Critical Thinking Exercises

Select a journal article on a social science topic that you are interested in, and use the article to formulate a research question for a new study on the same topic.

The description of previous research described in the article, the findings and contributions presented in the article, and the discussion of limitations and suggestions for further research in the article might be used to formulate and justify a new research question for adding new knowledge on the topic. Different types of research questions might be considered.

See Chapter 4 in the book.


Formulate a research question on quality of life, and choose a research design for examining the research question.

You might discuss different types of research question, and justify the type of question you choose. Regarding the research design, the discussion might focus on the kinds of data and methods that could be used, as well as the strengths and limitations of the design that is chosen.

See Chapters 4 and 6 in the book.


Design and describe a sample plan for a survey study of political participation in Germany. Discuss the choices that are made in designing the plan.

The discussion might focus on the theoretical and operational definitions of the universe, the sampling frame, and the type of sample that is chosen.

See Chapter 8 in the book, in particular the section ‘From universe to sample’.