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GUIDELINES The term paper project in this class will be in the case study format
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GUIDELINES The term paper project in this class will be in the case study format. You will choose any topic of your interest that is relevant to the subject of this class and thoroughly investigate it using scientific/sociological method. To qualify for full grade your case study must satisfy the following criteria. Each criterion has different weight in the grading scheme (NOTE: This is not an essay!!!!!!!): • Length: Maximum 25 pages double spaced (there is no minimum limit for as long as the paper adequately addresses all required components) DESCRIPTION OF THE PAPER COMPONENT 1. Title 2. Introduction and research question. In this section you need to clearly articulate the question you will be answering in your case study and why the question you are trying to answer is worthy of studying. Keep in mind that topic of your case study IS NOT A RESEARCH QUESTION. For instance, “This paper investigates subsistence farming practices in forest edge communities around Mount Elgon National Park”. This is a good title, but this is not a research question. You should ask yourself: “What do I want to know about these practices? Is this about diversification strategies – how do local communities diversify their livelihood strategies? – or is it about how such subsistence practices change in response to environmental or regulatory changes? You should clearly articulate your research question as a research question! 3. Methodology: in this section you should describe the framework that you will apply for analyzing your research data and protocol you have used to select resources for the analysis: describe the process and rationale you used to find your sources. NOTE: please, make sure that one of your selection criterions should be relevance of the source to the research question. For instance, if you want to know how environmental changes affect livelihood strategies. First, would you want to find out how the choice of livelihood strategies linked to environment. You would look up literature. After reviewing this literature, you should arrive to the list of assumptions that certain types of environmental changes tend to be linked to certain types of livelihood strategies. These assumptions are your analytical framework and you use this framework to look up and analyze information (this could be either academic publications and/or any kind of evidence – media reports, observations, memos, discussions, etc.) relevant to your case study. In our example relevance would be anything relating to subsistence farming around Mount Elgon National Park. Also describe in detail the procedures you used to search for relevant information. Internet search, personal interviews, observations???? Explain where you went and why and the results of these efforts. This is known as data collection methodology and you need to discuss this in your paper in sufficient detail. Readers of your paper should be able to follow your instructions and obtain comparable results. 4. Background information: this section creates the context for the case study and may provide general information on the subject of your case study. For instance, if your subject of research is a community you may briefly describe the geography, economy, demographics and cultural characteristics of this community. 5. Results and Discussion: In this section you will discuss the answer to your research question. You will make an intellectual effort to make sense out of the reviewed information in the context of your own research question and your analytical framework: did you discover expected behaviors and what are they? Did you not discover expected behaviors, then what exactly are the behaviors you have discovered? After summarizing these findings try to make sense of them. How are your findings consistent with the existing literature on the topic? Also try to give your own explanations for findings that are not consistent with previous knowledge. 6. Summary and conclusions: here you briefly summarize your paper. Discuss in one-two paragraphs what your study was about, what question it was trying to answer, what you have done to answer this question and what is the answer to your research question with implications to the body of knowledge in this area. 7. References: Choose the referencing style you like and use it CONSISTENTLY in in-text and in references • Use explicit headings/subheadings: The reader should be able to navigate easily between different sections of the case study (e.g. The title, the Introduction & research question, the methodology, the background information, the results and discussion, the conclusion, the references) • Been well researched: you should use and properly cite all original sources (books and/or academic articles from scientific journals) • Organization of the paper & tentative points distribution scheme: Although students may expect that their papers will be evaluated using the scale below, this scale is only applicable to research papers that meet the requirements of academic research papers written in the case study format. This format assumes that all components of the paper are linked and justified. In other words, the methodology should be suitable to collect proper evidence to answer the research question and the results and discussion section should provide the answer to the research question based on evidence collected using the selected methodology. Papers that fail to maintain this continuity should expect to lose at least 50% of the total points for this assignment.
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