Jamie BaxterWestern Social Science



Due: Friday Apr. 13, 2018,    Electronic and hardcopy submissions both accepted. For the most part, there will be no exceptions to this deadline.

Worth: 45%

Description: Please chose ONE of the following options for your final paper to write a 15 page max. (double spaced, reasonable margins) paper.  In keeping with a key theme of the course, think/write critically on the topic. 

  1. Design and conduct a preliminary study involving interivews.  (CORE is required prior to fieldwork - takes about 3 hrs - please send me your certificate)
  2. Design and conduct a preliminary study involving photovoice or photo-elicitation.  (CORE is required prior to fieldwork - takes about 3 hrs - pleasesend me your certificate).
  3. Conduct a discourse analysis of a topic via written documents - e.g., a policy document(s); newspaper and magazine articles - and highlight the strenghts and limitations of this method.  Two good on-line databases for newspaper and magazine articles are Canadian Newsstand and Factiva.   You will need to carefully scope a media analysis - approximately 20 articles should be your guideline - but actually scope the selection of articles by time period.
  4. Write a research paper on any aspect of qualitative research that interests you and is relevant to the course.  Where appropriate, highlight the strengths and limitations of the method/methodology/analytical procedure.

Write in a formal style, cite appropriately, and include a title page at the begining and reference list at the end.

A reminder that plagiarism is a serious scholastic offence (cite appropriately!).


Worth: 30%
Schedule: see lecture schedule

Description: At the beginning of term (in the introductory class) , students will be assigned (sign up for) a class session to lead.  Each class is based on the week’s readings. These students will make critically informed presentations to the class about the weekly readings and will use whatever strategies the like to stimulate discussion within the group. Students are expected to organize as a group (if more than one student is involved) and should prepare to lead the entire class session - keeping in mind that group discusison should be a focus. The key themes of the readings should be summarized, critically evaluated, and presented clearly and concisely.  You wll be assessed on any formal presentation materials provided (e.g., powerpoint, handouts) as well as contributions to the discussion.  I am happy to post handouts on this website if you provide them to me well ahead of class time.

Summary/Synthesis of the readings ~ 45%

    Are the students able to identify the key themes of the chapters?
    How well do the students understand the argument?

Critical Thinking/Assessment ~ 40%

     Do the students demonstrate critical thinking in their presentations?
     Are the students able to identify the assumptions behind the authors's arguments?

Presentation/Facilitation Style ~ 15%

    Is the presentation/facilitation clear?
    Is the presentation/faciltation well organized?

Participation and weekly written critical summaries

Worth: 25%
Due: each week by 8am on the day of class
Submit: via Owl (go to the "Resources" section and upload to the appropriate folder - I will place the commented file here too) or if you want to keep your reflection and commments private, email to Jamie.

Description: Students are expected to contribute to discussion in every class. Participation will be evaluated on the basis of the frequency of your participation, the extent to which you demonstrate an understanding of the material, the quality of critical commentary, and the quality of the questions that you ask of the group. In order to prepare for class participation, students are required to hand in a 500 word (maximum) critical summary of the material we read for the class.  This will include three questions that will be prepared to pose in class to stimulate discussion or clarify key points.  The emphasis should be on critical commentary rather than simply retelling of the main points.