Write a research proposal on one of the topics covered in the course or any other topic relevant to global public opinion. Note that this is just a proposal, so you do not need to collect data and conduct your own research. Your research proposal should address the following questions, which are the criteria for assessment:
What question do you address? You may formulate an original question, or address a question examined in the existing literature and (propose to re-examine it with new data).
Why does it matter? From what literature or real-world events does your question arise? Explain the origins and significance of your research project.
What previous literature has been written on your question? Describe the “state of the art” on the subject. Note: Questions 2 and 3 may overlap. You can answer them together in a single statement. You should minimize the number of sentences and words, which you cite from existing studies, and try to explain and discuss them in your own words.
What hypothesis will you explore? What is the expected answer (i.e., a hypothesis or an explanation) to your question? If there is one research question, there must be more than one possible answer (i.e., other/alternative hypotheses). Explain what they are and why you think your hypothesis is more plausible than others.
How will you test your hypothesis? In other words, how do you design your research (e.g., an original survey in a specific region, a small-scale randomized experiment, the use of existing surveys, comparative case studies, in-depth field research, etc.) to reach your answer? Explain the research design you intend to choose and why you choose it. Various research designs and specific methods for data collection are explained and discussed during this course.
This must be based on your extensive and careful reading of scholarly materials. You should read academic books and articles published in academic journals (use the Web of Science (Links to an external site.) and library resources). You may search online magazine articles and other free resources, but avoid over-using non-scholarly (i.e., non-peer-reviewed) materials.
You are encouraged to cite articles assigned and suggested in this course. Citing them is not required to complete this final paper. But you need to show – in your final paper – how much you have learned in this course. An obvious way to do this is to develop your arguments in your paper, given (1) assigned readings, (2) discussions in class, and (3) additional readings.
Your paper should be a concise, thoughtful and clear piece. Do not write a lengthy and disorganized paper. You should revise it as many times as you can before you finalize it. It is also recommended that you exchange your draft with your classmates and give critical comments to one another. Use Resources to Improve Your Research and Writing as much as possible.
It is important that you distinguish your arguments and the arguments made by the authors of papers you cite. Do not copy, paste and edit sentences in the article you choose! You should make sure to cite not only written materials but also online materials properly. See Resources To Improve Your Research And Writing. You may use any document style (MLA, Chicago, Harvard, etc.) but use it consistently in your paper.
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