Research Methods

When young people advance a policy argument in public settings, there is typically either an explicit or implied problem or issue that the policy argument is meant to address. To build a case for the existence or severity of a problem, presenters often provide evidence based on research. The type of evidence, as well as the approach to research, can vary widely. Presenters may provide their own survey data, census data from data sets, first person accounts (testimonials) or multimedia (video, maps, audio). Regardless of the type of evidence, the quality and relevance of the evidence is important to the strength of the action civics work. And regardless of the chosen approach to research design, the quality and relevance of the approach is also important to the strength of the young people’s argument. Accordingly, quality within this construct refers not only to how well youth understand their data, but also how they leverage it within their culminating performance– in other words, do they make visible to the audience both the ways in which they went about collecting their data as well as their rationale for methodological approach?

  1. Methods for Data Collection
  2. Presentation of Results or Findings
  3. Connection of Methods to Problem or Policy