Jamie BaxterWestern Social Science


Meeting Schedule

Tuesdays  10:30am- 12:30pm  SSC 5220

W Date Topic  Reading (see Web CT Owl)
1 Jan. 10  Organizational class meeting and intiial discussion none - be prepared to discuss learning objectives and aspirations
2 Jan. 17  Geography, research design and proposals Complete this survey
Clifford and Valentine (Ch 1) (2003)
Sheppard (2004)
Montello and Sutton (2006)
Northey et al. - diagram (2009)
3 Jan. 24  Stating problems, asking questions, and the logic of enquiry Latour (1999)
Shaw et al. (2010)
post one-pager on your multidisciplinary research project to Web-CT 
4 Jan. 31  Locating literature - session led by Dan Sich - Geography Librarian Complete this survey
Healey (2003)
Go to the Electronic Instruction room Weldon
5 Feb. 7  From Problems to Measurement Krathwohl and Smith (2005)  Ch 3,4
6 Feb. 14 Collecting Data 1 Krathwohl and Smith (2005) Ch 5, 11
 your research problem and questions by Monday
7 Feb. 21  READING WEEK 
8 Feb. 28  no class away AAG
9 Mar. 6  Ethics and Safety Bullard (2003)
Hay (2003)
10 Mar. 13  Presentations Shewchuck (2012)
Gabriel (2008)
11 Mar. 20  Methodology/Design Peer review - write your draft methodology (design) to Jamie by Mon. 9am
Kearns 2003
12 Mar. 27  Student Presentations none
13 Apr. 3  Student Presentations none

Course Description

Research design is a practical course leading towards the production of a provisional thesis proposal and a public presentation of the proposal. The logical structure of proposals and the substance of the arguments are reviewed and rehearsed across a broad spectrum of research design strategies.  We will link design and method with the philosophies discussed in term one.


Tutorial/Discussion style.  Most weeks you will be asked to read material prior to each session and be prepared to discuss this material in detail.


Lecture: Tuesday, 2 hours, 10:30 - 12:30, SSC 5220


Library - 5%

Written Proposal - 40%

Presenation of Proposal - 35%

Participation - 20%


Text: None

Additional readings?: We will be reading material from various texts, journals and perhaps websites.  They are all available on WebCt Owl or linked in the schedule below.  As this is the first offering of this course readings may be added/changed often - so check back here often.

University Policies

Accommodation for Illness, Family Death etc.

For UWO Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness and a downloadable SMC see:


Downloadable Student Medical Certificate (SMC): http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/medicalform_15JUN.pdf

Students seeking academic accommodation on medical grounds for any missed graded course components must apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Academic accommodation cannot be granted by the instructor or department.

And now some messages from our lawyers...

Mental Illness

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you. Please visit http://www.uwo.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/ for more information on these resources and on mental health.


The Department of Geography has a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism. If a student commits plagiarism, the instructor will assign a grade of zero to the assignment. A second instance of plagiarism is regarded as a scholastic offense and will be dealt with according to The University of Western Ontario policy for Scholastic offenses - more on our policy on plagiarism via this link. The most common offense is failing to cite properly - if you quote directly, cite the author! You do not get the benefit of the doubt (you are not presumed innocent until proven guilty) when such offenses are committed. That is, the burden of proof is reversed. Can you prove "it was an accident" (this is a rhetorical question)?

The following is an excerpt from the university secretariat: Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf

Not citing the work of others is generally the main violation - ignorance is no excuse! See next...


Unfortunately turnitin has "caught" several offenders in my classes, please do not be the next one - it is awkward for everyone involved. If you do original work and write and cite properly you have nothing to worry about. The university has provided this mandatory wording: "All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and Turnitin.com"

Once logged in to Turnitin copy the id and pass below to the appropriate fields at the Turnitin website.

1. Login to turnitin - register if you do not have an account.

2. Join the course with the following credentials:

TA "All Students" ID: 10691701
"All Students" password: Reed