Pierre Desrochers

GGR 417 – Research Project

Period: ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011
Instructor: Pierre DesrochersOffice: Davis Building, room 3273
Lectures: Monday 7-9 PMLecture room: CC 2150
Phone: (905) 828-5206E-mail: pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca

This course is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to conduct independent academic research, such as would be expected at the graduate level of study. This course thus serves as an excellent precursor to graduate studies for those students thinking of continuing in academia. Students will work on a research project in their area of interest, under the supervision of a faculty member with expertise and research interests in the topic area. Through semi-regular meetings with the course coordinator, and in collaboration with the students’ supervisor, students in the course will learn how to identify potential research questions, acquire methodological skills and research skills appropriate for addressing the research question, and conduct primary research / data collection and analysis appropriate for the addressing of the research question. Finally, students in the course will write up their results in a full-length research report, and present their findings to the class.

Nota Bene
Before entering the course, students will have arranged for one faculty member to act as the student’s supervisor. This faculty supervisor should be an expert in the topic area in which the student plans to conduct research, and will be responsible for supervising the student’s research programme as outlined in this syllabus. Students should meet with their supervisor in the first week of class, and schedule a regular set of meetings at times agreeable to both the student and supervisor. Students should meet with the supervisor at least eight (8) times over the two terms of the course. Students should direct questions pertaining to the requirements of the course (assignments, format, timing, etc) to the course instructor, whereas questions pertaining to the content, method, and literature related to the research (i.e.: anything requiring expert knowledge) should be directed to the supervisor. The supervisor will grade the final research report.

The course has five (5) main objectives:

  1. Develop research skills adequate to the addressing of a research question at an advanced level;
  2. Acquire knowledge and skills concerning alternate methods of data collection and analysis;
  3. Develop critical analytical skills and research habits;
  4. Develop writing and presentation skills appropriate for the communication of advanced academic research;
  5. Produce a research project that contributes to the literature on the chosen topic and that advances the field of academic knowledge.

You can contact me at pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca.

Please read the course syllabus before e-mailing a question.

Always use your University of Toronto e-mail address (@utoronto.ca) for all course-related communications. E-mails from other domains (e.g., hotmail, Rogers, gmail, yahoo, etc.) may be filtered as spam and will at any rate be ignored. Always include the course code (e.g., GGR329) as part of your subject line, along with your full name and student number in the body of the e-mail. E-mails will be answered during office hours as promptly as possible. Please note that I do not open attachments and will not answer during week-ends.

The first person that you should e-mail concerning department- or program-related queries or to submit documentation regarding a missed assignment, quiz, or test is the Academic Counsellor for Geography/Environment, Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca).

E-mail should NOT be viewed as an alternative to meeting with the TA or professor during office hours. Nor should e-mail be used as a mechanism to receive private tutorials (especially prior to tests) or to explain material that was covered in missed lectures. Not receiving replies to e-mails from the TA or professor, or not receiving them in time, will not be an acceptable excuse for pleas for extensions to assignment or exam deadlines.

Students are advised to consult http://www.enough.utoronto.ca/ for information on university policy concerning the appropriate use of information and communication technology.

This is the departmental policy for late assignments and missed tests.

In courses with final exams, there will be no re-writes or make-ups for term tests/quizzes missed for University-accepted, verifiable reasons. Instead, the final exam will be re-weighted by the value of the term test/quiz. Accommodations due to late registration into the course will NOT be approved.

In-class or Online QUIZ/TESTS: Students CANNOT petition to re-write a quiz/test once the test has begun. If you are feeling ill, please do not start the online or in-class test and seek medical attention immediately. You must have a physician fill out a U of T Student Medical Certificate and submit a request via the online Special Consideration Request form @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest within 24 hours.

Online Submissions for Term Work: It is every student’s responsibility to ensure that their online submission is submitted successfully by the due date. Accommodations will not be made for unsuccessful submissions due to, but not limited to, i) the system timing out ii) submitting the incorrect document(s) iii) poor internet connection / no internet connection etc.

Missed Term Work (Assignment/Lab – as per Department of Geography policy):
Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty of 10% per day (including weekends) of the total marks for the assignment. Assignments submitted five calendar days beyond the due date will be assigned a grade of zero.

Academic accommodation can be made when an assignment is late. For accommodations on late/missed assignments please see section on “Extension of Time.”

Missed Term Work (Quiz/Test – as per Department of Geography policy):
Requesting Academic Accommodation using the Online Special Consideration Request Application: In Geography and Environment courses, professors cannot grant extensions on term work or allow makeups for missed items. If you ask for and receive an extension or a makeup date directly from a professor, without following the appropriate steps as outlined in this document, it will be invalid and may be revoked at any time by the departmental petitions committee.

Students are responsible in ensuring strong reliable internet connection. Special consideration requests due to poor internet connection (ie. unable to complete online quiz / unable to submit assignment before deadline) will not be accepted.

Informing Your Professor and Submitting Appropriate Documentation:
The following steps must be completed in order to be considered for academic accommodation for any course work such as missed tests or late assignments:

1. Students must inform their professor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) within 24 hours of a test date/assignment due date of any circumstances that prevent them from writing a test or submitting an assignment on time.

2. Students must complete an online Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest. Students who miss a test due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. illness or an accident) can request that the Department grant them special consideration. You must inform your instructor within 24 hours and you have up to one (1) week from the date of the missed test to submit your online request (late requests will NOT be considered without a “letter of explanation” as to why the request is late). You must present your case to the Department (not the Instructor). Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for the time being.

3. Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled “Environment and Geography Petition Documentation”) located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Supporting documentation is required within 48 hours of submitting your online request.
Please Note: If you missed your test for a reason connected to your registered disability, please be advised that the department will accept documentation supplied by the UTM AccessAbility Resource Centre.
Note: (i) ROSI declarations are not accepted as supporting documentation.
(ii) If your reason for absence is due to a last minute flight due to a family emergency (illness/death etc.) you must provide your flight itinerary INCLUDING the date the flight was purchased as well as boarding passes in addition to proof of death/illness/accident.

4. Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms: Documentation MUST show that the physician was consulted within ONE day of the test date. A statement merely confirming a report of illness made by the student is NOT acceptable (such as, “This patient tells me that he was feeling ill on that day.”). Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s webpage (http://www.illnessverification.utoronto.ca/getattachment/index/Verification-of-Illness-or-Injury-form-Jan-22-2013.pdf.aspx).

Note that holidays and pre-purchased plane tickets, family plans, your friend’s wedding, lack of preparation, or too many other tests/assignments are not acceptable excuses for missing a quiz, a test, an item of term work, or requesting an extension of time.

Extension of Time

**Students are expected to back up their work at all times. As such, extension requests due to computer issues (stolen, crashed, damaged etc.) will not be considered.

**Extension of time will NOT be approved for Group Assignments

The following steps must be completed in order to be considered for academic accommodation for any assignment extensions. Please note that assignments handed in AFTER the work has been returned to the class cannot be marked for credit and accommodations due to late registration into the course will NOT be approved.

1. Students must inform their professor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) IN ADVANCE of an assignment due date of any circumstances that prevent them from submitting their assignment on time.

2. Students must complete an online Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest IN ADVANCE of the assignment due date. Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for the time being.

3. Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled “Environment and Geography Petition Documentation”) located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Supporting documentation is required within one (1) week of submitting your online request.

4. Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms: Documentation MUST show that the physician was consulted within ONE day of the assignment due date. A statement merely confirming a report of illness made by the student is NOT acceptable (such as, “This patient tells me that he was feeling ill on that day.”). Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s webpage (http://www.illnessverification.utoronto.ca/getattachment/index/Verification-of-Illness-or-Injury-form-Jan-22-2013.pdf.aspx).

Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled “Environment and Geography Petition Documentation”) located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Note: ROSI/ACORN declarations are not accepted as supporting documentation. You are expected to submit your request to the Department before the due date of the assignment, unless demonstrably serious reasons prevent you from doing so. In the event of an illness, if you are seeking a one-day extension, Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms must confirm that you were ill on the due date of the assignment; if you are requesting a longer extension, your documentation must specify exactly the length of the period during which you were unable to carry out your academic work. For extensions of time beyond the examination period you must submit a petition through the Office of the Registrar. http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/index.php?id=6988

Please note that the written explanation and documentation that you submit represents an appeal from you, requesting the opportunity to account for that portion of your grade in some other manner. If an appeal is not received, or if the appeal is deemed unacceptable, you will receive a grade of zero for the item you missed. If the appeal is granted – that is, your reason for missing the item is considered acceptable by the committee – then a mechanism for accounting for the grade value of the missed item will be discussed.

A Departmental committee evaluates each request for an extension of time. Decisions will be communicated by email within two weeks of receipt of all completed documents. Please note that students are required to submit their assignment/lab as soon as they are able and they should NOT wait for the decision of the committee. Note: It is your responsibility to ensure your email account is working and able to receive emails. Claims that a Departmental decision was not received will NOT be considered as a reason for further consideration. Contact Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca) Academic Counsellor, should you NOT receive notification of your decision within 2 weeks of submission.

It is your responsibility to follow the appropriate procedures and submit requests for special consideration on time. Failure to do so may result in the committee denying your request.

Should you require further information regarding Special Considerations, please contact the Academic Counselor, Sabrina Ferrari
Undergraduate Academic Counselor
Room 3282, Davis Building, Telephone: 905-828-5465
email: sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca

The University of Toronto is committed to equity and respect for diversity. All members of the learning environment in this course should strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. As a course instructor, I will neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual in this course and wish to be alerted to any attempt to create an intimidating or hostile environment. It is our collective responsibility to create a space that is inclusive and welcomes discussion. Discrimination, harassment and hate speech will not be tolerated. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you may contact the UTM Equity and Diversity officer at edo.utm@utoronto.ca or the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union Vice President Equity at vpequity@utmsu.ca.

Academic Rights

You, as a student at UTM, have the right to:

  • Receive a syllabus by the first day of class.
  • Rely upon a syllabus once a course is started. An instructor may only change marks’ assignments by following the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy provision 1.3.
  • Refuse to use turnitin.com (you must be offered an alternative form of submission).
  • Have access to your instructor for consultation during a course or follow up with the department chair if the instructor is unavailable.
  • Ask the person who marked your term work for a re-evaluation if you feel it was not fairly graded. You have up to one month from the date of return of the item to inquire about the mark. If you are not satisfied with a re-evaluation, you may appeal to the instructor in charge of the course if the instructor did not mark the work. If your work is remarked, you must accept the resulting mark. You may only appeal a mark beyond the instructor if the term work was worth at least 20% of the course mark.
  • Receive at least one significant mark (15% for H courses, 25% for Y courses) before the last day you can drop a course for H courses, and the last day of classes in the first week of January for Y courses taught in the Fall/Winter terms.
  • Submit handwritten essays so long as they are neatly written.
  • Have no assignment worth 100% of your final grade.
  • Not have a term test worth 25% or more in the last two weeks of class.
  • Retain intellectual property rights to your research.
  • Receive all your assignments once graded.
  • View your final exams. To see a final exam, you must submit an online Exam Reproduction Request within 6 months of the exam. There is a small non-refundable fee.
  • Privacy of your final grades.
  • Arrange for representation from Downtown Legal Services (DLS), a representative from the UTM Students’ Union (UTMSU), and/or other forms of support if you are charged with an academic offence.

Our expectation of you is that you will show respect to the Course Instructor, TAs, other faculty, staff, and fellow students. This includes arriving on time and staying for the entire class (so you don’t disturb others by your late entry or early departure); listening quietly (so you don’t disturb others by your chatting or online activities); approaching your course work with an open, honest spirit and enthusiasm; and otherwise adhering to the Code.

In turn, you can expect the Course Instructor, staff, and TAs to show respect to you and your fellow students; to deliver the best course that they possibly can; to communicate their enthusiasm for the material; to maintain fairness in all aspects of course delivery and assessment; and otherwise to adhere to the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

It is your responsibility as a student at the University of Toronto to familiarize yourself with, and adhere to, both the Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

This means, first and foremost, that you should read them carefully.

  • The Code of Student Conduct is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

  • The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

Another helpful document that you should read is How Not to Plagiarize, by M. Procter.

Further Thoughts on Academic Honesty:
The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters states that:

“The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that a climate that might encourage, or conditions that might enable, cheating, misrepresentation or unfairness not be tolerated. To this end all must acknowledge that seeking credit or other advantages by fraud or misrepresentation, or seeking to disadvantage others by disruptive behaviour is unacceptable, as is any dishonesty or unfairness in dealing with the work or record of a student.” ―University of Toronto Mississauga Academic Calendar

This summarizes what we are all trying to achieve through the implementation of this Code―both students and faculty. We are trying―together―to create an atmosphere of fairness and honesty, in which people can learn and receive appropriate credit for work that they have done. Note that the Code refers specifically to expectations for faculty members, not just for students. It is my responsibility, as a member of the faculty of the University of Toronto, to be familiar with these expectations and adhere to them. There are many additional academic requirements that we are expected to meet with regard to the integrity of course materials, returning of marked work to students, maintenance of student privacy, fairness, grading practices, and others. My TAs and I will make every possible effort to meet these expectations.

U of T Mississauga and the AccessAbility Resource Centre are committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. The AccessAbility Resource Centre provides academic accommodations and services to students who have a physical, sensory, or learning disability, mental health condition, acquired brain injury, or chronic health condition, be it visible or hidden. Students who have temporary disabilities (e.g., broken dominant arm) are also eligible to receive services. All interested students must have an intake interview with an advisor to discuss their individual needs.

Students who require accommodation are advised to visit the AccessAbility Resource Centre as early as possible to have their needs assessed, as it may take some time to process the application.

For more information please contact the centre at:
Room 2047, South Bldg.
Tel/TTY: 905-569-4699
E-mail: access.utm@utoronto.ca
Web: www.utm.utoronto.ca/accessability/

For students who would like to help

Please note that the AccessAbility Resource Centre is looking for a volunteer note-taker to take notes on behalf of students with a disability registered in this class. Volunteer note-takers are responsible for submitting their notes to AccessAbility every week. The notes can be submitted online or scanned at the Centre. (The form can be downloaded at www.utm.utoronto.ca/accessability/potential-notetakers.)

Volunteer note-takers will receive a certificate of recognition and reference letter at the end of the year. If you are interested in this opportunity, please take a volunteer form and follow the instructions provided. If you have any questions, please call 905-828-5422, email accessvolunteers.utm@utoronto.ca, or drop by the Centre (room 2047, Davis Building).

As noted in the the Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances, the following provisions are included:

“It is the policy of the University of Toronto to arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of students who observe religious holy days other than those already accommodated by ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays.

Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences. Instructors will make every reasonable effort to avoid scheduling tests, examinations or other compulsory activities at these times. If compulsory activities are unavoidable, every reasonable opportunity should be given to these students to make up work that they miss, particularly in courses involving laboratory work. When the scheduling of tests or examinations cannot be avoided, students should be informed of the procedure to be followed to arrange to write at an alternate time.

It is most important that no student be seriously disadvantaged because of her or his religious observances. However, in the scheduling of academic and other activities, it is also important to ensure that the accommodation of one group does not seriously disadvantage other groups within the University community.”

With respect to minimum advance notice, the Policy provides that “Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences.” Since students would normally be aware of upcoming religious observances as well as examination schedules in advance, a minimum of three weeks advance notice will be considered sufficient.

More information and some dates of potential relevance for the U of T community are available at www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/publicationsandpolicies/guidelines/religiousobservances.htm.

As with any academic accommodation request, students must submit an on-line Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest.

There is no single text and no required readings for this course. Readings selected from various sources will be occasionally handed out in class or linked to on this website as aids to help students get through each of the stages of the course.

Some general links and readings that students may find helpful:

University of Toronto Mississauga Library:

University of Toronto Writing Center

Others
Detailed discussions

Concise statements

On the Art of Reading Academic Papers

Publishing my research

The course is organized in a seminar format and will meet on a semi-regular basis as indicated below. The students will complete a number of assignments over the course of the academic year, building up to a research report of between 15 and 25 pages in length (single spaced) and the final presentation of the students’ research findings in approximately 20 minutes. Students are required to meet with their supervisors prior to handing in any assignment and are encouraged to schedule regular meetings with them.

The assignments listed below will be graded by faculty supervisors and handed back with comments within two weeks of submission.

WeightItemDue Date
5%Discussion of Research Proposal (informal)September 21
10%Annotated BibliographySeptember 28
10%Research Proposal (1st and 2nd Drafts)October 12 and November 2
10%Presentation of Research ProposalNovember 16
10%Progress Report (written)January 4
10%First Draft of the Research ReportFebruary 8
10%Second Draft of the Research ReportMarch 8
5%Practice PresentationMarch 15
10%Presentation of the Research FindingsMarch 22
20%Final Draft of the Research ReportMarch 29

There is no final exam or mid-term test for this course.

In-class presentations will be graded by the course instructor, while written assignments will be graded by the faculty supervisor. Students are to hand in their written assignments to the course instructor who will then forward them on to the faculty supervisor for grading. The faculty supervisor will undertake to grade and return the draft and final research reports to the student within two weeks of submission, and to grade and return all other written work within one week of submission.

Penalty for late work is two percentage points (2%) per weekday (the weekend counts as one weekday). Assignments may not be accepted if handed in more than one week after the due date.

DateTopicWork due
Sept. 7Course Introduction and Overview 
Sept. 14Library Session on citation search strategies, etc w/ A. Nicholson
*The lecture will take place in SE 1150
Will take place in Geography Computer Lab
Sept. 21Discussion of Research Proposal– informal presentations of your proposed research
Sept. 28no formal meeting, butAnnotated Bibliography
Oct. 5no formal meeting 
Oct. 12no formal meeting, but1st Draft of Research Proposal
Oct. 19no formal meeting 
Oct. 26Discussion of 1st Draft Research Proposal– informal discussion of changes required for 2nd draft
Nov. 2no formal meeting, but2nd Draft of Research Proposal
Nov. 9no formal meeting 
Nov. 16Presentation of Research Proposal– oral presentations
Nov. 23Progress Report Discussion
Presentation of Research Proposal, II
– discussion of progress to report by January 5
Jan. 4Discussion of ProgressProgress Report
Jan. 11no formal meeting butDATA COLLECTION ENDS
Jan. 18Discussion of Research Report Format 
Jan. 25no formal meeting 
Feb. 1no formal meeting 
Feb. 8no formal meeting, but1st Draft of Research Report
Feb. 16READING WEEK 
Feb. 22no formal meeting 
Mar. 1individual discussion of research report (my office)2nd Draft of Research Report
Mar. 82nd Draft of Research Report 
Mar. 15Practice presentation (NE295, 12-2pm) 
Mar. 22Presentation of Research Findings (DV 2068B, 11:30-2PM)– formal oral presentations
Mar. 29no formal meeting, butFinal Draft of Research Report
   

September 21, 2010
This presentation is informal. It should last between 5 and 10 minutes. You should prepare at most two (2) PP slides of your revised timeline in tabular form, but otherwise have no other visuals.

November 16, 2010; March 1, 2011; March 22, 2011
There are no specific guidelines for these presentations, other than they must last between 15 and 20 minutes. You are strongly encouraged to look up the following websites for do’s and don’t’s:

General interest
On the Effective Use of PowerPoint
– University of Pennsylvania (Library) “PowerPoint Do’s and Don’t’s.”

On Academic Talks
– Jonathan Shewchuk (CSD- UC Berkeley) “Giving an Academic Talk.”
– Mark D. Hill (CS – UWM). 1997. “Oral Presentation Advice” and David A. Patterson (CSD – UC Berkeley). ~ 1983. “How to Give a Bad Talk.”
– Geoff Pullum (Linguistics – University of Edinburgh) “Five Golden Rules (well, actually six) for Giving Academic Presentations.”

In the Sciences
– Richard M. Reis. 2001. “Giving a Job Talk in the Sciences” Chronicles of Higher Education, March 30.

In the Humanities
– Paul N. Edwards. 2004. (Information – University of Michigan). “How to Give an Academic Talk: Changing the Culture of Public Speaking in the Humanities.”

DUE DATE
September 28, 2010

ASSESSMENT
10% of your final grade.

PURPOSE
The purpose of this assignment is to summarize and reflect critically on at least 10 scholarly research papers (i.e., journal articles or book chapters) that you will use for your final research paper. It will enable you to evaluate the ways in which the findings from other research studies will contribute to your research.

MANDATORY READINGS
University of Toronto
– Knott, Deborah. Undated. Writing an Annotated Bibliography. University of Toronto
– Citations styles (UTM Library)

University of Wiscon-Madison (Writing Center)
– “Annotated Bibliographies” Writer’s Handbook

Cornell University (Olin Kroch Uris Libraries, Reference Services Division)
– How to critically analyse information sources
– How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

COMPONENTS
1. Completed Search Strategy: Hand in a one-page submission that clearly demonstrates what you did for all 8 steps in the Search Strategy.

2. Annotated Bibliography: A bibliography that includes a summary and critical discussion of the work cited. It must contain the complete citation for at least 10 scholarly sources (e.g., journal article, book chapter) followed by a paragraph that provides a summary and critical appraisal of the source. Use the Critical Appraisal Form as a guide for completing the annotated bibliographies.

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
a) Use the 8 step Search Strategy to identify relevant scholarly sources to be used in your literature review.

b) Treat each source as a separate entry.

c) Each entry should contain the complete citation for the work followed by a paragraph that contains a summary and critical appraisal.
    – The summary must identify the key purpose of the article, methods of analysis and the key point(s) and findings.
    – The critical appraisal should identify any strength and weaknesses as well as the usefulness of the article for your own research.

FORMAT
The annotated bibliographies should follow the Search Strategy. All entries must be in alphabetical order and should each be approximately 100 words. The choice of reference style is up to you, but you must be consistent. Please look up the UTM library “Citation styles” webpage.

The bibliography must be typed and single-spaced on one side of the paper. You must include a title page that contains the title of your research paper, the course number and name, your name and student number and your supervisor’s name.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT
  
• Search Strategy (3 points):
    – steps a-h are complete with evidence of extensive and thorough literature search

  • Annotated Bibliographies (5 points – 0.5 pts/article):
    – provides clear description of purpose, methods of analysis, and main point(s) and findings
    – thorough assessment of the strengths and weaknesses
    – clear connection of each article to your topic (i.e., how is the source relevant to your topic)
    – demonstrates thoughtfulness and a clear understanding of each article

  • Style (2 points):
    – bibliography in proper format, consistent citation format, spelling and grammar

POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS
Late assignments will be given a penalty of one percent per day from the final grade for the assignment up to a maximum of 5 days. After 5 days the assignment will not be assessed resulting in a grade of zero.

SEARCH STRATEGY

A search strategy is necessary to conduct effective and efficient research on your topic. A search strategy contains the following steps:

          a. Develop research question
          b. Identify the key topic expressed in your research question
          c. Create a list of key words and phrases based on the topic identified
          d. Identify databases to search
          e. Search selected databases using the key words and phrases
          f. Examine results of initial search by looking at the first 20-30 results. If nothing appropriate to the topic turns up
             then try revising key words and/or search other databases
          g. Revise key words and phrases based on initial search
          h. Re-search databases

CRITICAL APPRAISAL FORM

1. What is the purpose or research question addressed in the paper? Is the purpose clearly stated at the beginning of the paper?

2. Was relevant background literature reviewed? What is the justification for the need of this study?

3. What research methods are used by the author(s)? Why were these methods used? Are the methods appropriate for addressing the research question?

4. What data is collected? How is the data analysed? Are the methods of analysis appropriate?

5. What were the results? Are you convinced by the evidence presented? Why or why not? (That is, do the authors provide enough evidence to support their main arguments/conclusions?)

6. What are the conclusions? What are the main limitations (e.g., in terms of methods, generalizability of the results, population studied, etc.)?

7. How does the study apply to geography in general and your research in particular?

DUE DATE
October 12 and November 2, 2010

ASSESSMENT
This dual assignment is worth 10% of your final grade (5% for each version).

PURPOSE
The purpose of this dual assignment is to help you organize your ideas concerning your topic, formulate a research question, identify data or information to be collected and methods of analysis, and identify the broader significance of the research to the discipline.

The topic must be approved by your supervisor prior to the due date. This will ensure that the research question is appropriate and feasible.

COMPONENTS
1. Title page – working title, course number and name, student number and name, supervisor’s name.

2. Introduction – introductory paragraph that identifies and describes the research question to be addressed.

3. Main Body – 2 to 3 paragraphs that outline in greater detail the following:
          a. research question to be addressed;
          b. the geographical importance/relevance of the topic;
          c. data or information to be collected;
          d. methods of analysis.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT
• Title (0.5 pt) – communicates clearly the focus of the topic to the reader.
• Introduction (0.5 pt) – clearly stated purpose and research question.
• Main Body (3 pts):
          – provides reader with basic understanding of topic and its importance;
          – identifies relevance of the topic to the broader discipline;
          – identifies and provides justification for data and information to be collected;
          – identifies methods of analysis.
• Style (1 pt) – spelling and grammar, ability to communicate ideas clearly and succinctly in written format.

NOTE ON THE REVISED PROPOSAL
Apart from incorporating feedback from the instructor and your advisor, your revised proposal should include references to the literature surveyed in your first assignment. In particular, try to situate your research in relation to what has already been done in your area of research as well as the relevance of your work to the broader discipline using these references. You can add up to a page (excluding the required bibliography) to the length of your original proposal.

POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS

Late assignments will be given a penalty of one percent per day from the final grade for the assignment up to a maximum of 5 days. After 5 days the assignment will not be assessed resulting in a grade of zero.

DUE DATE
January 4, 2011

ASSESSMENT
This assignment is worth 10% of your final grade.

PURPOSE
The purpose of this assignment is to assess how your research is progressing. If appropriate, your faculty advisor may require evidence of literature read and/or data collected/analyzed.

OUTLINE OF ASSIGNMENT
This assignment is in the format of a standard report (including an introduction and conclusion). In the body of the report, you should include a timeline in tabular form (see details below), and then provide details on each of the elements included within it.

COMPONENTS
1. Title page – title, course number and name, student number and name, supervisor’s name

2. Timeline
Using a table, outline the main components of your research, the timeline for completing each component (to be assessed in conjunction with your supervisor), and the work completed to date (either partial or in-full). The research components may differ for each student’s project. It is therefore essential that you consult your supervisor to ensure that you have identified all of the necessary components such as:
          a. Identification of research question
          b. Search strategy for literature
          c. Literature review
          d. Collection of data/information
          e. Analysis of data/information
          f. Interpretation of results, including the identification of key findings
          g. Significance of results

For those of you who have never produced a timeline before, the following link will give you an idea of what I have in mind.

Several websites are devoted to the creation of more sophisticated timelines (see for instance this), but you can keep things simple.

3. Discussion
Some of the common elements that should be discussed after your timeline include your review of the literature, your research questions and any change to the list of main and sub questions that were included in your proposal, progress on acquiring approvals (ethics reviews, interviews, use of specialized or commercial data sets, etc), data collection activities, data analysis (what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done, including details concerning who you have/still need to interview, lab/statistical tests that remain to be completed, etc), an update on how you will interpret your findings/criteria you will use, identification of findings to date and their potential significance, and how far you have come in writing your research paper.

The progress report should be structured according to the headings contained in your timeline, with additional headings provided as you see fit. While there is no page length requirement, you should provide at the very least one significant paragraph for each timeline entry. Your conclusion should give some indication about how you foresee yourself completing the research according to schedule, and whether any problems or limitations have presented themselves to date.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT
• Timeline (5 points):
          – All research components identified based on consultation with supervisor
          – Provides detailed description of steps required to complete each component
          – Timelines for each component are feasible
          – Provides description of work completed to date (either partial or in-full)
• Discussion (5 points)

POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS
Late assignments will be given a penalty of one percent per day from the final grade for the assignment up to a maximum of 5 days. After 5 days the assignment will not be assessed resulting in a grade of zero.

DUE DATE
February 8 and March 1, 2011

ASSESSMENT
The dual assignment is worth 20% of your final grade.

PURPOSE
The purpose of the draft report is to help your work towards your goal of completing the final report. It is a crucial step and will provide you with the opportunity to receive essential feedback from your supervisor.

COMPONENTS
1. Introduction: Introduces the research question to be addressed and the geographic relevance of the topic in an insightful way. It will include an outline of the paper.

2. Literature Review: Summarize and discuss major theories, emphasize the main relevant findings of previous research AND identify gaps or limitations within the current literature (this helps to justify and contextualize your research question).

3. Research Methods: Includes a detailed description and justification of data/information collected, data/information collection procedures, and methods of analysis.

4. Results: Present your research findings. Be sure to use tables and figures to illustrate and convey the essence of your contribution.

5. Conclusions and Discussion: Summarize main research findings. Interpret results. Discuss limitations and significance of your contribution.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT: (for each draft report)

1) Introduction (0.5 pt)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No discussion of topic to be examined
• Reader left wondering what the paper is about

• Introduces area of research
• States purpose and rationale
• Includes research question/thesis statement
• Includes outline

• Introduces the area of research, purpose and rationale of study in insightful way
• Includes detailed outline

2) Literature Review (3 pts)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• Literature cited is out-of-date
• Literature does not relate to topic
• No connection between literature review and research question
• Does not demonstrate understanding of concepts

• Up-to-date literature
• Literature relates to topic
• Demonstrates connection between research question and literature
• Demonstrates basic understanding of concepts

• Literature cited is current and appropriate for research question and discusses major theories/emphasizes findings of previous research
• Insightful connection between literature review and research question
• Identifies gaps/problems
• The focus of the paper is contextualized and justified using the literature
• Demonstrates understanding and integration of concepts/ideas in geography;
• Application of those concepts and ideas using specific examples from literature

3) Research Methods (2 pts)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No identification of data, collection procedures or methods of analysis

• Identifies data, collection procedures and methods of analysis

• Provides clear link between data and research question
• Clear justification for choice of data and methods of analysis

4) Results (3 pts)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• Minimal presentation of results
• No tables and figures

• Presents results of data analysis
• Makes use of tables and figures

• Clear presentation of results in logical order
• Logical and consistent numbering of tables and figures (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2)

5) Conclusions (0.5 pt)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No summary of findings
• No discussion of limitations of study
• No discussion of broader significance/meaning of findings
• Does not identify areas of future research

• Summary of key points
• Identifies limitations
• Identifies broader significance of research
• Identifies future areas of research
• Clear interpretation of results

• Clear integration of key findings and literature
• Conclusions follow naturally from Results (i.e., conclusions supported by main body of paper)
• Future areas of research identified supported by main body of paper
• Insightful discussion of significance of the research

6) Overall Style (1 pt)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No direction
• Subtopics are disjointed
• No headings or subheadings
• No numbering of tables or figures
• Improperly formatted references

• Paper is easy to follow for reader engaged in literature or familiar with data and methods
• Headings/subheadings
• Tables and figures numbered
• Includes properly formatted references

• Paper organized logically and easy to follow for reader not engaged in literature and not familiar with data and methods
• Headings and subheadings reflect content
• Tables and figures support discussion and conclusions

POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS
Late assignments will be given a penalty of one percent per day from the final grade for the assignment up to a maximum of 5 days. After 5 days the assignment will not be assessed resulting in a grade of zero.

DUE DATE
March 29, 2010

ASSESSMENT
The final report is worth 20% of your final grade.

PURPOSE
The final report must demonstrate that you have a detailed understanding of the research questions you chose to address. A successful paper will need to illustrate:
   1. An understanding of concepts and ideas surrounding your topic of study;
   2. An ability to apply those concepts and ideas through data collection, data analysis and interpretation of research findings; and
   3. An ability to think critically about those concepts and ideas.

COMPONENTS
1. Introduction: Introduces the research question to be addressed and the geographic relevance of the topic in an insightful way and includes an outline of the paper.

2. Literature Review: The review should summarize and discuss major theories, emphasize main findings of previous research AND identify gaps or limitations with current literature (this helps to justify and contextualize your research question).

3. Research Methods: Includes a detailed description and justification of data/information collected, data/information collection procedures, and methods of analysis.

4. Results: The purpose of the results section is to present your research findings. Be sure to use tables and figures to illustrate the findings.

5. Conclusions and Discussion: This section should include a summary of the main research findings, interpretation of the results, discussion of limitations, and discussion of the significance of the paper.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT: (for each draft report)

1) Introduction (1 pt)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No discussion of topic to be examined
• Reader left wondering what the paper is about

• Introduces area of research
• States purpose and rationale
• Includes research question/thesis statement
• Includes outline

• Introduces the area of research, purpose and rationale of study in insightful way
• Includes detailed outline

2) Literature Review (6 pts)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• Literature cited is out-of-date
• Literature does not relate to topic
• No connection between literature review and research question
• Does not demonstrate understanding of concepts

• Up-to-date literature
• Literature relates to topic
• Demonstrates connection between research question and literature
• Demonstrates basic understanding of concepts

• Literature cited is current and appropriate for research question and discusses major theories/emphasizes findings of previous research
• Insightful connection between literature review and research question
• Identifies gaps/problems
• The focus of the paper is contextualized and justified using the literature
• Demonstrates understanding and integration of concepts/ideas in geography;
• Application of those concepts and ideas using specific examples from literature

3) Research Methods (6 pts)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No identification of data, collection procedures or methods of analysis

• Identifies data, collection procedures and methods of analysis

• Provides clear link between data and research question
• Clear justification for choice of data and methods of analysis

4) Results (4 pts)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• Minimal presentation of results
• No tables and figures

• Presents results of data analysis
• Makes use of tables and figures

• Clear presentation of results in logical order
• Logical and consistent numbering of tables and figures (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2)

5) Conclusions (1 pt)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No summary of findings
• No discussion of limitations of study
• No discussion of broader significance/meaning of findings
• Does not identify areas of future research

• Summary of key points
• Identifies limitations
• Identifies broader significance of research
• Identifies future areas of research
• Clear interpretation of results

• Clear integration of key findings and literature
• Conclusions follow naturally from Results (i.e., conclusions supported by main body of paper)
• Future areas of research identified supported by main body of paper
• Insightful discussion of significance of the research

6) Overall Style (2 pt)

Needs Improvement

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

• No direction
• Subtopics are disjointed
• No headings or subheadings
• No numbering of tables or figures
• Improperly formatted references

• Paper is easy to follow for reader engaged in literature or familiar with data and methods
• Headings/subheadings
• Tables and figures numbered
• Includes properly formatted references

• Paper organized logically and easy to follow for reader not engaged in literature and not familiar with data and methods
• Headings and subheadings reflect content
• Tables and figures support discussion and conclusions

POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS
Late assignments will be given a penalty of one percent per day from the final grade for the assignment up to a maximum of 5 days. After 5 days the assignment will not be assessed resulting in a grade of zero.