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Write a short academic research paper, such as one you would find in a Cultural Studies journal. We will go through this in class. You may include appendices with your paper. Broadly your paper should answer the following key questions not necessarily in order:

• What you wanted to find out (research question/aims)

• What you did (methods)

• Why you did it (motivation/justification/importance of your research)

• What you found (findings/results)

• What you make of what you’ve found (analysis/discussion/conclusions)

Writing Style: Some of you may be writing a more reflexive personal project. Such a project will require a more personal writing style than many of you will be familiar with. Writing in the first person (“I”) is legitimate for this type of project. But take care to balance personal assertions with theory or relevant quotations from academic sources.

Organization: There is some flexibility in how you organize your paper; for example, whether or not to use subheadings; whether to include images or diagrams and whether these should be included in appendices or embedded in your paper.

Your paper must include the following components. You do not have to use the component titles as subheadings. Word counts are guides only:

1. Title: the title should inform the reader about the topic of your paper, it may incorporate your research question e.g. ‘Memory spaces: exploring the afterlife of children’s popular culture’; ‘I know what I can handle’: young people, media and identity’

2. Introduction (200 words): usually will include:

• Your research question/aims/objectives

• The motivation for or importance of your research

• Overview of the organization of your paper

3. Literature review/background/history (600 words): brief account of secondary research relevant to your topic, may be part of your introduction, may be used to explain importance of your research or the motivation for your research e.g. the existing research on sexualized images of children may be used to justify or contextualize your own research

4. Methods (400 words): an account of what you did and how you did it; may include:

• Age, gender, number of participants in your research

• The name and date of publication of magazine you studied; or name of program studied, date


• When and where you conducted your research

• Details of how you collected/recorded data

• Acknowledgement of other people’s methodology that has provided a model/framework for the methods you used (e.g. Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis or Mitchell & Reid-Walsh’s work on memory)

5. Findings/results (400 words): clear statement/summary of the primary data you collected /your main findings

Note: it is often useful to discuss/analyse your findings rather than present them in separate sections

6. Analysis/discussion of findings (700 words): In many ways the most important section of your paper. This is where you relate what you have found back to your research question. Your analysis will be based mainly on information from secondary sources. You must use key concepts, issues and theoretical frameworks from the unit to analyse/discuss your findings (not from other academic disciplines such as Psychology or Education). You may also use additional relevant sources and compare your findings with other relevant research. This section may include:

• Conclusions, speculations

• Discussion of the limitations of your research

7. Conclusions (200 words): may be a separate section or combined with Analysis/Discussion. This section may:

· Suggest possible directions for further research

· Relate what you’ve found to the big picture i.e. ongoing debates in children’s culture

· Relate what you’ve found back to your research question

8. Bibliography: APA referencing (See library website) 9. Appendices

The essay has to be 2500 words.

I did a project proposal before this essay, which you have to reflect back on. You have to use the references, which is in the project proposal.

You have to answer the research question I provided in the project proposal.

 what do I have in my proposal? A research proposal sets out a research problem and provides an account of how you will investigate it i.e. it provides the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of your research.


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