FUEP 304 – Urban and Environmental Research Methods
Final Paper Assignment
Over the course of this semester, you have learned a variety of social science research methods, how these methods apply to urban and environmental research, and related concepts.
For your final paper:
Option 1- Analysis of a Seminal Text
Conduct a methodological critique of an existing piece of research
* Pick a topic that interests you
* This should be a seminal text, i.e. a major work, in the field of your interest and ideally in a book format. There is no publication date requirement so your book may be relatively recent or decades old;
* In your introduction, tell me why you chose this ...view middle of the document...
.. that address the same or similar question.
* Pick a topic that interests you;
* Describe the topic and the research question posed by each piece. These should be similar questions being asked by two different authors;
* What issue are these articles addressing? Tell me why you have chosen these 2 pieces and how they play a role in the conversation you are interested in following. You should situate the conversation in its broader context. You could do this through news stories, other articles, number of citations, etc…but the two sources you are comparing must be academic.
* Lay out and analyze the methods used by each author and how it contributes to their findings;
* Compare and contrast the methods used by each author. Analysis should include a detailed description of the research methods utilized, how the research was conducted, and whether the methods effectively answer the question posed.
* Are their findings different using different methods, similar using different methods, different using similar methods, etc? Do you think one piece is more effective, a better contribution than another, complement one another, or do you need to look at both for the whole picture? Think here about how different bits of research fit together to tell a larger story....
For example, we looked at the issue of welfare reform in the United States. Studies ask the similar question, “Was welfare reform a success” or “Did welfare reform work”? Studies use different metrics to define “success” and...