MENG 6010: Seminar in Research Methods
Dr Vicki Ramirez
Office Hours: 4:30-5:00 Wednesdays
OBJECTIVES: This course is designed for MENG students in their first or second semester, and will introduce them to research methodologies and the producing of scholarly writing at the Masters level. Students will learn how to write such documents as abstracts and annotated bibliographies, learn to format articles, assess databases and journals, and review critical approaches for scholarly writing. Students will apply all learning to researching, planning, writing, and revising either a final paper for another course, or a paper previously written for another class.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This hybrid, 8 week seminar that we'll spread over the semester, will start with an overview of research methods and aims, and best practices for evaluating sources and journals used in research. The class will put all the learning, research methods, evaluation strategies, bibliographic information, etc., to use when creating their term paper for another MA course, or for a scholarly upgrade of a previously written paper. **Students need to decide as early as possible the thesis of the paper they'll be working on as the final paper project for this course. The idea is that earlier learning and exercises--especially for abstracts, critiques, annotated bibliographies--be applicable to your final project.
After an initial database tutorial and discussion centering on evaluating information, the class will study and become familiar with guidelines for writing abstracts. Next we'll focus on the critical edition of The Dead. In particular, we'll closely read Joyce's complex tale and consider the scholarly articles included in the book. These articles, beyond acting as source of information, introduce the various critical approaches scholars employ when engaged in writing on texts. Additionally, students will produce abstracts for several of these articles.
Toward the end of the semester, students will create a thesis and research plan for their final paper. For this final project, students will be required to put into practice the research skills they have covered in class. The final classes will be workshops, and students will revise their paper following the last workshop. Their grade will largely be based on the scope and strength of the paper, as well as on any revisions made after the workshop. Students will highlight revisions and explain rationale for changes in a monograph accompanying this revision.
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Writing 3rd Edition
The Dead by James Joyce, Ed. Daniel Schwarz
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition
1 MLA/APA Citation Exercises: Placing bibliographic data in two citation forms. Handout from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers See WSU Writing Center. 5 pts
2 Abstracts: Three 150-word summary abstracts; two 250-word evaluative abstracts 25pts total Writing Abstracts
3 Journal Evaluations: Locate 10 refereed journals, print and online, that publish articles related to your topic; write a brief entry for each journal that records essential info, such as publication frequency, university affiliation, rate of acceptance, etc. With this assignment you'll be submitting a summary abstract. 10 pts
5 Annotated Bibliography: This assignment has two parts. The first is the proposal, in 500 words, justifying your research topic. 20 pts
6 Workshop Critique Form and Participation: At the end of the course and prior to submitting your final paper for a grade in this course, students will workshop their paper following criteria the class will establish. 15 pts
7 Final Paper and Monograph of Revision: You will submit the final draft of a paper assigned for one of your other courses, or written for an earlier class. A grade will be assigned partly on the strength of the paper itself, and partly on the quality and extent of revision done after workshopping the paper in class. To make clear the extent and quality of the revisions, students will write a (one page) monograph explaining changes made, and why. Students will submit with their paper and monograph the workshop critique from classmates. 25 pts
Quick Class Calendar (see link below for detailed calendar)
wk 1 8/24: syllabus, roll, review of library data bases
wk 2 9/7: evaluating sources; list of literary critical journals; abstract writing
wk 3 9/21: scholarly publishing; discussion of "The Dead"; workshop summary abstracts; critical approaches
wk 4 10/5 psychological and reader-response critical approaches. article questions
wk 5 10/19: discuss New Historical, feminist and deconstructionist approaches
wk 6 11/2: workshop evaluative abstract; discuss final paper project and annotated bibliography; schedule conference with professor if necessary
wk 7 11/16 : Critique form for workshop; workshop thesis and research plans; create peer groups for paper review; schedule conference with professor if necessary
wk 8 11/30: peer review of papers; schedule conference with professor if necessary **Paper due Tues., 12/6 by noon
ACADEMIC HONESTY: As specified in PPM 6-22 IV D, cheating and plagiarism violate the Student Code. Plagiarism is "the unacknowledged (uncited) use of any other personís or groupís ideas or work." Students found guilty of cheating or plagiarism are subject to failure of a specific assignment, or, in more serious cases, failure of the entire course.
According to PPM 6-22 IV, students are to "[d]etermine,
before the last day to drop courses without penalty, when course
requirements conflict with a student's core beliefs. If there is such a
conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who
finds this solution impracticable may request a resolution from the
instructor. This policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the
request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and
capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in
writing and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office
of the department head. The student's request must articulate the burden
the requirement would place on the student's beliefs."
DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION: PPM 3-34 notes: "When students seek accommodation in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities before the beginning of the quarter [semester] in which the accommodation is being requested. When a student fails to make such arrangements, interim accommodations can be made by the instructor, pending the determination of the request for a permanent accommodation." Please provide documentation if you claim a disability.
EMERGENCY CLOSURE: If for any reason the university is forced to close for an extended period of time, we will conduct our class as a hybrid, meaning we will complete core components online using our course website, Weber email, and possibly Blackboard.
USE OF ELECTRONICS IN CLASS: Laptops are part of classroom resources, but I expect them to be used judiciously. That means you are focused on class learning, and not checking email, surfing, gaming, etc, during class. I reserve the right to ask a student not to use a laptop if its presence is abused. I do not allow the use of cell phones or handheld devices in class. I will confiscate it for the class period if I catch you. Please turn off your phone during the class hour.