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ES498: Instructions for the Research Paper, Fall 2021 This document provides only a rough outline of how academic research is done. Be sure to read the applicable chapters in the books I recommend in the syllabus (“Communicating in Geography…” and “Study Skills…”). You should also consult the many research tutorials and handouts provided on Laurier’s Library page (more links are posted on the ES498 MLS course page under ‘Resources for your Research Paper’). I expect that you consult those resources as you write your paper. This document has three sections: Purpose, Task, and Criteria for Success 1) Purpose The purpose of this Research Paper is to: • • • apply the conceptual knowledge you have learned in this course to a case study of your choice o For example, how (and why!) is the concept of ‘nature/natural’ employed to differentiate resource use by First Nations from commercial fishing or logging operations? Or to justify the hunting of seal pups? o How is the concept of ‘environment’ used to defend positions on either side of the conflict over the Keystone pipeline project? Or in the push for electric cars? o How is the concept of ‘pollution’ used in the arguments made in support of nuclear energy? analyze your case study by placing it into the larger context of academic literature o what have scholars written about the concepts that are at the heart of your case study? o what can you learn from how they have applied them to other case studies? write a paper in several stages so you can incorporate feedback and thus actively improve your writing skills. In general terms, this Research Paper will challenge you to show your mastery of: • • • • course concepts and textbook content o can you correctly use concepts and terminology from the textbook? literature research o can you find/evaluate/integrate good academic sources? academic conventions o are you able to properly integrate, format, and cite quoted material? writing for a critical educated audience o can you write with proper logic, tone, clarity, style, grammar, spelling, and punctuation? What is this Research Paper good for? Researching and writing this research paper prepares you for a variety of writing tasks you will encounter in your professional life, for instance: • • • • • • • writing a proposal for a project preparing a research brief for your boss so she can negotiate with project stakeholders applying for funding for the project writing a progress report writing a position paper that responds to stakeholders’ concerns or lawsuits preparing an accountability report on how the funding was spent composing a media release about the project’s success 2) Task Your task in this Research Paper is to: • • • • select a concept from the textbook that interests you find a case study that illustrates the concept find literature that helps you analyze the concept as it plays out in your case study write up a paper in which you explain why and how this case study illustrates the concept Stage One: select a concept and a case study you wish to write about • • • as you read the textbook, you become interested in the concept of development colonialism: how and why did the Canadian state prevent Indigenous peoples from developing natural resources on their own land? you become aware of the recent conflict over Mi’kmaw fishing rights in Nova Scotia that pits Indigenous fishermen against commercial fishing operations you do some initial reading to find out whether this conflict illustrates the concept of development colonialism and you decide that it is a suitable case study Stage Two: understand the concept better by doing some preliminary ‘scoping’ research • • • in this stage you o become informed about the concept you chose and the topic in general, and o develop an idea of what to look for once you begin to search for more specific, academic sources in Stage Three start by mining the textbook sections that relate to the concept you chose, paying particular attention to the bibliography do some ‘scoping’ research by consulting non-academic sources and platforms such as Wikipedia, but only for the purpose of building your general understanding of the topic. Your actual paper should be built on ACADEMIC sources (see below – also refer to Peter Genzinger’s workshop and videos). • • here is a random selection of freely accessible non-academic platforms/magazines that you could turn to for reliable general information: The Conversation, The Economist, The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, the CBC, BBC, and NPR, The Guardian, Vox, TED talks. once you are more informed about your concept and the topic in general, you are ready to begin the next, more specific stage of your research Stage Three: search for academic sources on which to build your paper • • • through the library system, find academic sources (also called scholarly or peer-reviewed literature) that examine the concept you want to examine from an academic perspective for example, you may look for academic journal articles examining the concept of development colonialism in the American or Australian context learn from the way these articles explain and use the concept in their analyses o this is the point of the literature search: you want to learn from the methods and conclusions other authors have put forward o in other words: don’t re-invent the wheel, but build on the contribution of other authors – but be absolutely certain to properly cite their work! Stage Four: transfer and apply those insights from the literature to your case study • analyze your case study by transferring and applying what you have learned from the scholarly articles you found in the literature to the events/processes you are examining in your case study o for example: you find a journal article that relates the concept of development colonialism to the disenfranchisement of the Maori in New Zealand and y

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