Skip to Main Content

SOAN 300.8 - Community Based Research Project

Introduction to Assignment

Your case is like any other research project. You will want to work through the research process below as you begin to find sources for this project. 

  1. Topic - What is the main issue(s) involved in your case?
  2. Background Research - Start with your case files. Look into general country reports and familiarize yourself with the general conditions in their country of origin. (You will likely not use any of these resources in your annotated bibliography). The goal of this stage is to help you better understand the issues involved so that you can create research questions 
  3. Research Question(s) - For a traditional research paper, you typically come up with a single question to focus your research. Your case will likely have a similar overarching question or issue. Though don't be surprised if you cannot contain everything that you need to find in a single research question. 
  4. Search Strategy - Identity all of the different elements of your case. List the evidence you need to start looking for. Decide on what type of resources will provide the type of evidence. 
  5. Refining Search - Searching for resources is a process. You will likely need to switch the strategy you originally designed (or at least add to it). Research is all about trial and error. If a search does not bring back what you are looking for, tweak it and try again. 
  6. Using the Sources - Once you start finding sources, you will have a better sense of how different pieces of information come together to answer your research question(s). Once you start putting together your annotated bibliography, you will likely need to go back to the search process to find sources to fill in gaps.  

Questions to Think About

You want to investigate your case from multiple angles. Note what questions you have and what facts you need to find supporting elements before you search.

Think about the following questions to get started:

  • What is the main argument for their defense case (there could be multiple arguments)?
  • Where is the client from? (Give as many specifics as possible)
  • What facts are included?
  • How does this case fit into a larger narrative?
    • Politics in the region?
    • Global patterns? 

Class Activity

Example Cases 

  1. Working in groups, I want you to work through an example case to identify what pieces of evidence you will need to find during your research.
  2. After reviewing what evidence we need, we will identify what kind of sources we would turn to to find this evidence.
  3. Once we have identified where to look, let's brainstorm what terms we would use to find this information.