Research Project

The majority of your grade in VISA 3P98 will be based on your research project. This project is broken into three components:

a) project proposal (worth 15%; due on October 9, 2013)
b) project poster presentation (worth 15%; presentations will take place on November 27, 2013)
b) research paper (worth 30%; due on December 13, 2013)

As this class is a special topics course, students are to design a research project based on their own particular interest(s) related to the theme of “Picturing Animals.” I am happy to consult with you to help shape the direction of your project, but I will not assign topics. You may choose to focus on a particular artist, theory, theme, medium or a particular type of representation of nonhuman species.

Project Proposal: The project proposal should be a minimum of 2 pages and explain the topic you wish to pursue for the research project in this course. Your proposal should include a specific topic (not just a broad theme!), and preliminary ideas about your research paper. Try to answer the following questions in your proposal:

-What topic do you want to focus on?
-Why have you selected this topic?
-What interests you about this topic?
-What do you hope to learn by doing this research? How do you plan to conduct your research?
-What images/artists/authors will be important for your research?
-How will you conduct your research? Be specific! Your proposal should also include a bibliography of key sources you will need to consult for this project.

*Note: students may find Sylvan Barnet’s book, A Short Guide to Writing About Art, useful when preparing their proposal.

Proposals should be uploaded to by the due date. A hard-copy of your assignment is not required.

Poster Presentation: During our last class all students will participate in a poster presentation session. You will be responsible for desigining a poster version of your research project. While the final design of your poster will depend on your specific project, some elements your poster should include are:

-research question
-thesis statement
-key ideas
-key images
-select bibliography of important research sources

The easiest and most efficient way to design a research poster is to use Power Point (or a similar program). Posters should be a single slide formatted 48”x 36.” The James A. Gibson Library offers poster printing at a reasonable price.

Research Paper: Your research paper should be roughly 12-15 pages long. Papers in this class can be historical or contemporary in focus, but must be supported by academic research. Your research paper should be formatted using the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers should be uploaded to by the due date. A hard-copy of your assignment is not required.

You are required to use a minimum of 5 academic research resources for this project. To find appropriate research resources you will need to consult the library catalogue, as well as article databases such as JSTOR, Project Muse and Academic Search Premier.

*Tip: as you are accessing course readings, take a moment to browse the issue and/or journal you are getting the weekly reading from. Often there are other articles relating to course themes in these publications.

You may wish to order books and research resources through Brock’s inter-library loan service (RACER), but please remember that the delivery of these items may take some time so it is important to place your request early.

You may use websites and other electronic resources as part of your research, however, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

1)A thoroughly researched paper draws from a number of different types of sources. Papers that only rely on websites and do not consider academic books and journal articles will not be considered appropriately researched and will be marked accordingly.

2)Under no circumstances should Wikipedia be considered an academic source. Like any encyclopedia or dictionary, this is an acceptable place to get basic information about a topic, however, academic research requires the use of sources that go beyond providing basic information.

As this is a major research project, students are strongly encouraged to work on this assignment throughout the term rather than leaving it to the end of term.