Your final paper serves as a culmination of what we’ve been covering throughout this course. It is aimed at pushing you to position yourself as a researcher, conceptualizing, approaching, and proposing a potential study that you could feasibly complete.
The full final paper needs to be formatted in the following manner/contain the following requisite support:
- Size 12 Times New Roman font
- Minimum 10 pages of content
- 1” margins all around
- A uniformly applied citation method (both in-text and in the references list)
- You can use ASA, APA, MLA, etc.
- A minimum of 12 resources
- 10 of these resources mustbe from academic peer-reviewed resources
- 2 of these resources must come from a non-academic (though trustworthy) resource. These are especially useful for your introduction
To that end, the Research Proposal contains the following, required items:
- Cover Page (this is not included in the 10 page minimum)
- Literature Review
- Proposed Study’s Data Source
- References (this is not included in the 10 page minimum)
Each of these components break down as follows:
- Cover Page
- On the cover page you need to have the following items: title, your name, course number, and date submitted
- The introduction will serve to introduce the topic and idea to your audience (i.e. me). In this case, you need to construct an introduction that motivates an interest in the topic as well as introduces the basic necessities of understanding to your reader. To that end, your introduction should focus primarily on your issue of interest (the pay gap, for example).
- Make sure there is a clear thesisof what your overall paper is as well as the research question you’re attempting to answer.
- It should give some insight into the components that underlie that issue (define it, give a bit of history on it, and also present basic statistics for it, which you can obtain through places like newspaper articles or research organizations like Pew).
- Remember: the introduction motivates the reader to want to know more, so it needs to stay focused on the issue that you want to address. If you have an annual review article, it can give you some great basic details for your introduction.
- Literature Review
- For your literature review, you must use a minimum of 10 peer-reviewed, academic research articles. The literature review serves to fine tune your point further and helps you to focus on where you are most specifically interested, namely the key concepts, factors, and variables that you think influence the problem you are trying to understand.
- You need to work through your idea here about what you identify as happening. This works to take what you’re interested in and give insight into how it’s complex. So, make sure your literature review discusses what influences you’re interested.
- For example, say you were interested in the voting behaviors of people. Your literature review would note what influences people to vote and why. So, you’d most likely have some discussion of how and why race influences voter preference, as well as some discussion of some things like gender, income, etc. That way your reader understands the complexity of the issue, but keep in mind your major focus.
- For this section, you’re welcome to break it down into subsections. For example, if you’re doing a study of food consumption patterns and the changing nature of diets being influenced by pop culture, you could have subsections regarding vegetarianism/veganism, gluten-free, paleo, etc. (Or, if you’re more interested in how food trends are mediated by demographics, you could use subsections like Racial Variation in Food Consumption, Gendered Nature of Food Consumption, etc.)
- These should clearly articulate what you are expecting to see in terms of your key independent variable(s) influencing your dependent variable, or at least the what you expect to see.
- For example: at this point I’d make the claim of what I expect to see in my own data as it flows from the literature review I just did.
- Note that your point of what you’d expect to find mustmake sense with the literature review you just wrote; you don’t simply use your personal thoughts here, you’re make an educated guess (aka you were just educated by the literature review you performed).
- Do not worry about writing these as formal hypotheses like you would for statistical testing (though you’re welcome to).
- Proposed Study’s Data Source
- As a social science major, you’ve been exposed to much in the way of data collection, research methodology, and data. To that end, you’ve just spent the bulk of the paper identifying a research question for your reader, reviewing literature, and letting the reader know what you think you’ll find. To round this out, spend some time talking about how you think you’d be able to address your research question in a substantive manner. Here, I’m less concerned about you identifying a specific method but I am concerned with making sure you conceptualize the manner in which the question could be addressed. Use your skills and knowledge from your major. If you’re having trouble with this section, please post on the forum and either Vanessa or myself will get back to you and, this way, your peers who are also having trouble can benefit.
- The conclusion reiterates your main research question and the points you’re expecting to address and why. Highlight how your research fits within and is useful for the broader area you’re arguing for. Additionally, note what you can’t address in this project but make sure you present how this gets us moving forward and basis for understanding and pursuing future research
- In addition to using in-text citations, you must also have a references list. Use whichever citation method you want butit must be uniform!
Topic Proposal Guidelines
This assignment is the basis of your term paper and is your opportunity to propose the general idea of your project. This works two-fold: it allows for you to already start sketching out what fashion/trends means to you both personally and academically while also getting you on the journey to conceptualize a broader project that can address these ideas.
These projects should be of interest to you so that it’s something you enjoy completing. There are minimal limits on this project, the only being that it needs to fit within the conceptual scope of the course (and must be social scientific in nature). You’re not required to write about clothing, but must still think of the ways in which the theoretical ideas expand beyond.
Some possible topics to pursue (though you should attempt to come up with your own):
- Import duties on clothing items
- International (or historical) shifts in consumption of goods
- Fashions in durable goods (durable goods are items used for long periods, such as houses, cars, appliances)
- Negative environmental effects of fashion and consumption
- Cultural appropriation
- Navigating consumer desires in the short-term/long-term success for businesses
- Identity management and expression
(cue Ron Popeil voice) “and so much more!”
Make sure it is Times New Roman, size 12, with 1-inch margins, double-spaced. I’m not entirely concerned about specific length (aim for about 2/3 of a page, but you can go longer) but you should take as much space as necessary to address each required element in a sufficient manner (i.e. I should understand fully your thinking and reasoning behind each).
Acceptable file types: .doc, .docx, .pdf (I have set Canvas to only accept these types so if you can’t upload, make sure that you’ve saved it as a correct file type).
Your proposal must contain the following elements
- The broad topic in which you’re interested. Also, why are you interested in this topic/area of study?
- Research Question:
- Make this the actual question you want to answer, such as “Why are high heels a representation of femininity?” or “How do heritage brands update their marketing to appeal to modern consumers?”
- Discuss your thoughts behind this question, why this research question exactly?
- Give some pre-emptive insight into your thoughts: what do you think the answer to this question is (and why)?
- Who does your topic and research question apply to? Why this population? Who does it not apply to? Does this create any difficulties in understanding it, or is it a strength?