Deadline: Final research projects are due by noon on Friday, Dec. 17.
Format and content: 10 pages to analyze a case-study
Research papers are limited to 10 pages (double-space), and should be equally strong in form as content. Writing well is not accessory, but the best way to develop a clear argument. The research is not intended to be a compilation of information : it needs to analyze a specific problem. Do not waste pages providing peripheral information, write concisely and eliminate decorative sentences. Ten pages is little space to go in-depth in a research topic, forcing you to be concise.
The main goal of the final project is to identify and analyze a real question, a problem that does not have immediate answers. Formulating a good research question is the most important part of your work.
If you are writing a paper, the introduction must follow a structure in 3 parts, including:
1) opening catch (to attract the attention of the reader),
2)the identification and statement of the problem (in 2 paragraphs)- this is the spinal cord of your paper;
3) and a brief outline that announces the overall structure of the paper. This is the road map.
If you are not writing a paper, consult with the professor, but keep in mind that you will still need a one page introduction, single space, following this structure.
Bridge case study with class material:
Your research is double-fold: on one front you must collect new information on your specific topic/case-study, and on the other front you must use class materials (concepts, articles, debates) to bridge your specific study with the course. It is important that you establish linkages with the course and situate yourself within the general discussion of the semester for your research not to come out as a stand-alone item.
The bibliography inevitably illustrates the links between course materials (articles and books) and your own research. You should have at least 10 sources from coursework, and as much from your own research. Wikipedia (and the like) is not an accepted source of information: please do the appropriate follow up research if you find anything useful there.
This is the main goal of your research. The final class conference should be an arena of debate and peer analysis that will allow you to integrate a strong critical dimension in your paper before turning in the final version to the professor. The goal of presenting your research in class is to have your work discussed by colleagues so that you are able to identify analytical weaknesses/gaps to strengthen the final, written version.
Grading and feedback: the above points will be taken into account to grade your paper. An introduction without the proper trio catch, problem, outline will automatically lower the grade. Same for a bibliography that does not count at least 10 sources. Feedback will consist of a paragraph of feedback via email- if you are writing the paper in the context of a larger project (such as a thesis) please email me a note telling what aspects you would like most specific feedback on.