This course examines the logic of research design and
explores how data are approached, collected and analyzed
in an interactive information age. Practical
applications across disciplines introduce both the
electronic and traditional tools and techniques
necessary to interpret and utilize findings. Case
studies and presentations prepare students to analyze,
evaluate and challenge specific applications and to
suggest alternative interpretations. Online databases
and the WWW expand options.
If you have a disability and will be requesting
accommodations for this course, please register
with either Kathy Duggan (Kathleen.email@example.com)
Associate Director, Academic Support Services, the
Connors Family Learning Center (learning
disabilities and ADHD) or Suzy Conway (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities (all
other disabilities). Advance notice and
appropriate documentation are required for
be required to read for most classes a reading
(they will be available online). For
each assigned reading for each class you must
write a brief summary/review/reaction (150 words
maximum for each reading).
writing assignments must be completed and handed
in on the evening the readings are to be
discussed. It is important that you read
all the class reading assignments. Each class
there will be a general discussion of the
PARTICIPATION: Classparticipation grade will be based
mainly on attendance and contribution to general class discussions. Students
are required to prepare the readings for the day they
are assigned and be willing to discuss them
in class. Your contribution to the discussion will
count for a substantial part of the 9 points given
to class participation.
is mandatory. To avoid an incomplete grade
for this course, please let me know ahead of
time about any circumstances that may prevent
you from making it to class. Punctuality is
also expected. Attendance is taken each
class. Students will be marked
as absent if they come late to class.
PHONES may not be used during class time.
be handed in by the stated due date. This is ESSENTIAL.
The grade for the assignment will be reduced by
20% each day or fraction of a day that the
assignment is late.
the act of taking the words, ideas, data,
illustrations, or statements of another person
or source, and presenting them as one's own.
Each student is responsible for learning and
using proper methods of paraphrasing and
footnoting, quotation, and other forms of
citation, to ensure that the original author,
speaker, illustrator, or source of the material
used is clearly acknowledged. Anyone guilty of
plagiarism will receive an F for the course and
will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Class Presentation of
Final Paper (Lit
Week 1: 5
assignment [The choice
of topic for the final paper (the course's
major assignment) must be indicated by means
of an e-mail message to the instructor by
the evening of the 10/17/2012 class. See end
of syllabus for list of topics]
2 assigned today -- due on 3 October, 2012.
Write a review of Nicholas Carr's article"Is
brains" (Atlantic Magazine, July/August 2008). In
addition to mentioning the article's major arguments,
themes, views etc., it is important that you provide, as
in most reviews, your own opinions of and reactions to
the article. Obviously feel free to agree or disagree,
praise or criticize as you feel appropriate. This review
should be about 900-1200 words or
about 3-4 pages in length.
Never before in history has so much information been
available in digital (electronic)
format. Also, though it might seem
paradoxical, never before in history has so much
information been available in print
format. Discuss the relative merits and
disadvantages of each format. Make a list of each and
give your opinion on which format you yourself prefer.
Homework 3 assigned today -- due on
17 October, 2012.Write a review of the 2009
Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research
in the Digital Age. In addition to mentioning the
article's major arguments, themes, views etc., it is
important that you provide, as in most reviews, your own
opinions of and reactions to the article. Obviously feel
free to agree or disagree, praise or criticize as you
feel appropriate. This review should be about 900-1200
words or about 3-4 pages in length.
Nicholas Carr's main argument in Is Google
Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is doing
to our brains is "that the Internet as a
whole (and not just Google) might have
detrimental effects on cognition that diminish
the capacity for concentration and
contemplation." Discuss Carr's main arguments
and provide your own opinions. Don't be shy
about either taking a totally opposite point of
view or, on the other hand, agreeing fully with
of major paper topic must be indicated
by means of an e-mail message to the
instructor by this evening’s class.
assigned today -- due on 31 October,
outline of your major research paper (two
pages maximum, double-spaced). The
outline should include a brief overview of the
topic, general organization (list a coherent
ordering of topics that you’ll address), and a
preliminary list of research sources to be used
(mention at least 10).
Discussion: Break up into
groups and discuss the following two case
studies. Focus on the ethical
Case 1 "Informed Consent and Children"
Given the vulnerability of many aging people and
their often hampered ability to express free
informed consent, many scholars have challenged
research on the elderly, notably
institutionalized elderly, and on children.
Especially questionable are experiments on
children who are unlikely to benefit from the
research in which they are involved. What is
your opinion of the research case that occurred
in 1984 when researchers transplanted a baboon
heart into a dying infant, "Baby Fae," even
though the heart had hardly any chance of
helping her live beyond several days?
Case 2 “Unexpected Abnormal Test
As a laboratory exercise, your graduate students
prepare slides with smears of their own
blood. You then randomize the slides and
ask each student to run various tests on an
anonymous slide from a classmate. One of
the slides shows very low values on some tests,
low enough to suggest HIV infection. What
action should you take?
Class Discussion:Euthanasia has received an immense
amount of both scholarly and popular attention over
the past decade. A multitude of books, articles,
reports etc. have been published on various aspects
of the topic. Arguably, it has been the subject of
Imagine that you are required to
research and write a 15 page term paper on a topic
of your choice having to do with Euthanasia. The
paper must have at least 20 references in the
bibliography. List some approaches how you
would go about researching this topic, identifying
strategies for locating the most relevant material
among the hundreds of thousands of books, articles
Mid-Term Exam Reading for next
of Citation"(by Judy Hunter, Grinnell College). This
paper is a good overview of the rationale behind
citation and its importance in scholarly
writing. Though it's written for students at
Grinnell, it's just as useful for students at BC
College. [write a brief review of
this article for next class -- 150 words or
of Major Research Paper Begin this Evening
-- 12 December, 2012
of Major Research Paper Continue this Evening Research Papers
Due Today Wrapping Up
PaperAssignment (worth 32% of grade)
Due last day of class: 12 December, 2012
This paper (at least
14 pages in length) will be a research paper on a
Students must choose ONE of
the following twenty research
International Business in Asia.
Purchasing Medicinal Drugs from Canada: Legal,
Business, and Moral Implications.
3. Animal Rights:
Legal and Ethical Issues.
4. Can Virtual
Universities Provide a "Good" Education?
Social Responsibility: Potential Conflict
Between Company Self Interest and Wider Social
6. Depletion of
the Ozone Layer: Grave Environmental Issue or
7. Do Print
Newspapers Have a Future?
Rights of Developers versus Wildlife
9. Ethics in
Advertising: Is This an Oxymoron?
10. How Can the
Gap Between Rich and Poor in America be
Telecommuting Fairer (or more unfair) to Men
than to Women?
12. Labor Unions
Today: Still Essential or Outlived Their Use?
13. Our Perception
of Femininity and Masculinity: The Influence
14. Portrayal of
African Americans in Movies: Racist,
Insensitive, Fair? An Analysis of Scholarly
Harassment in the Workplace: Strategies for
Security Privatization: Great Solution or
17. Technology is
Radically Changing American Education: Pros
18. The Global
Population Explosion: Does the World Have a
19. The Role of
Information Technology in Business and
20. World Food
Shortage: The Problem and Potential Solutions
is permissible for two students (no more than
two) to work together on this research
paper. However, it's important that each
student carries his/her weight and contributes
as equitably and as equally as possible. Each
student will be given the same grade for the
paper. It is totally optional for a pair to
work on a paper.
requirement: instead of the 14 pages minimum
required from a single student, a paper
researched and written by two students must be
at least 22 pages in length.
the purpose of this assignment I want you to
indicate that you have employed a variety of
different research tools (print as well as
online) to locate your literature.
Updated: 28 November, 2012
Questions or comments contact Brendan A.
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