Instructions and Timeline for EDRS 642 and 643
EDRS 642 Research Proposal
Before registering for EDRS 642
▪ Your project must be approved by your advisor before you register for EDRS 642
▪ Before I will approve your project
o you should also look at some completed research projects in the library (this can be done electronically by going to Lumen. To do this go to regis.edu, type “Lumen” in the search field, and when you go to Lumen search for “Master of Education”. You will need to click on each entry to verify whether it is a Teacher Ed. Research Project as well to verify whether it is an electronic version; click on electronic document to access the electronic file).
▪ Before meeting with me, you will also want to identify a possible topic area and spend a few hours looking through the literature on that topic area. Try to narrow your topic area based on what you find in the literature (i.e. if you were interested in doing a project on the differences between parochial schools and traditional public schools, you would first look into the literature in this area and try to find a focus like the catholic school effect.).
▪ You can take EDRS 642 either GIS or online
▪ If you plan to take it GIS, contact the instructor after I have approved your project idea; after an instructor agrees to work with you, you can register for the course.
During EDRS 642
▪ The Guidelines for Academic Papers and Research Projects outlines the process but the main goal of EDRS 642 is to write your research proposal. Your research proposal includes an introduction chapter, a literature review chapter, and a methods chapter. When you have completed this course, you will then turn your research proposal in to your instructor for EDRS 643. The instructor will read over your proposal (i.e., your first three chapters). Ninety-nine percent of the time they will accept your proposal. However, 100% of the time they will have you make changes and additions (often to your literature review) to your first three chapters. Once these changes are made, the first three chapters will serve as your chapters 1-3 of the five chapter research project.
▪ The most critical part of the proposal is the problem statement, so spend some time on this!. Please see basic guidelines for problem statements:
Or more elaborate explanation available in the attachment (SAGE chapter) below.
▪ Your grade in EDRS 642 does not mean that your proposal (i.e., chapters 1-3) is good to go. You can typically expect at least one round (if not two or more) of editing of the first three chapters.
▪ If you are unable to complete EDRS 642 or 643 in an 8 week term and are seeking an incomplete, please consult the Regis Bulletin for the rules surrounding the award of an incomplete grade.
▪ Regarding graduation, if you have not turned in your application, do so now! Graduation deadlines are firm and come very early each semester and can be renewed for the subsequent semester if you do not make it. Apply earlier to be safe. To apply for graduation go to:
▪ You need to have everything (final copy on a CD-R) in your instructors hands two weeks before the end of the semester. Please don’t try to push past that deadline; it makes for less than quality work. However, some students find themselves at a point where getting a “B- ” and being done is better than working for 8+ more weeks to get an “A”. This is something you can negotiate when you draw nearer to completion.
EDRS 643 Research Project
Tips to help transition from EDRS 642 to EDRS 643
The following are things I have found students should be aware of before taking EDRS 642. The following will help you be successful not only in EDRS 642 but also can help prepare you for taking EDRS 643.
▪ The number one area students struggle with is with the literature review; plan to spend extra time on the literature review in EDRS 642. If not, you will spend extra time in EDRS 643 on it.
▪ Simply reiterating old or previously published information is not sufficient
▪ Students often ask how many sources are needed in their literature review. There isn’t an easy number. A literature review should review the literature on a subject. A solid literature review can often have 10-30+ resources. However, regardless of the number, you need enough to adequately summarize / synthesize the literature on a subject. Take a look at the following example online: http://legacysite.regis.edu/content/cpedcn/pdf/Proposal_1.pdf. Notice that it has 28 sources for 31 pages of text. While I can’t state that 28 sources are needed for every possible literature review (some might need more, others might need less), I can state that five or six references is never enough for a literature review and that any given section of a literature review will need more than one source to adequately summarize and synthesize the literature; that is, you can’t convincingly state that the literature states “X” and only cite one source.
▪ Instrcutors don’t want to know what you feel or your opinions. Rather, you need to state what you think and why. Often by using active verbs, the first person can be avoided.
▪ Using the “as cited in” strategy of scholarship is not sufficient. Only in rare cases is this acceptable. If the work is important, you need to go to the original source. You should rarely accept another author’s interpretation of a piece of work that you can go read and interpret yourself. You will not get an “A” in EDRS 643 if you do this more than a couple of times (that is, unless you can justify why you can’t locate and read the primary source yourself)
▪ Websites are often not the best source of valid scholarship. Therefore, while your literature review can and often should include resources from the web, it also needs to include some more traditional resources from academic journals and books that have been peer reviewed.
▪ Simply stringing together quote after quote isn’t sufficient----A quote should be used to support something you said or you should follow up a quote with explaining the significance of it. A research project or more specifically the literature review should not simply be a string of quotations but rather should be your synthesis of the material. You need to support your claims and often this isn’t done enough. However, paraphrasing and summarizing (and citing) are often better.
▪ Headings can be your friend. Headings help organize your writing and help your readers. Students often don’t use enough headings. The number one problem found with students papers during 643 is a lack of clear organization. Headings can help with this.
▪ Transitions can also help with organization. In academic writing, you want to strive to be concise and limit wordiness but at the same time when you are writing a 50+ page document, you need to be explicit and help the reader see the connection between each paragraph and section of the paper.
▪ The following resources should help. Each link below links to the beginning of a section. Follow the links at the bottom of each page to complete the tutorial for each section.
Paragraph & Topic Sentence http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/606/01/ (I find students often don’t get this)
Sentence Variety: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/573/01/
For students who are still having trouble with their writing, please see the attached chapters from Williams for instruction on clear writing.