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Independent Project

Independent Project

The Independent Project is conducted by a student working independently with supervision by an agreed faculty advisor. Subject to approval of their proposal, the student should conduct research in the field, carry out thoughtful analysis, prepare a report, literature review or case study, and make a final presentation to the supervisor of the project and one additional faculty member. The report must be completed within three months of acceptance of the proposal. The student will arrange 8 one-hour sessions with their supervisor. Meetings with supervisors must be arranged prior to the beginning of the project and the schedule adhered to. Any additional meetings will be at the discretion of the supervisor.

Aims and Scope

The independent project builds on a student’s course work and experience, and allows them to demonstrate deeper and broader understanding of their topic. Students are expected to develop and articulate analytical and reflective skills while evaluating theoretical and practical aspects of the subject. Collective and individual viewpoints are presented in an academic style following standard research conventions.

Expected learning skills

  • Capacity to undertake independent research
  • Capacity to organize and structure research findings
  • Ability to make independent judgments

Guidelines on Length and Bibliography

Projects should be within the guidelines of 3500-4000 words
APA 6th edition for style and research. (For more guidelines on APA please visit owl@purdue website)

Assessment Criteria

Your independent project will be assessed on three main areas. First of all,Planning and Implementation: This is the process of how you plan your work, your ability to set deadlines and keep to them, while overcoming obstacles. While your supervisor will be available for consultation, you are expected to work independently. Your Final Report is the finished product of your research and demonstrates the extent in which you have successfully explored, evaluated and synthesized information from your research and produced work of publishable quality. For your Presentation you will deliver a summary of key findings to your supervisor and another professor. This will determine how you are able to clarify the issues and results of your report to a neutral audience.

Planning and implementation
(20%)

5
5
5
5

 Works independently   
Adjusts to unforeseen problems    
Adheres to overall plan  
Evaluates and incorporates supervisors feedback appropriately     

Final report
(60%)

10
10
10
10
10
10

Presents a clear overview of topic
Identifies key issues in relation to topic
Analyzes and evaluates key issues
Acknowledges different perspectives using collective and individual viewpoints
Recognizes possibility of bias in sources
Communicates message effectively through appropriate organization and language control following recognized conventions

Presentation
(20%)

5
5
5
5

Synthesizes information from study coherently
Presents appropriate visual support
Delivers presentation within specified time limit
Demonstrates appropriate register and effective language control

How to Create a Successful Project

  1. Reflect on what most interests you from your course, and you feel would be meaningful in terms of your career development. Do some background work and come up with some concrete ideas for your project.
  2. Meet your supervisor

In order to make this a focused and productive initial meeting, you should consider the type of things you need to clarify prior to the meeting. These could include:

  • How to focus your project idea into a well-defined research topic
  • What steps you will take to investigate the research question
  • How you can best use your supervisor’s expertise
  • Prepare two or three readings from research journals or other academic sources that you have been considering for input
  1. Set a timetable

Determine the number of hours needed per week, set a timetable and stick to your schedule. For each stage of your project (e.g. your introduction) you should set a separate deadline. Show your timetable to your supervisor for comment.

The Supervisor’s Role

The supervisor will give you guidance on the suitability of your research topic, provide you assistance in developing your idea, give you feedback on your progress and help you to develop your skills in conducting research.

The supervisor will not help you every step of the way or help you manage your time. It is not the supervisor’s role to review, edit or check a student’s work.

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