Course Requirements

  1. 100% attendance
  2. Host workshop on your work
  3. Submit drafts and components on-time
    1. Exploratory essay
    2. Bibliography
    3. Substantive paper
    4. Research Methods
    5. Analysis Plan
    6. Proposal
  4. Presentation and wiki page on research skills
  5. Presentation and wiki page on soc/anth concept
  6. Present research proposal in end of semester defense


Click here.

1.20 Introduction and Getting Under Way

The task ahead. The library. Read. Read. Write. Write. Talk about books. Protip #1. We visit the library. Annual Reviews Up and down the stacks. What call number for your topics?

1.27 Getting to Know One Another

Mechanics Presentation 0: Mechanics: Getting Started
Mechanics Presentation 1: Starting Your File

2.3 Getting Underway


"What should we be working on? What should we hand in?" ANSWER: Your bibliography should be growing, your file should be begun (be ready to say what medium you are using and something you have put in it so far); you should probably have discarded some of those first books and replaced them with others; you should probably have written some essays about how your topic is evolving in your mind. I'll be happy to receive and comment on any of these. In any case, you can expect we'll ask you to have something to say related to such things.

Mechanics: Presentation 2: Starting Your File
Mechanics: Presentation 3: Plagiarism
Mechanics: Presentation 4: What is Good Thesis Research?
Mechanics: Presentation 4: Writing
Mechanics: Presentation 5: Rewriting, Editing, Wordsmithing
Sign up for initial thesis consultation


Be working on your first draft of a project statement (2775-3000 words — not including bibliography). It should describe the general substantive/empirical "sandbox" in which you wish to play. It should catalog what you know and don't know about this area. It should attempt to sketch out the social science forest(s) in which this project might be located. What is it you want to find out? What are your initial thoughts about how you might go about doing so? What is it about those methods that you find attractive?

You may want to look at the first four chapters of Kristin Luker's tSalsa Dancing into the Social Sciences : Research in an Age of Info-glut, especially the "What Is This a Case of, Anyway?"


DUE: Exploratory essay about prospective topic. Between 2775 and 3000 words plus bibliography.

Today we begin "workshopping" our colleagues' work. This is the main work of the seminar so it is important from the outset to make clear that your "work" for the course is in no small part your active participation in the evolution of your classmates' projects.

Advice from recent thesis students.
Workshop 1 :
Workshop 2 :
Workshop 3 :

2.24 Social Science Basics

Mechanics: Presentation 7: Time Management Krissy (See my home page for notes)
Mechanics: Presentation 10: Ethnographic Fieldwork Paper
Workshop 4 :


DUE: Five pages of evidence of progress. Social Science Basics exercise writeup. Wiki updates.

DJR : On research design.
Workshop 7 :
Mechanics: Presentation 11: Quantitative Research Papers


DUE: Online bibliography should have 25 items in it

Mechanics: Presentation 2: Starting Your File
Mechanics: Presentation 4: What is Good Thesis Research?
Workshop 11 :
Workshop 12 :
Workshop 13 :
Workshop 14 :


Mechanics: Presentation 6: Graphics and Tables
Mechanics: Presentation 8: Textual Analysis/Paper
Mechanics: Presentation 9: Library Research Paper
Workshop 5 :
Workshop 6 :
Workshop 8 :
Workshop 9 :
Workshop 10 :


3.31 Peri-penultimate Draft

Workshop 15 :
Workshop 16 :
Workshop 17 :
Workshop 18 :


Workshop 19 :
Workshop 20 :
Workshop 21 :
Workshop 22 :

4.14 Final (penultimate) Draft of Research Proposal

This is the draft on which you get requests for changes and which we will all read in preparation for Q&A at your defense.

4.21 Proposal Defenses

4.28 Proposal Defenses

Students will prepare short Powerpoint presentations of their proposed project and face questions from audience of peers.

WEDNESDAY 5.4 Proposal Defenses

Thursday 12 May 5 p.m. ALL FINAL PROJECTS DUE. No extensions.

5.5 PARTY for seniors???