Project Proposal: Prepping for Research

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This Brief is designed to help you invent terms and perspectives that will carry you through the research process for WP3. Write a Brief that:

(1) Identifies the controversy/debate you’ve decided to ‘map’ for the Stakeholder Analysis. Think outside the box when selecting your topic. You may pick a topic with more traditionally ‘controversial’ aspects (the Standing Rock Protests, how humans should respond to loss of our planet’s biodiversity), or you may pick more out-of-the-box debates (debates around how Nobel Prizes or the Oscars are distributed, how accurate the film I, Tonya was). The main criteria you should use in selecting your debate are:

(i) Are there sufficient texts available on this topic? I had a student who picked the fascinating topic Is there life after death? for WP3, but then really struggled to find relevant texts.

(ii) Can I bring something unique/different to this topic that will break down oversimplified binaries? I had a student who (at the very last, last minute) selected marijuana legalization for WP3, but failed to get beyond the categories of ‘weed is good’ and ‘weed is bad.’ On the other hand, a student picked immigration at the southern border for her topic, and (in addition to rich research) explored her own family history in a way that added interesting, unusual Stakeholders.

(2) Discusses how you’ve used ASU Libraries to assist you in the invention process. Navigate to the “Ask a Research Question” function (the one marked with an envelope) on the “Ask a Librarian Page.” Use this tool to send at least one question to the librarians about your research project, though it may be helpful to ask more than one. Remember from the librarian visit that this tool is a space designed for:

(i) Invention questions like “Here is my topic. Do you think it’s refined enough to begin researching, or should I widen it or narrow it more?”

(ii) Research questions like “Here is my topic. Can you advise me in how to find relevant and readable texts in the Library Databases, or on Google?”

(iii) Keyword invention. “Here is my topic. What are some related terms I may not have thought of yet?”

(3) Briefly discusses the Stakeholders you’ve identified thus far. This list does not need to be exhaustive, but at this point, it should be more developed than “Pro-topic” Stakeholders and “Anti-topic” Stakeholders. By the time I started research on the Standing Rock protests in earnest, I knew there were protesters in the camp, pipeline representatives/lobbyists in Washington, and local residents of North Dakota. Later, it turned out there were 3-4 different Stakeholders contained in each of those initial groups.

This Brief should be 500 or more words in length, though it may go long. It should follow your choice of citation style (APA, MLA, etc.) for headers, footers, page numbers, cover pages, spacing, titles, author name, instructor name, etc. There is a very handy example of an MLA-style paper here at Purdue OWL, and an APA-style paper here (because the Briefs are, well…brief, they do not require a cover page or abstract); it is highly recommended that you consult them. Brief 8 should be double-sided, if possible. If it requires multiple sheets, it should be stapled. Choices of organization, tone, style, content, etc. are entirely up to you.

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