Seeing this impact firsthand is valuable in helping yourself understand the significance of the issue and the importance in addressing it.
For this discussion you will conduct two types of field research to help you better understand your topic.


  1. Research: Conduct the interview you planned in Discussion 2.
  2. Research: Conduct a second type of field research. Consider creating and carrying out a survey (you should have at least 100 responses to consider your survey effective enough); volunteering at a local place of government or local shelter/charitable organization and observing during your volunteer time; visiting a local museum; attending a rally or political event; or touring a manufacturing or processing plant, correctional facility, courtroom, or hospital. The point is for you to experience your topic firsthand. Be creative! This research must be conducted during the course of this module (you should not draw on prior experience), and you must be actively involved in your topic (conventional text research will not be accepted).
  3. Think: What did you learn from your observations and interview? What significant information did you gain? What new questions do you have or what new directions might you want to pursue after completing this field research?
  4. Write:
    • Write one paragraph explaining who you interviewed and summarizing the main points you learned from the interview.  
    • Write a second paragraph explaining your field research activity and summarizing what you learned from your observations.  
    • Write a third paragraph analyzing and interpreting the information you gained from this field research. Explain how it will shape or affect your research and what new ideas or questions you have. Field Research

This discussion has two main parts.  First, summarize the interview you conducted based on the previous discussion.  Next, tell us about some field work that you conduct.  Field work is really anything you do that doesn’t involve reading online or in a library.  Anything that gives you a chance to observe your topic or interact with people who play a role in your topic is useful.  As the prompt says, be creative.  The one caveat I will give is: always stay safe.  If, for example, your topic is human trafficking, DO NOT try to interact with traffickers.
As with the interviews, obviously the coronavirus crisis has an impact here.  DO NOT venture out in violation of any state orders or in any way that might endanger your health to conduct fieldwork.  Figure out something virtual you can do.  Social media, for example, is a good resource for things like opinion polls.  Televised press conferences are good sources to report on.  You could also compare and contrast coverage of an issue across different sources.  There are a lot of ways to conduct virtual fieldwork.  Ask me for help, if you have any questions or need some ideas.
After you complete your fieldwork, tell us what it was, what your learned, and how it affected your thinking about your topic.


Author Since: November 30, 2020