RESEARCH PROJECT

RESEARCH PROJECT GUIDELINES

 

The following guidelines will assist you with your Research Project; general comments about the overall project as well as a description of each component are included. Please contact me if you have any questions. All assignments are to be submitted by midnight on the due date (see Course Schedule) using the corresponding link in Canvas (Modules à Assignments, Guidelines & Rubrics).

 

I        General Background:

 

A.   Project Overview and Context: Your project must have as its central theme some issue/problem of global social justice. That is, it cannot focus on the internal dynamics of an individual country. However, specific details or dynamics of particular countries may be incorporated as evidence or examples to support your central thesis. The analysis must be explicitly grounded in one or more aspects of global social justice as discussed in the “Global Justice” reading.

B.    Critical Components: There are five specific critical components or questions that need to be thoroughly examined in your analysis.

 

1.    What is the nature of injustice(s) or oppression relevant to the selected issue?

2.    What are the key historical developments, cases, situations, etc. that have shaped the issue?

3.    What are the contemporary political dynamics of the global social justice issue?

4.    How do policies relevant to the issue have an impact on various groups/individuals?

5.    What are potential solutions to correct the injustices that have been identified?

 

  1. Assignments Overview: Several individual assignments comprise this project. Each is detailed below and builds on previous assignments and the feedback that you receive on them. Some assignments are written while others are oral in nature. The final product is twofold: a research paper of 20-25 pages (6000 – 7500 words) in length (exclusive of title page, appendices and bibliography); a formal presentation that discusses your research topic and findings.

 

All written assignments should adhere to the style guide for your discipline: Criminal Justice – APA; Political Science – Chicago.

 

 

 

II      Research Proposal: 100 pts

 

The research proposal is an initial assignment that describes/details your project. There are two parts that comprise it: the topic description and a working bibliography of at least 30 potential sources (consistent with the appropriate style manual for your major/discipline).

 

  1. Topic Description: a well-developed 2-page document (double spaced) that integrates the following elements:
  2. Draft thesis statement
  3. Detailed description of the topic including all relevant subtopics, core concepts, relevant related ideas, etc.
  4. Discussion of the core idea(s) raised in the “Global Justice” reading that will be the foundation of your project
  5. Research Parameters – time frame, cultural/country(ies)/global context, etc.
  6. Detailed timeline of research tasks and when they will be completed. This is not merely a reiteration of assignment due dates. Rather, you need to identify specific tasks that will lead to the successful completion of those assignments.

 

  1. Working Bibliography: a preliminary bibliography of potential sources that are related to your topic. You are not expected to have read all of the sources at this point. However, you should do an initial screening for topical relevance, potential biases/validity and datedness (is the source too old to be relevant, e.g. statistical/data sources)

 

  1. at least 30 potential sources
  2. balance of primary and secondary sources
  3. at least 50% of the sources should be scholarly (peer reviewed) journals and books
  4. central and all primary subtopics should have multiple sources

 

III     Research Outline & Revised Working Bibliography: 150 pts

 

The research outline provides a complete organizational “blueprint” of the final paper. It needs to be as detailed as possible to indicate all of the substantive sections and subsections of the paper. Thus, explanatory text should be provided to clarify headings and subheadings. A revised working bibliography should also be attached.

 

Some thought needs to be given to the overall organization of the sections to ensure that there is a logical, coherent flow for the paper. Be aware of the relationship(s) between sections and subsections to avoid redundancy or omissions.

 

The outline format should be consistent with the appropriate style manual for your major/discipline. Please note that these guidelines are in correct Chicago outline format as a model.

 

  1. Outline:

 

  1. 2-3 page document (single spaced)
  2. each primary entry (I) needs to include a brief description (1-2 sentences) of the purpose/scope of that section
  3. subordinate sections (A; 1; a.) should clearly indicate their content, again using brief phrases to supplement the keywords

 

  1. Working Bibliography:

 

  1. at least 30 potential sources; this should reflect addition and deletion of sources since the first working bibliography
  2. balance of primary and secondary sources
  3. at least 50% of the sources should be scholarly (peer reviewed) journals and books
  4. central and all primary subtopics should have multiple sources

 

IV      Research Meetings #1 & #2: 100 pts each

 

Twice during the semester, you will meet with me for an informal discussion of your research project. Generally, we will discuss the substantive issues of the project, your progress to date, and any concerns that you may have regarding the project. Essentially this is an opportunity to get additional feedback/input from me on your project. Additional sessions are strongly encouraged if you need or want them.

 

  1. First Research Meeting:

 

  1. approximately 15-20 minutes
  2. thesis statement
  3. feedback from proposal and outline
  4. next steps to successfully complete the project

 

  1. Second Research Meeting:

 

  1. approximately 15-20 minutes
  2. thesis statement (if needed)
  3. feedback from rough draft
  4. next steps to successfully complete the project

 

V       Partial Rough Draft: 100 pts

 

The partial rough draft (first 10 -12 pages) of the paper is a critical next step. Appropriate section/subsection headings should be used; all citations and a draft bibliography need to be included. In essence, you should be able to focus on polishing this part of the paper as you move into the final stage of the project

 

A.   Essential Components of a Strong Paper:

 

  1. Title – well thought out, attention grabbing; more than just the general topic of the paper
  2. Introduction & Thesis Statement – detailed background/context of the topic with a clear, well-articulated embedded statement of the central argument (roughly 2-3 pages for a 20 page paper)
  3. Body – well-organized content with precise headings and subheadings
  4. Argument – a rigorous discussion and analysis of the topic with ample relevant evidence, examples or case study material to support the central and related arguments
  5. Citations – appropriate for your major/discipline and consistent (parenthetical, footnote or endnote)
  6. Bibliography – an accurate and complete bibliography (NOT “Works Cited”), again, appropriate for your major/discipline
  7. Overall style & formatting – appropriate for your discipline

 

  1. Additional Features – potentially useful but not required:

 

  1. Use of Appendices – The purpose of a set of appendices is to provide supplemental material for the reader. Typically this could be quantitative information, full or excerpted text of legal documents, etc.
  2. Explanatory Footnotes or Endnotes – The purpose is to provide additional information to the reader without detracting from the primary line of reasoning in the paper.

 

VI      Final Paper: 300 pts

 

This should reflect all of your research efforts, the comments provided on the returned partial rough draft as well as those resulting from your research meetings with me.

 

A.   Essential Components of a Strong Paper:

 

  1. Title – well thought out, attention grabbing; more than just the general topic of the paper
  2. Introduction & Thesis Statement – detailed background/context of the topic with a clear, well-articulated embedded statement of the central argument (roughly 2-3 pages for a 20 page paper)
  3. Body – well-organized content with precise and descriptive headings and subheadings
  4. Argument – a rigorous discussion and analysis of the topic with ample relevant evidence, examples or case study material to support the central and related arguments
  5. Conclusion (not a summary) – provides a commentary on the significance of the research and possible subsequent areas of research
  6. Citations – appropriate for your major/discipline and consistent (parenthetical, footnote or endnote)
  7. Bibliography – an accurate and complete bibliography (NOT “Works Cited”), again, appropriate for your major/discipline
  8. Overall style & formatting – appropriate for your discipline

 

  1. Additional Features – potentially useful but not required:

 

  1. Use of Appendices – The purpose of a set of appendices is to provide supplemental material for the reader. Typically, this could be quantitative information, full or excerpted text of legal documents, etc.

 

  1. Explanatory Footnotes or Endnotes – The purpose is to provide additional information to the reader without detracting from the primary line of reasoning in the paper.

 

VII    Formal Presentation: 150 points

 

Your last assignment is an oral presentation (approximately 10-12 minutes in length) of your research project. You will video record your presentation and upload it to Canvas. If you have any problems, please contact IT for assistance. A PowerPoint is expected as well.

 

The presentation should include the following elements: an introduction to the main issues of your research project; the thesis and primary/key points of the central argument; your findings/conclusions.

Last Updated on February 13, 2019 by Essay Pro