Conceptualizing and operationalizing variables

PURPOSE: The purpose of this exercise is to conceptualize and operationalize variables, and understand how conceptual and operational definitions impact the conclusions drawn about variables.

WRITING REQUIREMENTS: The essay should be 4-6 pages. APA formatting should be used throughout (cover page, running header, major heading, subheadings, in-text citations, and reference list). Any time you paraphrase or directly quote a source, in-text citations should be used.  A full APA-formatted reference should be included at the end of the assignment. Academically, no more that 20% of the essay should be quoted. At least 80% should be in your own words.

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The essay should include the following subheadings:

  • Definitions
  • Conceptualizes race
  • Operationalizes race
  • Census Bureau changes
  • How changes to variables affect conclusions
  • Reflection

INSTRUCTIONS:  Make sure to follow the directions in order.

  1. First, provide a definition of the terms: “conceptual definition” and “operational definition”.
  2. Next, conceptualize and operationalize the variable “race.”
  3. Read the Census Bureau’s report on race at: .
  4. Answer the following questions after reading the report:
    1. What changes did the Bureau make to the conceptualization and operationalization of race in the 2000 census?
    2. Why did the Bureau make these changes?
    3. Could the difference in operationalization produce different conclusions about race?
    4. Does the Bureau’s conceptualization and operationalization of race coincide with yours?  If so, how?  If not, what is different?
    5. APA format about 1000 to 1500 words 4 to 6 pages not including title page, reference page

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