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Preparation for a Major Paper

Preparation for a Major Paper

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Preparation for a Major Paper

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  1. Preparation for a Major Paper Assistant Professor Elaine Sharplin

  2. Contact details: • Assistant Professor Elaine Sharplin • + 61 8 6488 2368 •

  3. Major Paper Pathways & Processes Small scale project Literature review Policy Analysis Select a topic/area Plan the project/review/analysis Submit an outline Collect & analyse content Prepare draft Submit draft to supervisor Amend draft in response to feedback Submit Major Paper See p. 3

  4. Formal Requirements • Word length: approximately 10,000 words or 40 pages • Format: word-processed and double-spaced on A4 paper • Style: scholarly report with use of consistent referencing protocols • Structure: table of contents and use of headings where appropriate • Referencing: a consistent referencing system such as APA • Authorship: the student is to be the sole author of the report • Assessment: the paper will be marked by a member of staff of the Graduate School of Education. • See p. 8

  5. Important Dates • 4-6 Feb: Preparation sessions • 1 March: email 2 page outline to • 12 April: First draft submitted to Joseph Tan & emailed to Janet Edwards • 13-15 May: Supervision visit by Steve Houghton for feedback • 30 June: Major Paper submission • See p. 9

  6. Literature Review • Phase 1: Planning 2.1 Choosing your topic What is a literature review? 2.2 Questions to ask • Phase 2: Conducting a document or archival search 2.3 Locating the sources 2.4 Reading and processing the sources 2.5 Assessing the sources 2.6 Synthesising the sources • Phase 3: Writing up 2.7 Writing up the findings in the major paper

  7. Samples of Literature Review Topics • Gender and Language in Computer Mediated Communication (Consideration of the following questions: How democratic is the communication that is currently taking place via electronic networks?; To what extent are there gender differences in relation to interactions and contexts in CMC?; How does the structure of language in CMC reflect/promote gender division?) • SAER students and emotional Intelligence (How do teachers engage SAER students to become independent and emotionally intelligent learners?) • The introduction of English Literature within the English Curriculum in an ESL context in Malaysia (What are the attitudes of teachers and students to the learning of English Literature? How has curriculum policy impacted on the teaching and learning of English? What strategies promote effective learning?)

  8. Policy Analysis • Phase 1: Planning 3.1 Selecting a policy of interest 3.2 Questions to ask • Phase 2: Conducting a document or archival search 3.3 Locating the sources 3.4 Assessing the sources 3.5 Examining policy impact through data collection & analysis (see small scale project) • Phase 3: Writing up 3.6 Writing up the findings in the major paper

  9. Pathway 1: Small scale project • Phase 1: Planning 1.1 Identifying a researchable topic 1.2 Framing a set of research questions 1.3 Research plan development 1.4 Ethical considerations and obtaining consent 1.5 Gaining access and establishing rapport 1.6 Data management strategies • Phase 2: Conducting the data collection and analysis 1.7 Reviewing the literature 1.8 Data Collection (Interviewing/Surveys and questionnaires) 1.9 Data analysis strategies • Phase 3: Writing up 1.10 Writing up the findings in the major paper

  10. The “two pager” • This is an outline of your proposed project • It is not a full proposal document • The purpose of this document is to provide your supervisor with information so that they can guide you. • It should identify: • Your chosen pathway • A clear statement of the questions you are going to address • A clear statement of the method you will use to answer your questions • Main bodies of literature you will examine • Identify any ethical considerations • Other requirements as stipulated for each pathway

  11. Ethical Considerations • What is voluntary informed consent? • Voluntary - you may not provide any form of inducement (money, gifts or goods), favour (promise of a higher grade or favourable report) or threat against participants involved in the research. • Informed - knowing what a reasonable person in the same situation would want to know before giving consent to participate (i.e.; how much time will be required of the participant; how will the identity of participants or study site will be concealed or disguised; whether deception is to be used and whether participants will be at risk of any harm by participating in the project). • Consent - explicit agreement to participate (a signed and dated written contract between the researcher and the participant).

  12. Privacy, confidentiality and anonymity • Privacy - controlling the access of others to themselves • Confidentiality - data (i.e.: records that may be either written or taped) and how this will be handled, stored and who will have access to it. • Anonymity - to the names and other unique identifiers of participants and whether these are attached to the data or known to the researcher.

  13. Special Areas • Research involving minors – parental consent to participation • Issues of power – research involving subordinates or students • Minority or disadvantaged groups – disabled, participants from minority cultures (languages)

  14. Letter of information and Consent Forms • You must provide potential participants with a letter outlining the nature and purpose of your research (including your position and the role of this research to your study). • You must outline the nature and length of their involvement – what exactly do you want them to do? • You must address the issues of confidentiality and anonymity. • Participants have the right to withdraw from research at any time without any negative consequences. • Participants must sign to indicate they understand and are willing to participate.

  15. Structure of a Major paper • Pathway 1 Small Scale Project (Suggested word length as a rough guide only) Title and title page Abstract (150-300 wds) Introduction – area, topic and statement of purpose or aims (1,000) Research questions (300) The literature (2,500) Methods – design – strategy and framework (1,500) - sample – - data collection – instruments and procedures - data analysis Consent, access and participants’ protection (500) Findings/Discussion (3500) Significance (700) References Appendices

  16. Structure of a Major Paper • Pathway 2: Literature Review Title and title page Abstract (150-300) Introduction – area, topic and statement of purpose or aims (1,000) The literature – divided into sub sections using headings (7,500) Significance/implications (750) Future questions for research (750) References Appendices

  17. Structure of a Major Paper • Pathway 3: Policy Analysis Title and title page Abstract (150-300) Introduction – area, topic and statement of purpose or aims (1,000) Policy Context – background (1000) Policy Analysis – divided into sub sections using headings (6,500) Significance/implications/recommendations (750) Future questions for research (750) References Appendices

  18. Assessment of your Major Paper • See distributed rubric • English language component missing