Project Memo 4: Data Memo 1 Due 10/18
Start by briefly (re)stating your topic and expected research question(s), even if these have not changed from the previous memo. You may cut and paste from the previous memo if appropriate. No more than a short paragraph on this.
The main purpose of this memo is to tell us what sort of primary data you are going to look at to answer your research questions.
(a) Describe this data and why it is appropriate to your question. Discuss the (b) accessibility of your data- is it already available at Harvard’s libraries or online? Is it something you are going to have to find or collect yourself? Do you anticipate any potential difficulties? What are the (c) parameters and selection issues of what you are going to look at? Regardless of the type of data, the memo should explicitly discuss the relevant issues on selection/ sampling, and speculate about what kinds of bias those might introduce. Ex:
- if you are looking at primary documents or newspaper articles, how are you selecting these? Are you searching by keywords? Are you going to have to do some sort of sampling? What time period are you looking at? Are you comparing two sets of data? Looking for change over time?
- If doing interviews, on what basis will you choose respondents? What are the key dimensions of variation that you think might be relevant to your research question? If you aren't sure, how would you find this out? What voices do you definitely not want to be missing?
- For participant observation, what sites and/or activities will you observe, and why those?
- Memos should be approximately 2 pages, single-spaced
- All project memos are required. For late memos, 1/3 letter grade will be taken off for each day past the deadline. So for example, a paper originally meriting an A- that is turned in between 6 pm on the 23rd and 6 pm on the 24th would receive a B+, if turned in by 6 pm on the 25th, a B, etc. No exceptions will be made without prior arrangement or proof of illness. If you have a reason to need more time, please talk to the instructor before the assignment is due.