GEOGRAPHY 489: GEOGRAPHY CAPSTONE
Research Project
Fall 2018

A major course objective will be to generate a research question, do a literature review, collect and analyze data, then write it up for publication.

Since time is short, your prof (me!) called for comments from students over the summer - and then chatted with the two that responded.

Our topic will be taking a look at student usage of downtown Ellensburg. With the research questions being

  1. How do students use downtown Ellensburg?
  2. What could be done to increase student usage of downtown?

"downtown" is being defined as the area between 2nd and 7th, and Water to Ruby.

All students must complete http://www.cwu.edu/hsrc/training-responsible-conduct-research before conducting any surveys or working with the data. In short, get online and get it done during the first week of classes. It's fast. If you don't, you won't be able to work on the project, which is 40% of your grade.

Tasks:

  1. literature review. Everyone must find at least 5 peer-reviewed articles and 3 mass-market articles (newspaper, magazine, website)
  2. Conduct survey. Done in classes, with clubs, and in the SURC. Specific dates and assignments to follow.
  3. Figure out what the survey means. Stats, etc.
  4. Mapping - map the businesses and students (I should be able to get student addresses).
  5. Tie the survey to downtown.
  6. Write the paper
    1. introduction
    2. Literature Review
    3. Site description (Ellensburg, CWU, CWU student body)
    4. data collection
    5. Analysis and results
    6. Discussion
      1. overview of results
      2. What the City of Ellensburg could do to bring students downtown
      3. What CWU could do to encourage students to use downtown
      4. future directions.

Due Dates

  1. Literature review
  2. complete survey
  3. complete analysis
  4. complete writeup

Grading (note, this is worth 40% of your grade)

  1. Literature review - 5 points
  2. Survey participation - 5 points
  3. Completing other assigned tasks -10 points
  4. Final paper - 20 points
  5. Modifiers:
    1. Professor's evaluation of your overall contributions to the project
    2. Each student will confidentially provide a grade for each of the other students.

References:

Fully cite any references you used, including the data sources. Please use the style of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers which you can find here: http://www.aag.org/galleries/default-file/611_ANNALS_STYLE_SHEET.pdf

You are required to do research for this assignment. Specifically, you must find and effectively use high-quality sources. A high-quality source is one that is peer-reviewed (e.g., most academic journals, books) or produced by a well-known, reputable publisher (e.g., The Economist). Some online sources are high quality and reasonable for use in research; many are not. There are many online resources to help you decide whether or not a source is credible. Just google "how to determine if a source is credible" and start browsing. Wikipedia is often a great starting place (especially going to the references at the bottom). However, it is not a good sole source.

A good tool for finding literature related to your topic is Google Scholar. Our library is pretty useful, too. Check their research guide. If you have trouble finding resources, ask a reference librarian for help.

After the Quarter Ends!