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Senior Capstone Project: Guide

Research 

Community Research

Emerging Voices: Find Your Voice, Use your Voice!

 

The Webb School encourages you not to be a spectator.  The Emerging Voices program urges students to find their voices.  So, let’s take a hand in the game and use our voices to affect change.  

Your goal in the senior research project is to identify a specific problem within a community and argue for a potential solution for that problem. 

The problem must be sufficiently significant to warrant the attention of a given community.  However, it should also be addressable -- at least in some small part -- in the scope of this project.

See here and here for recent examples of young people doing exactly this kind of work.  Granted, the scale of these projects is probably a bit larger than we might accomplish this quarter, but they should serve as inspiration.  

 

Be inventive and seek original solutions to real-world problems.  Your ability to solve problems, big and small, will be immensely valuable at the personal, academic, and professional level.  So, too, will your ability to construct effective proposals such as the one we’ll be writing this quarter.


Examine a specific, preferably local or community-related, issue

Develop a practical, viable solution for addressing the issue in order to create change within the community.

Questions to ask

25 Ideas for doing Community or local Research

“Primary research involves collecting data about a given subject directly from the real world. ” [Driscoll & Brizee]

  1. Interview an Expert or Professional face to face

  2. Interview an Expert or Professional via phone, Skype, OR email

  3. Visit a Museum

  4. Tour a Factory or Business

  5. Volunteer at an organization

  6. Attend a meeting or service [church, brotherhood, fraternity, society, club]

  7. Shadow an expert [in person or online]

  8. Draw insight from an Internship or Externship

  9. Volunteer or attend a Camp or Retreat

  10. Attend a cultural festival [PowWow, Storytelling festival, African Street Festival,  Nashville Greek Festival, etc.]

  11. Participate in an event [charity or community]

  12. Curation - Creating a collection of resources [physical or online]

  13. Following Twitter Feeds or Blogs - journaling your impressions

  14. Starting a Twitter Feed or blog about your topic

  15. Keeping a research journal

  16. Video Journal an experience

  17. Conduct an Experiment

  18. Test Computer Code

  19. Create an App to address a need

  20. Chart a Contrast/Comparison 

  21. Creating an “Infographic” to include in your presentation

  22. Questionnaires to a small group of people

  23. Survey a group [survey must be approved by Teacher and Lead Adviser]

  24. Create a Statistical survey

  25. Opinion Poll within a group or organization

Articles

JSTOR

GALE

The Tennessean - Full-text articles from The Tennessean newspaper. Provides Nashville and Middle Tennessee regional coverage.

Ebooks

Topic Selection is Research

Choosing a topic is a process.  Choose a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow. Make sure that enough scholarly material is available on the topic.  When was the last time you were listening to the television, news, or a speaker and you felt compelled to “fact check”? What Broad Discipline do you find most interesting? List 1-2 things that you think might be viable research topics.

For Task Definition or Topic Selection checkout

GALE Topic Finder   and   JSTOR Text Analyzer 

Topic Ideas  

Tennessee and Local Issues 

Non-local issues with possible local, novel solutions might include:

The Opioid Crisis in TN Communities
Middle Tennessee Infrastructure/Mass Transit
Overdevelopment (environmental/agricultural/quality of life impact)
Local Theaters/Museums/Art Organizations Affected by Lockdown
Affordable Housing
Rural Health Care Access
Rutherford County Dump
Statues/Monuments (Murfreesboro, Nashville, etc.)
Student Anxiety 

Subject Guide to Tennessee Legislation 

Global Warming
Food Waste
Student Debt
Reparations
Electronic Waste
Incarceration
Voting Access
The Electoral College
Media Consolidation
Campaign Finance

 

 

 

1970s Retro Literary Topic Starters

Modern Topic Starters

AP and Current Affairs Starters

 

"Pre-search" or "Google it"

You will conduct “pre-search” to ensure that your topic is viable.

Make sure that enough scholarly material is available on the topic.

Type 10-20 Key Words to use in your pre-search 

Here are some Tips for Google

Background Research [Lit Review]

Questions to ask and answer in your research:

To help avoid plagiarism the reading/research strategy of journalistic questioning is recommended. The "Gist" worksheet allows you to make notes on a book or article, and then put the source away and write from your notes. The strategy includes the 5Ws and H -- Who, What, When, Where, Why and How 

Kick Start Questions for Background Research [Lit Review]

WHAT - What is my paper about? What are the key points? 
WHY- Why am I writing about this? Why should anyone care? 
WHO - Who are the researchers in the field? Who am I writing about? 
WHERE - Where does the research take place? Is there a prominent location in the study?
WHEN - When does the research take place? What dates are significant? 
HOW - How was the research conducted
 

Summation of the source [focus on what is unique about the source] A brief evaluation statement(s) [is this a "scholarly" source or not] How the work is relevant to your research [How, specifically, do you intend to use the source (e.g. as evidence to support a claim, as a counter-argument, etc.)] 

Webb Library Catalog

Subscription Databases

Free Online Journals

Humanities

STEM                 

JURN finds arts and humanities journals, book chapters, and theses. Science Direct site has 250,000 open-access articles.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) searches more than 7,000 open-access journals, which are searchable at the article level. Wiley free and open-access journals.
High Wire Press boasts that it provides “the largest archive of free full-text science on Earth!” Look for journals marked “free site.” National Institutes of Health offers some of the most extensive access to health research.
 

Timeline [for the most accurate due dates check Canvas]

DATE

ACTIVITY

First Quarter

we’ll focus primarily on the research and essay writing.  Presentations of research will take place in the spring.  

The paper will be 6-8 pages in length, MLA formatted, and will require a minimum of 6 scholarly sources including a primary source.

We will be working on the essay in stages throughout this marking period.  You will be provided details for each assignment.  Below is a tentative schedule of some important dates.  Specific dates will depend on the class period.  Assignments will be posted and submitted through Canvas.
Week of October 19:  three possible topics + proposal
Week of October 26:  working bibliography + notecards
Week of Nov. 2:  notecards complete + outline 
Week of Nov. 9:  half draft
Week of Nov. 16: second half draft
Week of Dec. 1:  complete rough draft
Week of Dec. 7th:  final draft due

Writing and Sharing

Writing a Thesis Statement

Writing the Paper

 

‚ÄčMs. Camp style Outline 

Jump Start:

Write your paper with the presentation in mind.  

Maybe even build your presentation slides to help organize and outline the paper.   

Things to include in the Presentation: 

  • · Introduction
  • · Background Research
  • · Primary Research Methods
  • · Primary Research Findings
  • · Conclusion

 

Introduction

How will you introduce the topic to the audience? 

· Brief gripping story or anecdote

· Surprising, and highly significant facts or statistics

· Summary of a compelling case study

· Powerful quote that leads into your research

Background Research:

  • WHO - Who are the researchers in the field? Who am I writing about?
  • WHERE - Where does the research take place? Is there a prominent location or institution in the research?
  • WHAT - What are the relevant studies? What is the state of the art today? 
  • WHEN - When does the research take place? What dates are significant?
  • HOW – How was the research conducted? How have others gone about trying to solve problems you want to tackle, and in what ways will your approach build on and vary from previous work?

 

Primary Research 

Primary Research Methodology:

Write about how you conducted research - Methodology [Primary Research - Survey, Interview, Test, Experiment, Case Study, Contrast/Comparison, Project Journal, and Internship] 

Primary Research Findings:

Data to include - Findings/Data/Results  

[Explanation of your results can include the use of Tables, Photos, and Maps]

Cite Your Sources

Presentation Tips

Presentation Rubric

Things to include in the Presentation: 

  • · Introduction
  • · Background Research
  • · Primary Research Methods
  • · Primary Research Findings
  • · Conclusion

 

Introduction

How will you introduce the topic to the audience? 

· Brief gripping story or anecdote

· Surprising, and highly significant facts or statistics

· Summary of a compelling case study

· Powerful quote that leads into your research

Background Research:

  • WHO - Who are the researchers in the field? Who am I writing about?
  • WHERE - Where does the research take place? Is there a prominent location or institution in the research?
  • WHAT - What are the relevant studies? What is the state of the art today? 
  • WHEN - When does the research take place? What dates are significant?
  • HOW – How was the research conducted? How have others gone about trying to solve problems you want to tackle, and in what ways will your approach build on and vary from previous work?

 

Primary Research 

Primary Research Methodology:

Write about how you conducted research - Methodology [Primary Research - Survey, Interview, Test, Experiment, Case Study, Contrast/Comparison, Project Journal, and Internship] 

Primary Research Findings:

Data to include - Findings/Data/Results  

[Explanation of your results can include the use of Tables, Photos, and Maps]

Mrs. Little's Google Slides Presentation

Before Public Speaking Ted Talk playlist

Pecha Kucha

Free Google Slides Templates

Free Google Slides Backgrounds

Get Ideas from these Google Slides Templates

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