Independent Study Project

The ISP gives you an opportunity to choose a topic near to your heart, develop a thesis and then “run with it”. This year I’ve simplified things and reduced your workload. In previous years, the ISP consisted of 2 parts: a powerpoint presentation to the whole class and a 3,500 word essay. There tended to be a lot of duplication between the 2 parts, so I’ve decided to do away with the essay. Hooray, I hear you say. But that means your ppt. has to be really good!
  1. Here’s a list of topics to choose from.
  2. The next task is to develop a clearly developed thesis statement accompanied by a “plan of attack” – explaining in point form the main areas you intend to cover, the research you need to complete and how you plan to deal with opposition to your thesis. Rubric is here. Due date: Friday, 02 March.
  3. Next you have to demonstrate that you’ve been doing some critical reading and research into your topic which leads to the production of an annotated bibliography for your 5 best sources. Here’s the instructions and rubric. Due date: Friday, March 30.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

And another view on A.B. (more relevant for our purposes than the one above.

From the weblog  for my APS class re annotated bibliographies, this may be useful:

Sample annotated bibliography

    • Remember that journal articles are expensive and Google is free; therefore journal articles are NOT found by Googling.  Here are the instructions for using the databases:
      • YM Library  – go to databases
      • go to “General” – Knowledge Ontario (pwrd. = trillium)
      • check off  all – uncheck  all
      • select 2: Academic Onefile  and Academic ASAP
      • click with empty search box
      • Browse subjects (on yellow-gold banner)
      • check off Peer reviewed and full text
      • input ONE general, basic, wide-ranging word  i.e. media
      • Then look for + divisions or Related Subjects
      • These lists are like brainstorming terms “around” your topic and help you zoom in.  They also help you find a particular type of article such as “research” for a study or survey with hypothesis and conclusions.When you look at the comments from previous students below, ignore the stuff about the essay. And don’t be confused by the 2 images at the top of the page. Even if you’re not writing an essay, you will still be doing the research elements referred to, just not putting them in essay format.Finally, it’s time for the presentation. Here’s the check list and rubricAnd here are a couple of level 4 presentations from a previous class: Africa & colonialism ; Human Rights – freedom of expression

30 Responses to “Independent Study Project”

  1. sarelle shiner Says:

    My thesis is : The devestation and tremendous loss caused be deforestation has become a major epidemic, leading to the destruction of the environment on many levels and has acted as a catylyst in the destruction of existing areas and is brought and is a result of globalization

  2. permarev Says:

    handwritten summary is fine.

  3. mmmaythe Says:

    Is there a next step (part 2)? Or are we going straight into the essay?

  4. mmmaythe Says:

    Does the annotated bibliography have to be from database sources, or can it be from newspaper articles, too?

    • heffernan Says:

      No newspapers. Electronic DBs OK, hard copies of journals OK

    • permarev Says:

      To paraphrase Nike, “Just don’t do it”. Ignore the papers. Go for the journals. Or use papers that provide sources, in the same way as Wikipedia, as background info to direct you other sources.

      • Justina Says:

        So does this mean we can’t use information from newspaper articles in our final essay either, or does it just apply to the annotated bibliography?

      • permarev Says:

        You can use as many newspaper articles as you like in the sources you cite for the actual essay. For the ann bib you can’t. The purpose of the ann bib is to encourage you to go beyond news articles. I will be looking more favourably on essays that cite academic research over news articles no matter how in support of your thesis these articles may be.

  5. Matthew Says:

    when is the final ISP exactly due??

  6. Justina Says:

    In the first section of the rubric, the variety of sources says “2 sites that are non”. What does that mean?

  7. Justina Says:

    Is an encyclopedia a “book”?

  8. Victor Says:

    I found an article on the Gale database from the The Economist. Can I use it?

  9. Deena A. Says:

    Can our “other” source be another book/journal/whatever? Or does it have to be something completely different?

  10. Justina Says:

    For our essays, which form of citations should we be using, the embedded or one of the two kinds of footnotes?

  11. Justina Says:

    Also, our final bibliography should be APA like the Annotated Bibliography right?

  12. Alan Russel Says:

    why do i have a pink emblem???????

  13. Sean Says:

    lol Alan. Mr. Heffernan I just checked out the course summary and it says that the essay combined with the powerpoint presentation are worth a combined 8% of our mark. I was wondering if it’s 4% for essay and 4% for the presentation or if it’s a different split?

    • Matt Himmel Says:

      i beleive its 5 for the essay and 3 for the powerpoint. or 6-2. not sure the exact one but i know its not an even 4-4

  14. mmmaythe Says:

    Are we not supposed to have our presentation mark included in the most recent mark update, or is it just mine?

  15. Claire Says:

    i ight just be obviously missing it, but I don’t see the rubric anywhere Mr.Heffernan

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