World Research 2016 — Mr. Dunne
Guidelines for the Freshman Research Project
South America Logo.jpg
We will spend the bulk of the winter term working on a research project, which will result in 7- to 9-page, fully documented research paper and a 8- to 10-minute oral presentation. As a class, we will explore aspects of the history of South and Central America, including the Caribbean. During the first two weeks of class we will skim background material, learn about the research process, and settle on individual topics. By the end of the second week, each student should have a working research topic to pursue for the duration of the term.
The research project will be broken into a number of different components with deadlines occurring as we go. It is crucial that you keep pace, meet your deadlines, and follow directions carefully. If your early preparation is thorough and accurate, the end product often comes together painlessly. If your early preparation is incomplete and sketchy, the end product can be unbelievably difficult. Former students regularly offer this advice when they evaluate the project at the end: “Follow directions and meet your deadlines!”
Below you will find a list of graded steps with their approximate due dates. This wiki will be updated to provide you with weekly expectations and any changes in deadlines. Among the requirements for the project are: topic and statement of purpose; tentative thesis statement; bibliographic evaluations (at least eight sources of at least four different types, and no pure internet sites unless you get have my hard-to-get approval); note cards (at least 40 cards from at least eight sources); an outline; a first draft; a final draft seven to nine pages in length; full documentation, including a bibliography and parenthetical notes/references; and an oral presentation with a significant visual component (poster, Glogster, slideshow, website, etc.).
*Be sure to keep all the material you produce and that I return to you. You will need to turn in all your materials with the final draft. You will receive detailed weekly schedules outlining our work as we go, and you will receive more detailed explanations of the different elements of the project as we proceed.
Grading and tentative deadlines:

This project can earn you a total of at least 500 points and will represent your entire second term grade. Quiz or project points may be added as we go along. Adjustments to the schedule and to point totals may change, but as of now the project looks like this:

subject and statement of purpose
10 pts
Tue, Jan 12
library card from your local library
10 pts
Tue, Jan 12
2 Noodlebib entries
10 pts
Thu, Jan 14
Benelli Writing Center visit
20 pts
optional: anytime before Mon, Feb 22
tentative thesis statement
20 pts
Wed, Jan 20
librarian visit
20 pts
by Fri, Jan 29
4 Noodlebib entries
20 pts
Mon, Jan 25
1st 20 note cards
40 pts
Mon, Jan 25
preliminary outline
20 pts
Thu, Jan 28
2nd 20 note cards
40 pts
Tue, Feb 2
final outline
40 pts
Thu, Feb 4
first draft, with parenthetical references
100 pts
Thu, Feb 11
final draft
60 pts
one week after return of 1st draft
all previous graded material (plus Noodlebib entries and note cards)
20 pts
with above
documentation (parenthetical references and bibliography)
40 pts
with above
oral presentation with visual element
40 pts
begin Mon, Feb 22
return Southworth Library books
10 pts
Thu, Mar 3
presentations quiz
20 pts
Thu, Mar 3
Any late item will automatically lose 10% of that item’s points per day. Don’t miss your deadlines!

Reminder on sources: you need at least eight different sources and at least four different types of sources. You may not use any pure internet sites as sources, unless you have my personal and explicit approval. Other types of sources found on the internet (primary sources, internet books, published articles found through internet databases, etc) may be used without limitation. Besides following directions and meeting your deadlines, the very best advice I can give you is this: there is an acronym, GIGO, used often in the field of computer science. GIGO means "garbage in, garbage out." The same concept applies to this research paper. If you rely on weak, shallow, basic resources for your paper, you will have garbage going in and garbage coming out. If you find sources with substance, depth, and variety, you have a much better chance of producing an excellent final result.




Trust me! I've been doing this a long time and I want to help you make this as successful as project as possible. I can't solve all your research problems, but I know I can help you make progress when you are having trouble. Sometimes I will see the nail clearly even if you can't recognize it!!

Finally, to give me a glimpse of your experience with research projects like this, please complete this survey before we leave today: