Each student will develop and present a final research project in linguistics as part of the fulfilment of the requirements for the MAES degree. Students will have the opportunity to pursue their own research interests and work independently towards a specific research objective in the broad field of sociolinguistics and utilize a theoretical framework in the analysis of data to support their argument. This capstone course will:
a) Provide in-depth instruction surrounding the capstone experience
b) Introduce key steps and stages of the final research project (e.g. guidelines on formulating aims and research questions, utilising secondary sources, structuring extended essays, and presentation skills)
c) Offer possible theoretical approaches and give individual guidance to students so as to help them formulate a topic and delineate the scope of their research.
Instructors will also suggest further reading, give feedback on proposals and comment on drafts. Class time will thus consist of discussions on research methods, theoretical considerations, peer editing and presentation skills. The project proposal must be submitted early on for approval before proceeding to the next stage, and students are expected to spend much of their time during the course on independent research and writing.
The Capstone Experience will culminate in three major research outputs:
1) An extended research paper of 2,000-3,000 words on your chosen project. Those students on target to receive a Distinction can apply separately to write a longer paper of up to 5000 words
2) A creative output based on the final essay (e.g., poster, film, website, performance, original composition, short story, etc.) with a concept statement (900-1200 words)
3) Presentation at the MAES conference preliminarily set for 18 May, 2024.
Other objectives include:
- To learn independent research skills
- To have the option of developing team skills within a creative group project
- To articulate an argument within or against a prevailing body of critical work on a particular sociolinguistic topic
- To situate that research within larger academic and non-academic discursive fields
- To present one’s argument coherently in front of an audience and to respond to critical questions
- To communicate ideas in a creative format to have impact on the larger community
Coursework and participation: 20% (participation, early drafts of work)
Creative output with concept statement: 20%
Essay (2000-3000 words): 40%
Conference presentation: 20%