2018-2019 | FIND WEBNOTES HERE
Office hours: Wednesdays 2:30-3:20 in A310 / 705 474 3450 ex 4889
Course overview: This course focuses on feminist research methods and contemporary Canadian scholars who analyze gender, race, class and / or sexuality in international and domestic contexts. We will attend to the arguments made by the researchers, as well as their methods and methodologies; how they do what they do. The end of the first term and all of the second term are dedicated to working together and independently on original research projects that will incorporate fundamental concepts from contemporary anti-oppression theories.
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a considerable familiarity with the key theories and methodologies informing social justice and equality analyses particularly in the West, and particularly over the 20th century
- Understand and use an intersectional approach/methodology in written and oral analyses of injustice and inequality
- Clearly articulate to a lay person how the central identity categories of sex, gender, race, class and sexuality continue to operate to mediate power and privilege across global and local contexts and in relation to the specific theme of the chosen topic
- Demonstrate a sophisticated ability to apply the conceptual and theoretical lexicon of the discipline to ‘real world’ examples of injustice and inequality.
- Develop a clear, coherent thesis proposal and abstract.
- Construct and sustain well reasoned analytical arguments in consistent, coherent and grammatical prose and express these analyses both in a substantial written project/essay and in verbal analyses
Successful graduates of this course will demonstrate:
- Significant depth of knowledge and familiarity with the key issues, methodologies and theoretical concerns critical to developing a sophisticated understanding of the social and political production of inequality and injustice
- A significantly enhanced ability to apply complex theories—such as feminist and anti-racist approaches to interlocking oppressions—to the research and examination of the effects of power on everyday life in local, national and global contexts.
- A comprehensive ability to assess, critically reflect upon, and critically engage complex theory and arguments both individually and collaboratively with others.
Overall Expectations: Students are expected to attend every class having read and thought about all the articles assigned for that week. Students are expected to make meaningful contributions to classroom discussion. Students are expected to start thinking about their research paper from day one and to work consistently on it. For the roundtable discussion of proposed topics in January, students are expected to have a strong sense of the topic and where and how they want to focus. The better formed your ideas, the better faculty and classmates can provide feedback.
Required Texts: The required readings are available as a coursepack through Print Plus and They Say / I Say is available at the Nipissing University Bookstore. You will need They Say / I Say in both terms.
Attendance / participation 15% Both terms
Assignment 1: They Say / I Say 4% September 20 2018
Assignment 2: Literature search 5% September 27 2018
Assignment 3: Annotated bibliography 1 8% October 18 2018
Assignment 4: Annotated bibliography 2 8% November 8 2018
Proposal & Annotated bibliography 3 10% Due January 10 2019
Thesis draft – no grade, but required Due February 28 2019
Conference paper & presentation 15% Due April 4 2019
Final research essay 35% Due April 5 2019
Late penalties will be applied in this class. If your assignment is submitted after the deadline without an extension, you will be penalized 10% per day, up to a maximum of one week late. You may not submit any assignments more than one week after the original deadline unless you have been granted an extension. Extensions will be considered in advance of the deadline. Extensions are not available for the final research essay. All term work must be submitted by the last official day of classes, except with written permission of the Dean of Arts and Science.
AccessAbility: Students with a range of learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability / health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach the Student Accessibility Services Office as soon as possible. The Student Accessibility Services staff (located in A201) are available by appointment to assess specific needs, provide referrals and arrange appropriate accommodations. The sooner you let us know your needs the quicker we can assist you in achieving your learning goals for this course. You can contact Student Accessibility Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-474-3450 x4362.
Laptops and phones
Students are permitted to use laptops only for taking notes from the lectures. Playing games, surfing the internet, checking e-mail, direct messaging, watching videos or listening to music are not permitted during class time. If you are disrupting other students with this kind of laptop or phone activity, you will be asked to turn off your device/s.
All materials developed for this course, including, but not limited to, lectures, lecture notes and slides, assignments, examinations and syllabi, that are provided in class or online, are the intellectual property of the course instructor. Posting, providing, sharing or selling any audio, video, or textual materials from the course is prohibited. Participation in this course constitutes an agreement by all parties to respect the intellectual property rights as well as the privacy of others during and after their association with Nipissing University. The only exception to the above is formally authorized accommodation arrangements made through Student Development Services.
September 6 2018
Welcome and Introductions
In this class, we will address: the syllabus; time-management and practical strategies for researching and writing independently; any preliminary questions you have about the course; and your preliminary research project ideas. How would you like to structure each class? Should we each bring a question for discussion? Or an example for discussion?
You are expected to come with your own questions and thoughts regarding the readings every week. Reading, participation and active engagement with other students are required in a fourth year seminar.
September 13 2018
Becoming an anti-oppressive researcher
Potts, K. & Brown, K. (2005). Becoming an anti-oppressive researcher (pp. 255-286). In Brown, L. & Strega, S. (Eds.) Research as Resistance: Critical, Indigenous and anti-oppressive approaches. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press / Women’s Press. *When the authors refer to “Social Work” in this chapter, consider substituting “Social Justice.”
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “I Take Your Point:” Entering Class Discussions (pp. 162-165). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Come to class with a question and a comment regarding the Potts and Brown chapter. Come prepared for further discussion of your research ideas.
September 20 2018
Hesse-Biber, S.N. (2007). The Practice of Feminist In-Depth Interviewing (pp. 111-148). In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.) Feminist Research Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). Introduction: Entering the Conversation (pp. 1-18). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Assignment 1: Complete the two exercises at the end of the Graff and Birkenstein chapter (pp. 16-18). Value 4%
Come to class with a question and a comment regarding the Hesse-Biber chapter.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Rosemary Nagy 3:30 until the break
September 27 2018
Method: Focus Groups
Leavy, P. L. (2007). Excerpt from The Practice of Feminist Oral History and Focus Group Interviews (pp. 172-186). In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.) Feminist Research Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “They Say”: Starting with What Others are Saying (pp. 19-29). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Assignment 2: Come to class having searched for literature that will help you become more familiar with your research area. Keep track of the search engines that you use (e.g. Ebscohost, Scholar’s Portal, Project Muse) as well as the search terms that you have used in each search engine (i.e. “human rights” and “South Africa” in Ebscohost, Project Muse, etc). This will help you avoid repeating searches and develop a sense of which search terms are better than others. Submit a record of these searches in class. Save the .pdfs of articles that look promising to your computer in a file marked “Thesis Articles.” Review the “Research: Work Smart, Not Hard” section of https://howtonotsuckatwriting.wordpress.com/guide/#two
Come to class with a question and comment regarding the Leavy chapter.
October 4 2018
Method: Surveys and the Positive Spaces Research Project
Reinharz, S. (1992). Feminist Survey Research and Other Statistical Research Formats (pp. 76-94). Feminist Methods in Social Research. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “Her Point Is”: The Art of Summarizing and “As He Himself Puts it”: The Art of Quoting (pp. 30-52). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton. *These two chapters will be integral to the annotated bibliography due after Reading Week.
Come to class with a question and comment regarding the Reinharz chapter.
Guest Speaker: Candace Ghent https://www.nbdmc.ca/project-about/
October 11 2018 – Reading Week, no office hours
October 18 2018
Tuck, E. & K. W. Yang (2014). R-Words: Refusing Research (pp. 223-248). In Paris, D. & Winn, M.T. (Eds.) Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with Youth and Communities. Washington, DC: Sage.
Assignment 3: Based on your preliminary literature search, select five articles that relate to your research project. Read and summarize each article. Provide a bibliographic reference, identify the argument and identify how you might use the source. You may include articles, chapters or books relevant to your research question/s or areas. Cutting and pasting from abstracts or summaries is not an acceptable approach to creating an annotated bibliography. Ideally, the articles in your annotated bibliography will be useful to your thesis and you will continue working with these articles throughout the next term. You should include relevant course readings (from any course), as appropriate. In addition to Graff and Birkenstein’s chapters on summarizing and quoting, here is a good reference for annotated bibliographies: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/annotated-bibliography.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Leslie Thielen-Wilson
October 25 2018
Discourse Analysis: Power, Knowledge and the Subject
Wetherell, M. (2003). Themes in Discourse Research: The Case of Diana (pp. 14-28). In Wetherell, M., Taylor, S. and Yates, S.J. (Eds.) Discourse Theory and Practice: A Reader. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Hall, S. (1997 / 2003). Foucault: Power, Knowledge and Discourse (pp. 72-81). In Wetherell, M., Taylor, S. and Yates, S.J. (Eds.) Discourse Theory and Practice: A Reader. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Hasinoff, A. (2015). Discourse Analysis: How to find Common Sense (164-167). Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
November 1 2018
Contemporary Feminist Analysis
Groeneveld, E. (2015). Are We All Pussy Riot? On Narratives of Feminist Return and the Limits of Transnational Solidarity. Feminist Theory 16 (3): 289-307. Read online via Nipissing e-journals.
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). What’s Motivating This Writer? Reading for the Conversation (pp. 176-186). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
In reading Groeneveld’s article pay attention to the structure as well as the content: What is covered in the abstract? What will you cover in your abstract? What are some of the rhetorical strategies employed here (e.g. “While not dismissing… this article asserts…”)? How does the author start the essay? Does the anecdote get you interested to know more? Which key concepts does the author define for the reader? In which paragraph does the author summarize her argument and research questions? What are the texts that are analyzed? What does the author cover in the first four paragraphs? Why does the author explain the “feminist events” in such detail (e.g. live, media and meme)? What are some of the media examples that the author offers as evidence? Does the author analyze this evidence or take it at face value? What purpose do the various sections serve? For example, does each section make a distinct point that serves the larger argument? Notice how Groeneveld does not depend on academic literature focused on Pussy Riot because this literature—for the most part—does not yet exist. Instead, she draws on the notion of the “feminist killjoy” by Ahmed and feminist narratives of “progress, loss and return” as identified by Hemmings in order to create her analysis. Be open to using concepts and arguments that you have encountered throughout your GESJ degree in creating your analysis.
Guest Speaker (over skype at 5:00 pm): Dr. Elizabeth Groeneveld, Old Dominion University
November 8 2018
Literature Review and Research
Silvia, P. J. (2007). Specious Barriers to Writing A Lot (pp. 11-28). How to Write A Lot. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “Yes / No / Okay, But:” Three Ways to Respond, “And Yet”: Distinguishing What You Say From What They Say and “Skeptics May Object:” Planting a Naysayer in Your Text (pp. 53-90). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Assignment 4: Once again, based on your preliminary literature search, select five articles that relate to your research project. Read and summarize each article. Provide a bibliographic reference, identify the argument and identify how you might use the source. You may include articles, chapters or books relevant to your research question/s or areas. Cutting and pasting from abstracts or summaries is not an acceptable approach to creating an annotated bibliography. Ideally, the articles in your annotated bibliography will be useful to your thesis and you will continue working with these articles throughout the next term. You should include relevant course readings (from any course), as appropriate. In addition to Graff and Birkenstein’s chapters on summarizing and quoting, here is a good reference for annotated bibliographies: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/annotated-bibliography.
November 15 2018
So what? Who cares? Discussion of final projects
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “So What? Who Cares?” Saying Why It Matters (pp. 91-100). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Come prepared to outline your preliminary ideas for your final research essay and offer feedback to others in the seminar. What interests you? What will you analyze? Come to class having identified text/s or practices that you would like to analyze. Get acquainted with your text / practice before class. Some examples from previous years include: representations of colonialism in elementary-level Canadian History textbooks; representations of people with disabilities on teen TV; Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony concerning the shooting of Michael Brown; representations of brides on Say Yes to the Dress compared to SYTTD: Big Bliss; and the Canadian government’s role in the incarceration of Omar Khadr. Come prepared to introduce us to your text / practice and give us some sense of what kinds of questions you intend to explore in relation to it. Often, the more specific your project is, the easier it is to accomplish. Generate possible research questions. Remember that research projects often change in process, so you are setting a course for your research but the ideas that you present today may not be exactly where you end up.
Guest: Dr. Sal Renshaw
November 22 2018
Read “Thesis statement: Have One” at https://howtonotsuckatwriting.wordpress.com/guide/#one
Drawing on the resource above, draft a working thesis statement that addresses your purpose / argument, method and working thesis. Additionally, “identify several key elements: 1) The scholarly context of the paper’s thesis and/or intervention. How does this paper forward previous understanding? Why is it important? This means mentioning previous work in the area and discussing how scholars have framed the issue before. 2) The methodology of the research/analysis. How will this paper accomplish its goals? This latter point might entail identifying new evidence or a new methodology” (https://www.cmstudies.org/m/feed_detail.asp?id=12508&mid=1319401accessed August 7, 2018).
We will review these in class as a group.
November 29 2018
We will collectively decide what to do with this class. We can put the time toward proposal discussions or proposal writing. We could have one-on-one meetings. What do you think would be most beneficial to you at this time?
January 10 2019
GESJ Faculty Visit
Research Proposals with Annotated Bibliography due – Value 10%
There are a lot of moving parts this week so here is what you need to do:
- Submit your Research Proposal and the last five articles for your Annotated Bibliography. The detailed expectations for the Research Proposal can be found in the syllabus under “Assignments.”
- In addition to your proposal, craft a 300 word abstract / working thesis that summarizes your research project. A good abstract “will clearly and succinctly identify several key elements: 1) The scholarly context of the paper’s thesis and/or intervention. How does this paper forward previous understanding? Why is it important? This means mentioning previous work in the area and discussing how scholars have framed the issue before. 2) The methodology of the research/analysis. How will this paper accomplish its goals? This latter point might entail identifying new evidence or a new methodology. 3) The thesis of the argument or research to be presented. What is your argument?” (http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.cmstudies.org/resource/resmgr/2017_Conference/2017Submitting-a-Proposal.pdf accessed August 16, 2016). Email your abstract to me by January 7 2019 at noon and I will circulate it to the GESJ faculty. I will project them onscreen and we will review them together in class.
- Also, in order to introduce your abstract to the GESJ faculty come to class having prepared a 5 minute (max) talk that will cover:
- what you are passionate about (what inspired your research)
- the problem you are thinking of addressing
- a couple of theories you are thinking of using to address it
- a couple of reasons the theories may or may not be useful
- a problem you are having in thinking through the project
The GESJ faculty will read your abstract in advance of the seminar and will come prepared to hear what you have to say (see above) and offer some feedback on and suggestions for your proposed research.
From now on, the time that you would have spent reading for this course should now be spent developing your thesis. You are all expected to contribute meaningfully to each other’s research projects. The final presentations should be representative of all our hard work. To attend only to your own research is unhelpful and will harm your overall mark.
January 17 2019
I will mark and return your proposals by today. As soon as I have marked your proposal, I will email my feedback to you individually. This week is open and we might have one on one meetings in my office.
January 24 2019
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “As A Result:” Connecting the Parts (pp. 101-116). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
This week, you are required to email 3 double-spaced pages of your work to the others in your group by a mutually determined time (whatever gives everyone enough time to read and edit everything). You will read each other’s work in advance and during class time you will meet in small groups to discuss each piece of writing. You are expected to make suggestions regarding form and content (everything from spelling, to sentence structure, to paragraphs, to citations, to argumentation), and ask academic questions about each other’s work. Make an effort to find a balance between eviscerating and offering only compliments. Constructive criticism will help your fellow students and aid in their learning. Finding typos and writing errors will improve their grade overall. You do not need to take all of the suggestions that are offered to you. This process is meant to help you hone and clarify your own thinking and argumentation. This week I recommend focusing on the “They Say / I Say” part of your argument. This means formulating your literature review and explaining how your analysis differs from the current literature.
January 31 2019
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “You Mean I Can Just Say It That Way?” Academic Writing Doesn’t Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice (pp. 117-130). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Just like last week, you will email 3-4 new or substantially revised pages of your work to at least two other students. We will repeat the group work that we did last week. This week I recommend working on your analysis.
February 7 2019
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “But Don’t Get Me Wrong:” The Art of Metacommentary (pp. 131-140). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Just like last week, you will email 3-4 new or substantially revised pages of your work to at least two other students. We will repeat the group work that we did last week. This week, your writing must touch on your methodology, if you haven’t already.
February 14 2018
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “He Says Contends:” Using the Templates to Revise (pp. 141-161). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Where are you at with your research? Should we repeat the exercise above and continue to focus on your analysis? What would be most beneficial to the group? We will decide together what to do with this class.
Also, this is often the time of year when the Undergraduate Research Conference is announced. Does anyone want to present? Discuss.
February 21 2019 Study week—no office hours
February 28 2019
Research essay drafts due today
The expectations for the draft can be found in the syllabus under “Assignments.”
I will email your feedback as soon as I have completed it. In this class we will discuss the practice of cutting a large research project to create a 10 minute presentation. If relevant, we will discuss the Undergraduate Research Conference.
March 7 2019
We will discuss what to do with this class. We need to be working concurrently on finishing the final papers and conceptualizing the final presentation, preferably in that order.
March 14 2019
Research essay drafts will be returned on or before this date. The feedback on your draft is intended to give you a sense of how you are doing and how much improvement needs to be made in the next few weeks.
Come to class prepared to tell us what you plan to cover in your final presentation. Ideally, your final presentation will offer your audience a sense of the focus and scope of your thesis, but because it is only 10 minutes long you will only be able to cover one or two additional points that communicate and demonstrate the essence of your research. These points should showcase at least one example of the original research / insights that you are bringing to your topic. Keep in mind that it is good to have a narrative in mind for your presentation. You are looking to hook the listener and get them interested in, and excited about, your project. You also need to be able back up what you are saying so that the listener is convinced by your argument / analysis. Remember, the writing adage: “Show, don’t tell.” (Google this phrase if you have no idea what I’m talking about). If you want to send me some points in advance of class, I will happily look them over and give you feedback. You need to come up with panel titles, so we can dedicate some time in class to that. Feel free to discuss this with your fellow panelists outside of class time as well.
March 21 2019
In class this week you will give a 10 minute presentation based on your final research essay. This is the dress rehearsal for the final public presentation. Come prepared to offer and receive constructive commentary. Make sure that your presentation provides an outline of the primary argument/s made in your paper and offers your listeners a few excellent and original examples that clearly support and develop this argument. In these examples your analysis should be clear, detailed and supported by theory. Anything else in your presentation is there to set up your argument/s and examples (i.e. necessary context, concepts defined, theories employed). Your presentation should look like the culmination of four years of study in Gender Equality and Social Justice and should address a listener who is knowledgeable in anti-oppression scholarship. It should be rigorous, insightful, convincing and engaging. Make every sentence count and really show off your arguments and analysis. Come to class ready to deliver your well-timed and organized 10 minute presentation, but be prepared to make some changes as necessary. We will make concrete suggestions for changes on visual aids, content and the order of the information.
In this class, you will organize the research papers into theme-based panels, determine the order the papers will be given in on each panel, and provide me with a final title for the panel. This week you can also figure out the best order for the panels based on the content of each paper. If you do not do a dress rehearsal presentation you will not be permitted to do the final public presentation.
March 28 2019
I am building some flexibility into the syllabus here. We should probably do an additional run-through of final presentations on this date. We will decide as a group what to do on this date.
April 4 2019
Final Presentation – Value 10%
On this day you will give a 10 minute public presentation based on your final research essay. It will be awesome. You are all so clever. You will need to coordinate your visual aids (Prezi / PowerPoint) within your panels. Send me you final paper titles and I will make a program for the faculty and guests.
April 5 2019 (not a seminar day—just the official last day of classes)
Final Honours Thesis Due – Value 35%
Final research essays due by noon via email. It is very important that your writing be near perfect in this final draft and that your argument is polished and well-supported. Please note that I cannot accept any late papers after April 5 2019. This deadline is firm. To submit beyond this date requires permission of the Dean of Arts and Sciences. To submit before this deadline is welcome and encouraged.
Participation is absolutely central to the success of the Honours Seminar. In the first term, you must come to class having completed the readings and ready to actively discuss them. In the second term you will be expected to offer thoughtful questions and constructive suggestions to shape and develop the work that each student is developing. The final research essays produced by this class should be a reflection of all the hard work that we will collectively put into improving our research and writing. You will have to earn this 20%. Please keep in mind that if I am ever to write a letter of reference for you in the future, I will be asked to comment on your academic abilities (written and verbal), but also commitment, reliability, punctuality, leadership and engagement with other students.
Assignment 1 4%
Due September 20 2018, complete the two exercises at the end of the Graff and Birkenstein chapter (pp. 16-18).
Assignment 2 5%
On September 27, 2018, come to class having searched for literature that will help you become more familiar with your research area. Keep track of the search engines that you use (e.g. Ebscohost, Scholar’s Portal, Project Muse) as well as the search terms that you have used in each search engine (i.e. “human rights” and “South Africa” in Ebscohost, Project Muse, etc). This will help you avoid repeating searches and develop a sense of which search terms are better than others. Submit a record of these searches in class. Save the .pdfs of articles that look promising to your computer in a file marked “Thesis Articles.”
Assignment 3 8%
On October 18, 2018, based on your preliminary literature search, select five articles that relate to your research project. Read and summarize each article. Provide a bibliographic reference, identify the argument and identify how you might use the source. You may include articles, chapters or books relevant to your research question/s or areas. Cutting and pasting from abstracts or summaries is not an acceptable approach to creating an annotated bibliography. Ideally, the articles in your annotated bibliography will be useful to your thesis and you will continue working with these articles throughout the next term. You should include relevant course readings (from any course), as appropriate. In addition to Graff and Birkenstein’s chapters on summarizing and quoting, here is a good reference for annotated bibliographies: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/annotated-bibliography.
Assignment 4 8%
On November 8 2018, based on your preliminary literature search, select five articles that relate to your research project. Please follow the directions above.
Research Proposals with Annotated Bibliography 10%
On January 10 2019, you must submit a double-spaced 4 page (minimum) research proposal and a single spaced annotated bibliography outlining an additional five articles related to your research. Write with an eye toward being able to copy and paste some of these sections into your first draft. Your thesis proposal should include (in any order):
– Proposed section outlines for your thesis with brief descriptions of their content and purpose. For your amusement and inspiration, review the section entitled “Outline: Do it. Or else” at https://howtonotsuckatwriting.wordpress.com/guide/#two. In general, a final thesis will include an introduction that is written very late in the writing process. Do not worry about the introduction at the proposal stage. You will likely end up rephrasing your research question from Part 2 below and dropping it into your introduction. Bracketing the introduction, typical sections of a thesis include (page numbers are estimates for how much space these sections will comprise in your final thesis, not in the proposal):
PART 1: INTRODUCTION (1 page)
PART 2: RESEARCH QUESTION AND METHOD/OLOGY (1-2 pages) — A thesis should display a high degree of focus and make a point that is interesting and fresh in relation to the existing literature. Include the “so what?” in this section by explaining why this research matters. What does your research tell us about racial / gendered / economic power today? What “texts” are you examining? Why these texts? Explain the method you are using and why this is the method of analysis that you have chosen (e.g. I have chosen to create a critical textual analysis of media / law. A critical textual analysis means x and is best because of y).
PART 3: LIT REVIEW AND THEORY (3 pages) — What have others written on this subject and what is the original perspective / problem that you are identifying? Which concepts are central to your analysis? Define and explain them.
PART 4: ANALYSIS (10 pages) —This is where you make your argument and link all evidence / examples to the argument and context. Use evidence / examples that work together to provide a strong cumulative impression; Draw out subtext and explain unapparent points.
PART 5: CONCLUSION (3 pages) — forcefully bring together the main points to make a compelling argument that adds a new dimension to the original thesis.
In your proposal, aim to “rough out” these sections (above) and what they will look like.
Make sure that your proposal includes:
– A clear statement of your research question/s or topic;
– A background statement contextualizing the question/s with which you are engaging and the primary theories you will draw upon (i.e. feminist / postcolonial / postmodern / critical race / human rights);
– A brief review of the literature that summarizes how others have engaged with the same or similar question/s and their conclusions, as well as works that you will draw upon in your own analysis (must refer to works in your annotated bibliography);
– A clear statement of how your work will be similar to, and different than, the literature you have reviewed;
– A clear statement of the theoretical implications your work has for the field/s you are drawing from and a clear statement of the practical implications your work may have;
– Optional: A preliminary reflexive statement of how you locate yourself in relation to your research project. This is not meant to be a list of your many identities, but rather a critical look at the frameworks and conceptual schemes that comprise your social location which, in turn, influence the creation and understanding of the research question/s.
Research Essay Draft
A draft of your thesis must be submitted on February 28 2019. This should be a polished 12 page draft—edited and free of typos. Make sure that your draft contains a well-developed literature review (They Say / I Say), method and analysis. The intro and conclusion are not especially important at this point. The feedback on your draft is intended to give you a sense of how you are doing and how much improvement needs to be made before the final deadline. I will assess and return this assignment to you within two weeks. There is no recorded grade for this assignment and it is not optional; you must submit a draft.
Final presentation 10%
You will be graded on how well you have captured your overall research project, the complexity and relevance of your ideas, your use of GESJ-related concepts and literature, whether your presentation was engaging and comprehensible, facility in answering questions and, to some extent, your presentation skills (e.g. if you go over time you will be penalized). Being able to summarize and present your original research to an audience unfamiliar with this material is a very important skill. If you struggle with public speaking please talk to me.
Final research essay 35%
Your final research paper is worth 35% of your final grade and due on the official last day of classes. It must be 20 pages plus bibliography, double-spaced, and must include relevant use of at least 10 academic readings. Your research essay must engage meaningfully with academic literature and frameworks related to Gender Equality and Social Justice, while being more than an overview of articles you have read. You are expected to take up the conceptual tools learned in GESJ and apply them in an area that is of interest to you. You must endeavor to create original research and theory that will put concepts and content together in new ways.
Important notes for written assignments:
– On the title page please include your name and always keep a copy of your paper in print or computer file.
– All assignments must be double-spaced, in 12 point font (not a fancy font please), with1 inch margins and page numbers, unless otherwise noted.
– All assignments should be submitted in the lecture period.
– Assignments will not be accepted over email, unless otherwise noted.
– Only under truly extraordinary circumstances will an extension be considered by the instructor. Time management is essential and must be cultivated.
– Remember to provide a title, preferably one that highlights your thesis or central concerns.
– Avoid lengthy, overly general introduction; state your intentions concisely and engagingly.
– Each paragraph is to be a unit of thought and should develop an idea.
– Provide transition between topics. Your essay should have continuity; it should “hang together.”
– Support or illustrate your assertions; be as specific and precise as possible.
– Quoted materials (see “plagiarism” below) belong in quotation marks and a page number should be supplied. See syllabus for complete APA references for readings in the course reader. Use a style guide for references and be consistent. Ideas or passages that are paraphrased (written in your own words) also need to be referenced.
– Avoid over-use of quoted materials. Passages that are quoted need to be contextualized and require comments that directly forward your own argument.
– You may use the word “I” in your work for this class.
– Proofread to avoid errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Plagiarism and academic dishonesty are serious offences. It is your responsibility to be familiar with Nipissing’s policies on academic dishonesty. Please make yourself familiar, here: http://www.nipissingu.ca/calendar/studentpolicies_academicdishonesty.asp
Any instances of students plagiarizing or cheating will be dealt with according to this policy.
Statement of what grades mean:
80-100% indicates EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE: comprehensive in-depth knowledge of the principles and materials treated in the course, fluency in communicating that knowledge and independence in applying material and principles.
70-79% indicates GOOD PERFORMANCE: thorough understanding of the breadth of materials and principles treated in the course and ability to apply and communicate that understanding effectively.
60-69% indicates SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE: basic understanding of the breadth of principles and material treated in the course and an ability to apply and communicate that understanding competently.
50-59% indicates MINIMALLY COMPETENT PERFORMANCE: adequate understanding of most principles and materials treated in the course, but with significant weakness in some areas and in the ability to apply and communicate that understanding.
0- 49% indicates FAILURE: inadequate or fragmentary knowledge of the principles and materials treated in the course or a failure to complete the work required in the course” (Faculty handbook,
http://www.nipissingu.ca/academics/faculties/arts-science/Pages/Faculty-Handbook.aspx, accessed July 11, 2016).