RESEARCH PROJECT –Career Investigation (Social work/criminal justice)
Length: 12-16 pages.
The remainder of the semester will focus on a major research project. This project will be broken up into parts to make it manageable and keep you on track.
Complete the assignment fully and follow all directions for page length requirement for each part of the project.
For this assignment, you will complete a major research project in five parts. You will investigate different aspects of your (future) career field, analyze the process of becoming a professional in that field, interview someone currently working in that field, keep a detailed annotated bibliography, and reflect on your research process.
Each part of the project will have specific guidelines for you to follow. Pay close attention to the guidelines for each specific part of the assignment.
Although you will complete this project in different parts—the final draft needs to combine all parts into a single document. Review the student samples for examples of what the finished product should look like.
Here are some general guidelines regarding your research:
- You should synthesize information you learn during the research process.
- Do not simply cut-and-paste a collage of source material—that does not demonstrate any critical thinking.
- All sources should be discussed, properly integrated, and cited appropriately both in-text and in the annotated bibliography.
- Do not use a quote more than two lines in length.
- The majority of the work should be written by you—that means you must have something to say (again—no collage of what others have said).
- YOU MUST HAVE A MINIMUM OF 5 SOURCES (of which only 2 can be websites)
**READ and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS for each of the parts of the project listed below.**
Part 1: Research Report: 20%
Part 2: Process Analysis 20%
Part 3: Interview: 20%
Part 4: Annotated bibliography: 35%
Part 5: Reflection: 5%
Below are the instructions for each part of the research project.
PART 1—Research Report 20%
Length: 2-4 pages
Part 1of this research project is a research report. Don’t let the name fool you—you are not simply reporting information—that does not require much critical thought!
Think of Part 1 as an essay in which you will have the dual purpose of both informing and arguing a position regarding your future career. You will provide some history and background information about the career field (the informative part) and argue who is the most significant person is in that field OR who you think is significant but does not receive enough recognition for their contributions to the field. You need to back up your claims with evidence to prove your points.
Remember that you will learn a lot through research and it is vitally important to keep track of your sources so that it is clear what information came from you and what came from a source. You have to figure out what you have to say about the information—form your own thoughts. You are NOT just reporting here—you must have something to say!
Part 1 criteria:
- information on the history and background of the career field from its beginning (this should not take up more than 1 page of the 2 page minimum)
- argue who is the most significant person is in that field OR who you think is significant but does not receive enough recognition for their contributions to the field
- clearly distinguish the thoughts/ideas/words of others from your own by discussing and integrating sources appropriately
- cite all sources correctly both in-text and in the annotated bibliography
- follow an essay structure (introduction with thesis statement, body paragraphs, conclusion)
- maintain a formal tone and use third person point of view only
- avoid major grammatical or spelling mistakes
PART 2—Process Analysis 20%
Length: 3-5 pages
Process analysis is a technique that explains the steps or sequence involved in doing something which satisfies our need to learn as well as our curiosity about how the world works. There are two types of process analysis: directional and informational. Informational process analysis goes beyond recipe or formula to explain. Your purpose is not only to explain a process but also to convince the reader that the process you explain is the best way to do what you describe—this involves analysis and argument.
For Part 2, you will write an informational process analysis which should go beyond a simple “how to” in order to help your readers understand how something happens even though they won’t actually follow the steps outlined. You will have the dual purpose of analysis and argument. When analyzing the process, you also need to convince your audience that the process you describe is the best process to take to reach the goal of becoming a __________ in this particular career field.
You will write an informational process analysis explaining how a student of ___________ becomes a successful ______________.
For this essay, you should continue to develop a formal academic tone and use third person point of view to help establish that tone. All of your writing is based on your perspective but you must learn how to present your perspective without using “I” or “you” to do it.
Example of a thesis:
In order to become a successful radiology technician one should first complete the radiology program at North Central Texas College, then work for Advanced Medical Imaging of North Texas, and finally get promoted to Director of Operations.
*The thesis states the subject (steps to become a Rad Tech) and the point of view (specifics to be a successful one).
*Note that the thesis lists three major steps. Not every small step should be included in the thesis statement only the major points to be covered in the essay should be in the thesis.
This essay should be organized, logical, formal, and persuasive. No one wants to read an essay explaining how to be a mediocre nurse or teacher for example. Your essay should also persuade readers to follow your process to become a successful nurse or teacher (or whatever profession you’re discussing).
Part 2 Criteria:
- Provide clear, logical, well organized informational process analysis
- Process is explained and is convincing to the reader
- Include a clear and focused thesis statement
- Exhibit a formal academic tone—third person only
- Meet the length requirement of 3-5 full pages
- Format sources correctly both in text and in the annotated bibliography
PART 3—Interview 20%
Length: 2 ½ -4 pages
For Part 3, you will interview someone currently working and/or teaching in the career field. You will need to develop at least 10 interview questions for them to answer. The questions should be thought provoking and interesting and require detailed answers. The person you interview should not be related to you.
For Part 3 you should include:
- A brief one paragraph introduction of the person (their credentials, experience, demographics)
- Your 10 (minimum) questions and the person’s answers in Q: A: format (see example)
- INCLUDE CONTACT INFORMATION—PHONE OR EMAIL for the person being interviewed
Your interview section should be formatted with the question and answer clearly marked like the example below.
Q1: When hanging a show in your gallery space, what is your process for deciding where and how to display the artwork?
A: First, I study all the pieces to determine if there are any complimentary themes, colors, and sizes. I have this
space projected in my mind and I play around with different combinations trying to visualize what will work best together. When you walk in the gallery, what will be the first thing someone sees? What will the focal piece of the show? I try to visualize these things first before I even start physically moving the art around.
PART 4—Annotated bibliography 35%
Length: 4-6 pages
For Part 4, you will submit a detailed annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography is the works cited page for this project—it should include ALL sources used. Each source should have a proper MLA citation, a 4-6 sentence summary, and a 2-3 sentence evaluation of the source (how useful and/or credible the source is and how it will fit into your project).
This will require a significant amount of effort and is an integral part of the research process.
AS SOON AS YOU BEGIN YOUR RESEARCH, YOU SHOULD BEGIN THE ANNOTATED BIBIOGRAPHY. This is something you work on as you go to document your research process and help you to keep track of all your sources.
Part 4 should:
- Include at least 5 sources minimum (10 max)
- Provide MLA documentation for each source
- Include a brief summary of the source IN YOUR OWN WORDS
- Explain the usefulness of the source to your project
- Be formatted exactly like the example provided
- All entries should appear in alphabetical order
IMPORTANT: The summary of the source should be ALL YOUR OWN WORDS. The point of this is for you to analyze and synthesize the information you find (demonstrate critical thinking skills) as well as document your research process.
PART 5 5%
Length: 1 page
For Part 5, you will reflect on your research process and what you learned while completing this project. Think about things like: Do you have a deeper understanding of your career field? Of the research process? What led you to that understanding? What was the most difficult part of the process? What insights did you gain? What did you learn? Etc.
This is the only part of the project that should be in first person. This is your personal reflection on what you learned and how you went through the process.
FINAL DRAFT—Putting it all together
Here are some general guidelines for putting all the parts together to make the final draft of this project.
- Heading should appear on first page only
- Each page should have your last name and page number at top right
- The entire document should be double spaced (go in and “remove space after paragraph” to make sure it is properly spaced)
- Each part should be clearly titled (Part 1: History and Background of Nursing, Part 2: Process of Becoming A Nurse, Part 3: Interview with Alice Groves, R.N., Part4: Annotated bibliography, Part 5: Reflection)
- Follow all MLA guidelines
- All parts should be combined and should be submitted as one document
Rough Draft due april 26 (75% needs to be complete)
Final draft due May 3.