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How to Do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students

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HOW TO DO A RESEARCH PROJECT — COLIN ROBSON

Acknowledegments Introduction

PART I: Making preparations:

Project planning checklist 1 Preliminaries Recognizing realities As a student on a course If you are by yourself If you are doing this as part of your job To everybody Making it worthwhile Considering your audience(s) Individual or group research? Types of group research Support groups Working together successfully Project milestones The structure of the book End-of-chapter tasks Further reading Chapter 1 tasks

2 Approaches to research

A concern for truth Different purposes of research Description Exploration Explanation Emancipation Research design The qualitative/quantitative divide Fixed and flexible designs Fixed designs Flexible designs Overview of some different research traditions Action research Case studies Documentary analysis Ethnographic research Evaluation research Experiments Grounded theory studies Surveys A note on feminist research Choosing an approach Further reading Chapter 2 tasks

3 Developing your ideas

Selecting a topic Replication research From a topic to research questions From research questions to a research design Do I really need research questions? Hypotheses Developing the design Finding and using sources Planning the search for sources Internet searching Library searching Asking the author Dealing with the sources Ethical considerations Ethics committees Ethics guidelines Avoiding the unethical Confirming your choices Further reading Chapter 3 tasks

4 Selecting the method(s) of collecting data

Trustworthiness and credibility Reliability Validity Research arguments Data collection methods Interviews Fully structured interviews Semi-structured interviews Unstructured interviews Group interviews Telephone interviews Using interviews in your project Questionnaires and diaries Questionnaires Diaries Using questionnaires or diaries in your project Tests and scales Using tests or scales in your project Observation – structured and participant Structured observation Participant observation Using observation in your project Using documents and other secondary sources Library research Unobtrusive measures Using documents in your project Other methods Using multiple methods Which method? Further reading Chapter 4 tasks

PART II: Doing it: 5 Practicalities of data collection

Sampling and sample sizes Representative samples Non-probability samples Informed consent Laboratory research Gaining access for field research Formal and informal contracts Getting on and getting out Insider research Pilots Collecting the data What to do if you run into difficulties or out of time Further reading Chapter 5 tasks

PART III: Making something of it: 6 Analysing and interpreting your findings

What this chapter tries to do Preparing for analysis Quantitative (numerical) data Categorical variables Ordered categorical variables Summarizing and displaying categorical data Continuous variables Calculating summary statistics with continuous variables Calculating variability Displaying continuous variables Statistical tests and statistical significance Effect sizes Clinical significance What test do I use? Qualitative data Data reduction and organization An example – the grounded theory approach to analysis Using specialist computer packages for qualitative data analysis Summary of qualitative data analysis Interpretation - what is going on here? Further reading Chapter 6 tasks

7 Writing the report

Planning and drafting Research arguments Claims Reasons and evidence Considering your audience(s) again Avoiding plagiarism Professional standards Language matters References Abstracts and executive summaries The first full draft Revising and polishing The final version Other forms of presentation A final word Further reading Chapter 7 tasks References and author index Subject index

  • About the Author
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how to do a research project a guide for undergraduate students

How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students, 2nd Edition

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How to do a Research Project 2nd edition

A guide for undergraduate students.

How to do a Research Project 2nd edition 9781118691328 1118691326

Colin Robson

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Book Details

Full Title:How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students
Edition:2nd edition
ISBN-13:978-1118691328
Format:Paperback/softback
Publisher:Wiley (12/19/2016)
Copyright:2015
Dimensions:5.9 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
Weight:< 1 lb

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Rent 📙How to do a Research Project 2nd edition (978-1118691328) today, or search our site for other 📚textbooks by Colin Robson. Every textbook comes with a 21-day "Any Reason" guarantee. Published by Wiley.

Publisher Description

Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused second edition guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project. Friendly and accessible, this fully-updated second edition includes a number of accompanying student support materials to aid students further. Closely integrated sets of end-of-chapter tasks covering all aspects of research projects from design to completion, as well as suggested further reading, enhance each chapter. A wide range of additional helpful materials relevant to particular subject areas is also available on the accompanying website at www.wiley.com/college/robson. This textbook is an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines and fields of study, particularly those planning to use social research methods or to carry out a library-based study, for their undergraduate research project.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

Part I – Making Preparations 5

1 Preliminaries 9

Recognizing Realities 9

A serious warning 10

Making it Worthwhile 10

Considering Your Audience(s) 11

Individual or Group Research? 12

Types of group research 12

Support groups 13

Planning Your Project 14

Doing it 15

The Structure of the Book 15

End of Chapter Tasks 16

Further Reading 17

Chapter 1 Tasks 17

2 Using Social Research Methods 19

A Concern for the Truth 19

Different Purposes of Research 20

Description 21

Exploration 21

Explanation 21

Emancipation 21

Research Design 22

Flexible designs 23

Fixed designs 23

Qualitative and quantitative data collection 23

Demands on Researchers 23

Different Approaches to Doing Social Research 24

‘Library’ studies 32

Examples from Undergraduate Projects 32

Methods of Collecting Data 32

Examples from Undergraduate Projects 46

Using More Than One Method 53

Mixed Method Designs 53

Data Collection Methods Used in Different Approaches 54

Trustworthiness and Credibility 54

Reliability 54

Validity 56

Research Arguments 56

Further Reading 57

Chapter 2 Tasks 57

3 Developing Your Ideas 59

Selecting a Topic 59

Researching internet topics 62

Research topics to avoid 62

Replication research 62

From a Topic to Research Questions 63

From Research Questions to a Research Design 63

One research question or several? 65

Do I really need research questions? 65

Hypotheses 66

Developing the Design 67

Finding and Using Sources 67

Planning the search for sources 68

Key word searching 68

Internet searching 69

Library searching 70

Dealing with the sources 71

Getting an Overall Picture 73

Ethical Considerations 74

Formal ethical approval 75

Ethical committees 75

Avoiding the unethical 76

Moving beyond box-ticking 77

Confirming Your Choices 77

Further Reading 78

Chapter 3 Tasks 78

Part II – Doing It 81

4 Practicalities of Data Collection 83

Sampling and Sample Sizes 83

Representative samples 84

Non-probability samples 85

Laboratory Research 86

‘Subjects’ or ‘participants’? 86

Informed Consent 86

Gaining Access 89

Finding the place to carry out your project 90

Making the contact 90

Formal approval isn’t enough 91

Formal and informal contracts 93

Approaching participants 93

Getting on and getting out 95

Insider research 96

Collecting the Data 98

What to Do if You Run into Difficulties or Out of Time 98

Further Reading 100

Chapter 4 Tasks 101

Part III – Making Something of It 105

5 Analysing and Interpreting Your Findings 107

What This Chapter Tries to Do 107

Preparing for Analysis 108

Quantitative (Numerical) Data 109

Categorical variables 109

Ordered categorical variables 110

Summarizing and displaying categorical data 111

Continuous variables 114

Calculating summary statistics with continuous variables 115

Calculating variability 116

Displaying continuous variables 117

Statistical tests and statistical significance 118

Effect sizes 118

Clinical significance 119

What test do I use? 119

Do I really need to use statistical tests? 121

Qualitative Data 122

Data reduction and organization 123

An example – the grounded theory approach to analysis 124

Using specialist computer packages for qualitative data analysis 125

Summary of qualitative data analysis 126

Interpretation – What is Going on Here? 126

Further Reading 129

Chapter 5 Tasks 130

6 Reporting the Findings 131

Planning and Drafting 132

Research Arguments 134

Reasons and evidence 135

Considering Your Audience(s) – Again 136

Avoiding Plagiarism 137

Professional Standards 138

Language matters 138

References 139

Abstracts and executive summaries 139

The First Full Draft 140

Revising and Polishing 140

The Final Version 141

Disseminating Your Findings 142

Oral presentations 142

Other types of publication 143

A Final Thought 143

Further Reading 144

Chapter 6 Tasks 144

References and Author Index 145

Subject Index 153

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Colin Robson

How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students 2nd Edition

Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project.

Friendly and accessible, this fully-updated second edition includes a number of accompanying student support materials to aid students further.  Closely integrated sets of end-of-chapter tasks covering all aspects of research projects from design to completion, as well as suggested further reading, enhance each chapter.  A wide range of additional helpful materials relevant to particular subject areas is also available on the accompanying website at www.wiley.com/college/robson . This textbook is an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines and fields of study, particularly those planning to use social research methods or to carry out a library-based study, for their undergraduate research project.

  • ISBN-10 1118691326
  • ISBN-13 978-1118691328
  • Edition 2nd
  • Publisher Wiley
  • Publication date December 19, 2016
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Print length 176 pages
  • See all details

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Published: a guide to literature review, outlining, experimenting, visualization, writing, editing, and peer review for your first scientific journal article

Editorial Reviews

From the inside flap.

In How to Do a Research Project , Colin Robson has created an essential tool for students.  Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project.

From the Back Cover

In How to Do a Research Project , Colin Robson has created an essential tool for students. Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project.

Friendly and accessible, this fully-updated second edition includes a number of accompanying student support materials to aid students further. Closely integrated sets of end-of-chapter tasks covering all aspects of research projects from design to completion, as well as suggested further reading, enhance each chapter. A wide range of additional helpful materials relevant to particular subject areas is also available on the accompanying website at www.wiley.com/college/robson . This textbook is an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines and fields of study, particularly those planning to use social research methods or to carry out a library-based study, for their undergraduate research project.

About the Author

Colin Robson  is Emeritus Professor of the School of Human and Health Sciences, Huddersfield University.  From 1996–2007 he was chief consultant to the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation project on the development of statistics and indicators on the performance of national systems for the education of children with disabilities, learning and behaviour difficulties, and social disadvantages.  He has recently completed a consultancy to a follow-up project funded by Eurostat. He is the author of the best-selling Real World Research.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wiley; 2nd edition (December 19, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1118691326
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1118691328
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • #823 in Statistics (Books)
  • #877 in Social Sciences Research
  • #1,257 in Authorship Reference

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Students Attend Eastern Psychological Association Research Meeting

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In March, nearly 70 psychology students from Commonwealth University's Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses attended the Annual Research Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA...

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Mansfield student researchers leave mark on annual state-wide biology conference

It was an award-winning showcase for several Commonwealth University-Mansfield students who presented research at the recent 55th annual Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists (CPUB)...

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CU Faculty Member Jessica Briskin Conducts Workshops in Nigeria

Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg professor Jessica Briskin has taken her expertise in delivering remote education to an international audience. In the summer of 2023, Briskin, associate professor of...

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CU-Lock Haven chemistry faculty member published in ‘Protein Science’ journal

A collaborative team of distinguished researchers, including Dr. Kyle T. Root, associate professor of chemistry at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven and co-authors at East Stroudsburg University and...

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Student Success Faculty and Staff Highlight Scholarly Projects

Members of the division of Student Success and Campus Life from Mansfield and Bloomsburg campuses presented data from empirical research projects during presentations at the College Reading & Learning...

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how to do a research project a guide for undergraduate students

How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

ISBN: 978-1-405-11489-9

December 2006

Wiley-Blackwell

How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

Colin Robson

Friendly and accessible, this text includes a number of accompanying support materials to aid students further. Closely integrated sets of end-of-chapter tasks covering all aspects of research projects from design to completion, as well as lists of suggested further reading, enhance each chapter. Additionally, an extensive associated website at www.blackwellpublishing.com/researchproject gives students access to a wide range of helpful materials relevant to their particular needs, making this book an invaluable resource.

  • A student-friendly and supportive guide to designing, implementing, analyzing and reporting on undergraduate degree projects.
  • A key new volume for the vast study skills market, written by the author of the bestselling Real World Research, Second Edition (Blackwell, 2002).
  • Useful for students studying within the fields of education, health, social work, and the social sciences.
  • Includes closely integrated end-of-chapter tasks, covering all aspects of designing and completing the project.
  • Features links to extensive website material appropriate for a wide range of disciplines and fields of study which use social research methods.

Fall 2024 Semester

Undergraduate courses.

Composition courses that offer many sections (ENGL 101, 201, 277 and 379) are not listed on this schedule unless they are tailored to specific thematic content or particularly appropriate for specific programs and majors.

  • 100-200 level

ENGL 151.S01: Introduction to English Studies

Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Sharon Smith

ENGL 151 serves as an introduction to both the English major and the discipline of English studies. In this class, you will develop the thinking, reading, writing and research practices that define both the major and the discipline. Much of the semester will be devoted to honing your literary analysis skills, and we will study and discuss texts from several different genres—poetry, short fiction, the novel, drama and film—as well as some literary criticism. As we do so, we will explore the language of the discipline, and you will learn a variety of key literary terms and concepts. In addition, you will develop your skills as both a writer and researcher within the discipline of English.

ENGL 201.ST1 Composition II: The Mind/Body Connection

In this section of English 201, students will use research and writing to learn more about problems that are important to them and articulate ways to address those problems. The course will focus specifically on issues related to the mind, the body and the relationship between them. The topics we will discuss during the course will include the correlation between social media and body image; the efficacy of sex education programs; the degree to which beliefs about race and gender influence school dress codes; and the unique mental and physical challenges faced by college students today. In this course, you will be learning about different approaches to argumentation, analyzing the arguments of others and constructing your own arguments. At the same time, you will be honing your skills as a researcher and developing your abilities as a persuasive and effective writer.

ENGL 201.S10 Composition II: Environmental Writing   

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1-1:50 p.m.

Gwen Horsley

English 201 will help students develop the ability to think critically and analytically and to write effectively for other university courses and careers. This course will provide opportunities to develop analytical skills that will help students become critical readers and effective writers. Specifically, in this class, students will:

  • Focus on the relationships between world environments, land, animals and humankind.
  • Read various essays by environmental, conservational and regional authors.
  • Produce student writings. 

Students will improve their writing skills by reading essays and applying techniques they witness in others’ work and those learned in class. This class is also a course in logical and creative thought. Students will write about humankind’s place in the world and our influence on the land and animals, places that hold special meaning to them or have influenced their lives and stories of their own families and their places and passions in the world. Students will practice writing in an informed and persuasive manner, in language that engages and enlivens readers by using vivid verbs and avoiding unnecessary passives, nominalizations and expletive constructions.

Students will prepare writing assignments based on readings and discussions of essays included in "Literature and the Environment " and other sources. They may use "The St. Martin’s Handbook," as well as other sources, to review grammar, punctuation, mechanics and usage as needed.

ENGL 201.13 Composition II: Writing the Environment

Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Paul Baggett

For generations, environmentalists have relied on the power of prose to change the minds and habits of their contemporaries. In the wake of fires, floods, storms and droughts, environmental writing has gained a new sense of urgency, with authors joining activists in their efforts to educate the public about the grim realities of climate change. But do they make a difference? Have reports of present and future disasters so saturated our airwaves that we no longer hear them? How do writers make us care about the planet amidst all the noise? In this course, students will examine the various rhetorical strategies employed by some of today’s leading environmental writers and filmmakers. And while analyzing their different arguments, students also will strengthen their own strategies of argumentation as they research and develop essays that explore a range of environmental concerns.

ENGL 201 Composition II: Food Writing

S17 Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:45 p.m.

S18 Tuesday and Thursday 2-3:15 p.m.

Jodi Andrews

In this composition class, students will critically analyze essays about food, food systems and environments, food cultures, the intersections of personal choice, market forces and policy and the values underneath these forces. Students will learn to better read like writers, noting authors’ purpose, audience organizational moves, sentence-level punctuation and diction. We will read a variety of essays including research-intensive arguments and personal narratives which intersect with one of our most primal needs as humans: food consumption. Students will rhetorically analyze texts, conduct advanced research, reflect on the writing process and write essays utilizing intentional rhetorical strategies. Through doing this work, students will practice the writing moves valued in every discipline: argument, evidence, concision, engaging prose and the essential research skills for the 21st century.

ENGL 221.S01 British Literature I

Michael S. Nagy

English 221 is a survey of early British literature from its inception in the Old English period with works such as "Beowulf" and the “Battle of Maldon,” through the Middle Ages and the incomparable writings of Geoffrey Chaucer and the Gawain - poet, to the Renaissance and beyond. Students will explore the historical and cultural contexts in which all assigned reading materials were written, and they will bring that information to bear on class discussion. Likely themes that this class will cover include heroism, humor, honor, religion, heresy and moral relativity. Students will write one research paper in this class and sit for two formal exams: a midterm covering everything up to that point in the semester, and a comprehensive final. Probable texts include the following:

  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Middle Ages. Ed. Alfred David, M. H. Abrams, and Stephen Greenblatt. 9th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Sixteenth Century and Early Seventeenth Century. Ed. George M. Logan, Stephen Greenblatt, Barbara K Lewalski, and M. H. Abrams. 9th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. George M. Logan, Stephen Greenblatt, Barbara K Lewalski, and M. H. Abrams. 9th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.
  • Gibaldi, Joseph. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
  • Any Standard College Dictionary.

ENGL 240.S01 Juvenile Literature Elementary-5th Grade

Monday, Wednesday and Friday noon-12:50 p.m.

April Myrick

A survey of the history of literature written for children and adolescents, and a consideration of the various types of juvenile literature. Text selection will focus on the themes of imagination and breaking boundaries.

ENGL 240.ST1 Juvenile Literature Elementary-5th Grade

Randi Anderson

In English 240 students will develop the skills to interpret and evaluate various genres of literature for juvenile readers. This particular section will focus on various works of literature at approximately the K-5 grade level. We will read a large range of works that fall into this category, as well as information on the history, development and genre of juvenile literature.

Readings for this course include classical works such as "Hatchet," "Little Women", "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and "Brown Girl Dreaming," as well as newer works like "Storm in the Barn," "Anne Frank’s Diary: A Graphic Adaptation," "Lumberjanes," and a variety of picture books. These readings will be paired with chapters from "Reading Children’s Literature: A Critical Introduction " to help develop understanding of various genres, themes and concepts that are both related to juvenile literature and also present in our readings.

In addition to exposing students to various genres of writing (poetry, historical fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, picture books, graphic novels, etc.) this course will also allow students to engage in a discussion of larger themes present in these works such as censorship, race and gender. Students’ understanding of these works and concepts will be developed through readings, research, discussion posts, exams and writing assignments designed to get students to practice analyzing poetry, picture books, informational books and transitional/easy readers.

ENGL 241.S01: American Literature I

Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:45 p.m.

This course provides a broad, historical survey of American literature from the early colonial period to the Civil War. Ranging across historical periods and literary genres—including early accounts of contact and discovery, narratives of captivity and slavery, poetry of revolution, essays on gender equality and stories of industrial exploitation—this class examines how subjects such as colonialism, nationhood, religion, slavery, westward expansion, race, gender and democracy continue to influence how Americans see themselves and their society.

Required Texts

  • The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Package 1, Volumes A and B Beginnings to 1865, Ninth Edition. (ISBN 978-0-393-26454-8)

ENGL 283.S01 Introduction to Creative Writing

Steven Wingate

Students will explore the various forms of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction and poetry) not one at a time in a survey format—as if there were decisive walls of separation between then—but as intensely related genres that share much of their creative DNA. Through close reading and work on personal texts, students will address the decisions that writers in any genre must face on voice, rhetorical position, relationship to audience, etc. Students will produce and revise portfolios of original creative work developed from prompts and research. This course fulfills the same SGR #2 requirements ENGL 201; note that the course will involve a research project. Successful completion of ENGL 101 (including by test or dual credit) is a prerequisite.

ENGL 283.S02 Introduction to Creative Writing

Jodilyn Andrews

This course introduces students to the craft of writing, with readings and practice in at least two genres (including fiction, poetry and drama).

ENGL 283.ST1 Introduction to Creative Writing

Amber Jensen, M.A., M.F.A.

This course explores creative writing as a way of encountering the world, research as a component of the creative writing process, elements of craft and their rhetorical effect and drafting, workshop and revision as integral parts of writing polished literary creative work. Student writers will engage in the research practices that inform the writing of literature and in the composing strategies and writing process writers use to create literary texts. Through their reading and writing of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, students will learn about craft elements, find examples of those craft elements in published works and apply these elements in their own creative work, developed through weekly writing activities, small group and large group workshop and conferences with the instructor. Work will be submitted, along with a learning reflection and revision plan in each genre and will then be revised and submitted as a final portfolio at the end of the semester to demonstrate continued growth in the creation of polished literary writing.

  • 300-400 level

ENGL 424.S01 Language Arts Methods grades 7-12  

Tuesday 6-8:50 p.m.

Danielle Harms

Techniques, materials and resources for teaching English language and literature to middle and secondary school students. Required of students in the English education option.

AIS/ENGL 447.S01: American Indian Literature of the Present 

Thursdays 3-6 p.m.

This course introduces students to contemporary works by authors from various Indigenous nations. Students examine these works to enhance their historical understanding of Indigenous peoples, discover the variety of literary forms used by those who identify as Indigenous writers, and consider the cultural and political significance of these varieties of expression. Topics and questions to be explored include:

  • Genre: What makes Indigenous literature indigenous?
  • Political and Cultural Sovereignty: Why have an emphasis on tribal specificity and calls for “literary separatism” emerged in recent decades, and what are some of the critical conversations surrounding such particularized perspectives?
  • Gender and Sexuality: What are the intersecting concerns of Indigenous Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and how might these research fields inform one another?
  • Trans-Indigeneity: What might we learn by comparing works across different Indigenous traditions, and what challenges do such comparisons present?
  • Aesthetics: How do Indigenous writers understand the dynamics between tradition and creativity?
  • Visual Forms: What questions or concerns do visual representations (television and film) by or about Indigenous peoples present?

Possible Texts

  • Akiwenzie-Damm, Kateri and Josie Douglas (eds), Skins: Contemporary Indigenous Writing. IAD Press, 2000. (978-1864650327)
  • Erdrich, Louise, The Sentence. Harper, 2021 (978-0062671127)
  • Harjo, Joy, Poet Warrior: A Memoir. Norton, 2021 (978-0393248524)
  • Harjo, Sterlin and Taika Waititi, Reservation Dogs (selected episodes)
  • Talty, Morgan. Night of the Living Rez, 2022, Tin House (978-1953534187)
  • Wall Kimmerer, Robin. Braiding Sweet Grass, Milkweed Editions (978-1571313560)
  • Wilson, Diane. The Seed Keeper: A Novel. Milkweed Editions (978-1571311375)
  • Critical essays by Alexie, Allen, Cohen, Cox, King, Kroeber, Ortiz, Piatote, Ross and Sexton, Smith, Taylor, Teuton, Treuer, Vizenor, and Womack.

ENGL 472.S01: Film Criticism

Tuesdays 2-4:50 p.m.

Jason McEntee

Do you have an appreciation for, and enjoy watching, movies? Do you want to study movies in a genre-oriented format (such as those we typically call the Western, the screwball comedy, the science fiction or the crime/gangster, to name a few)? Do you want to explore the different critical approaches for talking and writing about movies (such as auteur, feminist, genre or reception)?

In this class, you will examine movies through viewing and defining different genres while, at the same time, studying and utilizing different styles of film criticism. You will share your discoveries in both class discussions and short writings. The final project will be a formal written piece of film criticism based on our work throughout the semester. The course satisfies requirements and electives for all English majors and minors, including both the Film Studies and Professional Writing minors. (Note: Viewing of movies outside of class required and may require rental and/or streaming service fees.)

ENGL 476.ST1: Fiction

In this workshop-based creative writing course, students will develop original fiction based on strong attention to the fundamentals of literary storytelling: full-bodied characters, robust story lines, palpable environments and unique voices. We will pay particular attention to process awareness, to the integrity of the sentence, and to authors' commitments to their characters and the places in which their stories unfold. Some workshop experience is helpful, as student peer critique will be an important element of the class.

ENGL 479.01 Capstone: The Gothic

Wednesday 3-5:50 p.m.

With the publication of Horace Walpole’s "The Castle of Otranto " in 1764, the Gothic officially came into being. Dark tales of physical violence and psychological terror, the Gothic incorporates elements such as distressed heroes and heroines pursued by tyrannical villains; gloomy estates with dark corridors, secret passageways and mysterious chambers; haunting dreams, troubling prophecies and disturbing premonitions; abduction, imprisonment and murder; and a varied assortment of corpses, apparitions and “monsters.” In this course, we will trace the development of Gothic literature—and some film—from the eighteenth-century to the present time. As we do so, we will consider how the Gothic engages philosophical beliefs about the beautiful and sublime; shapes psychological understandings of human beings’ encounters with horror, terror, the fantastic and the uncanny; and intervenes in the social and historical contexts in which it was written. We’ll consider, for example, how the Gothic undermines ideals related to domesticity and marriage through representations of domestic abuse, toxicity and gaslighting. In addition, we’ll discuss Gothic texts that center the injustices of slavery and racism. As many Gothic texts suggest, the true horrors of human existence often have less to do with inexplicable supernatural phenomena than with the realities of the world in which we live. 

ENGL 485.S01: Undergraduate Writing Center Learning Assistants 

Flexible Scheduling

Nathan Serfling

Since their beginnings in the 1920s and 30s, writing centers have come to serve numerous functions: as hubs for writing across the curriculum initiatives, sites to develop and deliver workshops and resource centers for faculty as well as students, among other functions. But the primary function of writing centers has necessarily and rightfully remained the tutoring of student writers. This course will immerse you in that function in two parts. During the first four weeks, you will explore writing center praxis—that is, the dialogic interplay of theory and practice related to writing center work. This part of the course will orient you to writing center history, key theoretical tenets and practical aspects of writing center tutoring. Once we have developed and practiced this foundation, you will begin work in the writing center as a tutor, responsible for assisting a wide variety of student clients with numerous writing tasks. Through this work, you will learn to actively engage with student clients in the revision of a text, respond to different student needs and abilities, work with a variety of writing tasks and rhetorical situations, and develop a richer sense of writing as a complex and negotiated social process.

Graduate Courses

Engl 572.s01: film criticism, engl 576.st1 fiction.

In this workshop-based creative writing course, students will develop original fiction based on strong attention to the fundamentals of literary storytelling: full-bodied characters, robust story lines, palpable environments and unique voices. We will pay particular attention to process awareness, to the integrity of the sentence and to authors' commitments to their characters and the places in which their stories unfold. Some workshop experience is helpful, as student peer critique will be an important element of the class.

ENGL 605.S01 Seminar in Teaching Composition

Thursdays 1-3:50 p.m.

This course will provide you with a foundation in the pedagogies and theories (and their attendant histories) of writing instruction, a foundation that will prepare you to teach your own writing courses at SDSU and elsewhere. As you will discover through our course, though, writing instruction does not come with any prescribed set of “best” practices. Rather, writing pedagogies stem from and continue to evolve because of various and largely unsettled conversations about what constitutes effective writing and effective writing instruction. Part of becoming a practicing writing instructor, then, is studying these conversations to develop a sense of what “good writing” and “effective writing instruction” might mean for you in our particular program and how you might adapt that understanding to different programs and contexts.

As we read about, discuss and research writing instruction, we will address a variety of practical and theoretical topics. The practical focus will allow us to attend to topics relevant to your immediate classroom practices: designing a curriculum and various types of assignments, delivering the course content and assessing student work, among others. Our theoretical topics will begin to reveal the underpinnings of these various practical matters, including their historical, rhetorical, social and political contexts. In other words, we will investigate the praxis—the dialogic interaction of practice and theory—of writing pedagogy. As a result, this course aims to prepare you not only as a writing teacher but also as a nascent writing studies/writing pedagogy scholar.

At the end of this course, you should be able to engage effectively in the classroom practices described above and participate in academic conversations about writing pedagogy, both orally and in writing. Assessment of these outcomes will be based primarily on the various writing assignments you submit and to a smaller degree on your participation in class discussions and activities.

ENGL 726.S01: The New Woman, 1880–1900s 

Thursdays 3–5:50 p.m.

Katherine Malone

This course explores the rise of the New Woman at the end of the nineteenth century. The label New Woman referred to independent women who rebelled against social conventions. Often depicted riding bicycles, smoking cigarettes and wearing masculine clothing, these early feminists challenged gender roles and sought broader opportunities for women’s employment and self-determination. We will read provocative fiction and nonfiction by New Women writers and their critics, including authors such as Sarah Grand, Mona Caird, George Egerton, Amy Levy, Ella Hepworth Dixon, Grant Allen and George Gissing. We will analyze these exciting texts through a range of critical lenses and within the historical context of imperialism, scientific and technological innovation, the growth of the periodical press and discourse about race, class and gender. In addition to writing an argumentative seminar paper, students will complete short research assignments and lead discussion.

ENGL 792.ST1 Women in War: Female Authors and Characters in Contemporary War Lit

In this course, we will explore the voices of female authors and characters in contemporary literature of war. Drawing from various literary theories, our readings and discussion will explore the contributions of these voices to the evolving literature of war through archetypal and feminist criticism. We will read a variety of short works (both theoretical and creative) and complete works such as (selections subject to change): "Eyes Right" by Tracy Crow, "Plenty of Time When We Get Home" by Kayla Williams, "You Know When the Men are Gone" by Siobhan Fallon, "Still, Come Home" by Katie Schultz and "The Fine Art of Camouflage" by Lauren Johnson.

IMAGES

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VIDEO

  1. Research Frameworks for a Dissertation

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  5. How to Research a Paper

  6. How to Write an Undergraduate Research Paper

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  2. How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

    How to do a Research Project. : Colin Robson. Wiley, Aug 8, 2014 - Psychology - 176 pages. Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused second edition guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project. Friendly and accessible, this fully-updated second ...

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  4. How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

    In How to do a Research Project, Colin Robson has created an essential tool for students. Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project and is relevant to all disciplines that require the use of social research methods.

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    Work your way through interactive exercises for each stage of the research project roadmap and watch videos from your pocket supervisor, Gary Thomas. Explore real-world practice through case studies and journal articles. Reflect, revise, and take your learning on the go with worksheets and get to grips with key terms and concepts using digital ...

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  7. How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

    A student-friendly and supportive guide to designing, implementing, analyzing and reporting on undergraduate degree projects. Includes closely integrated end-of-chapter tasks, covering all aspects of designing and completing the project. Features links to extensive website material appropriate for a wide range of disciplines and fields of study ...

  8. How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

    Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project. Friendly and accessible, this fully-updated second edition includes a number of accompanying student support materials to aid students further.

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    In How to do a Research Project, Colin Robson has created an essential tool for students. Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project and is relevant to all disciplines that require the use of social research methods.Friendly and accessible, this text ...

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  20. Undergraduate and First-Year Students

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    Biology students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville stepped into chest waders and took to the water to conduct fish sampling. Fish sampling provides a straightforward method to assess fish populations or communities, particularly in their habitats. It's part of a broader collaboration with Trout Unlimited, a national nonprofit organization that focuses on conserving, protecting and ...

  23. How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students, 2nd

    A student-friendly and supportive guide to designing, implementing, analyzing and reporting on undergraduate degree projects. A key publication for the vast study skills market, written by the author of the bestselling Real World Research, 3e; Useful for students studying within the fields of education, health, social work, and the social sciences.

  24. How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

    In How to do a Research Project, Colin Robson has created an essential tool for students. Written specifically to address the needs and concerns of the undergraduate, this tightly focused volume guides students through the process of conducting and completing a research project and is relevant to all disciplines that require the use of social research methods. Friendly and accessible, this ...

  25. Fall 2024 Semester

    Undergraduate CoursesComposition courses that offer many sections (ENGL 101, 201, 277 and 379) are not listed on this schedule unless they are tailored to specific thematic content or particularly appropriate for specific programs and majors.100-200 levelENGL 151.S01: Introduction to English StudiesTuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.Sharon SmithENGL 151 serves as an introduction to both ...