Due Date: Submit via Moodle by Monday, 9 April 2018 (23:59 AEST*)
Length: 750 words (plus or minus 10%
Prepare a Research Plan and an Annotated Reading List (includes Bibliography) for your research paper. Your Research Plan should identify the key issues and outline the structure for your research paper (but do not write out an answer).
You may select one of the prescribed topics available in Moodle, or devise your own research topic (see below).
Please note that an example of an Annotated Reading List (Bibliography) has been placed on Moodle under Course Materials and further details are provided below. You are only required to annotate 3 or 4 of the total references. You can include cases and legislation in your list.
Please note that the word limit of 750 words (plus or minus 10%) words is for the total of the Plan and the Annotated Bibliography.
The Plan should indicate the focus of your research paper: in other words broadly what you intend to say.
Devise your own topic
Instead of choosing a topic from the list available in Moodle, you are encouraged to devise your own topic. If you devise your own topic, the prior agreement of the lecturer will be required. Approval will not be granted if the topic overlaps substantially with work that you have submitted for another course. You should e-mail your request to Neil Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must ensure that you have made your request for approval and submitted a synopsis by Monday, 12 March 2018.
Due Date: Submit via Moodle by Monday, 14 May 2018 (23:59 AEST*)
Length: 3500 words (plus or minus 10%)
Write and submit a research paper on the topic you identified for the first assignment.
Note that you may wish to depart from your original plan either because you have changed your views or because of suggestions made on your first assignment. That is acceptable, but if in doubt, you should discuss the matter with your lecturer.
The following guidelines have been developed to assist you to plan and complete your assessment.
1. Planning the research
Be aware that the session is very short and that there is no flexibility in the date for submission. Once you have chosen the topic you should be in a position to identify the key issues that you will wish to focus upon in your paper. Be modest and circumscribed in the goals you set yourself. It is better to make good progress on narrow fronts than to produce vast and vague conjecture on a broad range of fronts.
You will need to conduct a literature search at an early stage of the session in order to identify the materials available to you. Having identified and reviewed the material you will be able to consolidate the issues, and you can then prepare your annotated bibliography and plan.
You will probably find the writing of the final paper to be the easiest part of the process. The research paper should be organised, well-structured and make use of plenty of spacing and headings. The number of words should be clearly stated at the end of the paper. All quotations should be fully referenced, and acknowledgment must be made of any work or material which is not your own. Beware of ‘overdoing’ quotes—they should be used sparingly and only where their inclusion adds value to the exposition.
Each paper should commence with a short (less than one page) abstract, include a page of contents and conclude with a full bibliography. The word limit will not include the bibliography.
Refer to the section called ‘Assignment Submission and Preparation’ for more in-depth guidelines on presenting and submitting your research paper.
EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR RESEARCH PAPER
An important note on word limits
Assignments are exercises in filtering material and communicating it succinctly. Quantity is not to be confused with quality. Your lecturer will uniformly apply this principle in their assessment of assignments.
Most word processing packages can indicate word lengths, or otherwise some manual check must be done in the drafting process. Indicate the actual number of words of your assignment in the space indicated on your assignment cover sheet.
The following criteria will be used to grade your assignments:
- knowledge of the subject area and an ability to locate your chosen area of research within an appropriate context
- independent research
- clarity and strength of analysis
- analysis which is supported by authority
- ability to cut through the undergrowth and penetrate to key issues
- effective organisation and communication of material
- clarity and strength of analysis—this will include evidence of your understanding of the issues involved
- critical approach to material presented and evidence of original and independent thought
- quality of judgement and balance in filtering the complex material you are dealing with
- quality of research and bibliography.
- correct referencing and bibliographic style in accordance with the prescribed citation and style guide.
You are required to read beyond the course materials and references to do the assignment. Research papers must not be merely descriptive. They must present a point of view.