Drafts update and Reflection on the final paper

Posted: December 6, 2013 in Useful advice for students

I am going through your drafts and doing my best to provide helpful feedback. I was unable to clear my days on Tuesday and Wed., so I wasn’t able to get to them until last night. At about 30-60 minutes per draft (and other meetings and things), I was hoping to be done by Sat morning, but realistically, that will probably be Sunday morning.

I believe I already moved the deadline to Wednesday of exam week, but if you need another day to write the PERFECT paper, just let me know and we can work something out.

Now, a couple of reminders and tips:

  1. Follow the outline in the slides I presented in class.
  2. Remember the Appendices – any research instruments (surveys, interview questions, observation sheets) as well as a Reflection. In the Reflection, please think a bit about your experience working on this paper. What was easy, what was difficult, but most importantly, what you learned from this experience: What skills do you feel confident you have learned/improved? Writing introductions? Organizing literature reviews? Making arguments for the need for your study? Finding references? If you were to do this again, knowing what you know now, what would you do? Do you usually write outlines and drafts? This time you did. Was that helpful? How?
  3. Writing – do remember to use your literature review to make an argument for the need for your research. At the end of each literature section, write a couple of sentences that APPLY that information to your study. Use it. Is it a stepping stone? A gap in the literature? What does it mean for your study? Then, add a TRANSITION to the next section. You will see notes about A+T in the comments on your draft, this is what it means.
  4. Discussion – from what I’ve seen so far, the Discussion sections could be stronger. There is more to Discussion than listing implications of the research. You also need to interpret and explain the results, and relate them to the literature you reviewed. Also, remember to discuss limitations.
  5. Directions for Future Research  – This is another section that is often weak. Most suggestions for future research involve more of the same: Do the same study, but make it bigger, or with different populations. That’s OK, but not as interesting as it could get. Think about it this way: Knowing what we know now from your research contribution, what would be some other, further questions to ask that would take the field deeper, farther, or to more interesting places? Think beyond “more of the same.”

Please keep an eye on the blog for further notes and updates.


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