In my previous post, I included an entire research paper by Worcester State University alum, Marco Estrella. Marco was an exceptional student who saw a real need for more research in the recreation resources offered by our cities. He looked into the lack of access to pools within the city of Worcester, Massachusetts.
I teach our capstone course, Seminar in Urban Studies, at least once every other year. I will supervise up to twenty five senior thesis papers in this course, spending hours with every student on research aspects as wideranging as thesis production to comma placement. I still feel like an educated individual ought to be able to make a coherent written argument that is all their own, and know where to find the sources to prove their points. My students have no shortage of research ideas, which I find amazing. Some of the papers, like this written by Marco Estrella, can really be an asset to those in our city planning offices.
Here is my initial written assignment for the capstone paper:
Research Paper Assignment
Research Seminar in Urban Studies
Professor Lisa Krissoff Boehm
Write a fifteen to twenty page paper which explores in-depth the approved urban studies topic of your choice, being careful to link the topic solidly with the concerns of a specific urban place, or places, as is the hallmark of urban studies research. All topics must be approved in a Formal Research Proposal by Professor Boehm.
Papers must meet all criteria for research set by the Urban Studies Department and be presented in an oral presentation to the department and invited guests.
Your paper must:
1) Utilize at least three book sources in the text.
2) Utilize at least two scholarly journal articles in the text.
3) Utilize a substantial number of primary sources in the text.
Primary sources vary according to the subject that you choose. They may include: oral histories, government data, visual objects like photographs, field research, archival materials, and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles.
4) Use provided guidelines for preparing endnotes and a bibliography for the paper.
5) Have a creative title and cover sheet.
September 26: List of sources to class
Formal Research Proposal First Draft
October 12: Formal Research Proposal Final Draft
October 24-November 9th: Paper rough drafts due during writing workshops
TBA: Almost Final Draft of Research Paper Due in individual meeting with
Final Paper due: December 5, 2011