Independent Research in Education (ED495a)

For ECE students planning to register for ED495a, Independent Research in Education
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    Project Overview

    Course Description

    Individual research under the guidance of faculty on special interests, concerns, problems, remediations, or questions.  Assigned and suggested readings will be required; field experience(s) may be required; frequent conferences will be conducted.  Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor/department

    What is Independent Research?

    The Independent Research Study is available to students who are highly motivated, self-directed, and disciplined.  It provides an opportunity to explore a particular topic of interest in greater depth and is a hands-on way to learn how to do research at a more advanced level.  This option may also help students who are just 1 or 2 credits short  to fulfill the required number needed for graduation.

    Although a 1-credit project will not require as much time as a 3-credit class, you can still expect to spend approximately 35-40 hours over the 6-week time period performing online and library research, meeting with your Research Advisor, and writing your paper.  Independent Research is a rigorous academic activity, so before you decide to pursue it, carefully read the information in this libguide and consider whether you have the skill set and temperament required to successfully complete it.

    Project Requirements


    The focus of this project is on research, so you can expect to spend a great deal of time reading a large number of recent, scholarly, academic research articles related to the selected topic.  If you do not base the project on credible information from credible sources, you are unlikely to produce an acceptable project.

    In addition, the articles you read should come from multiple perspectives.  For example, if the topic is “should infants be allowed to watch TV,” the readings should come from both the “yes side” as well as the “no side” and should cover quite a lot of the “maybe” opinions that fall in between.  After you read 10-15 different articles, you should be able to form your own opinion on the topic based on the readings as a whole.


    The paper that arises from your research must be thesis-driven and must follow the standard conventions of formal, academic writing (e.g. no contractions, no first- or second-person pronouns, etc.).  All quotations, paraphrases, and summaries must be appropriately cited and referenced in APA format.  These requirements are non-negotiable.

    Additional requirements:

    1. Title page
    2. Abstract
    3. 8 to 12 pages of content:
      • Double-spaced
      • 1-inch margins
      • 12-point, standard font (Times New Roman or Arial)
      • In-text citations for 5 to 10 different journal articles
    4. Reference List:
      • List of all the articles you cited in your paper
      • Should include 5-10 articles
    5. Reading List:
      • List of all the articles you read in preparation for the paper - whether they were included in the paper or not
      • Should include 10-15 articles