Independent Study: Section 3 & 4 Overview


Section III: Source Review (10-15 pages)

  • Review of literature and information sources used (minimum of 10 sources consulted)
  • Presents critical analysis of key ideas or lessons learned from research

Section IV: Conclusion and Recommendations (5-7 pages)

  • Relevance of learning and transferability of ideas
  • Connections with other learning at Coady
  • Implications for practice
  • Recommendations

Section V: Reference List

  • Information sources appropriately acknowledged

Writing Section 3

  • Refer back to Sections 1 & 2 to ensure you are doing what you set out to do
  • From the notes you have taken from your readings, determine what key question(s) the source best addresses.
  • Do you have other sources that deal with the same topic with which you can compare ideas?
  • Address the key question by integrating information from the relevant sources along with your analysis. Ensure the material you are describing is directly relevant to the key question
  • Do not just compile a series of quotes from sources. Write in your own words, with relevant quotes clearly identified with quotation marks ("...") or indentation.
  • Set up new ideas and sourceseach new source with an introductory phrase: Robert Chambers, reflecting on his experience with PRA states ....

Clearly acknowledge all sources of information to avoid plagiarism.

Typical Structure

Introductory Paragraph

Key Question 1

Discussion focused on the key question, include:

  • Information from your sources
  • Your analysis
  • Application to your situation

Concluding sentence or paragraph that sums up this question and leads to the next key question

Key Question 2

Discussion focused on the key question, include:

  • Information from your sources
  • Course learnings
  • Your analysis
  • Application to your situation

Concluding sentence or paragraph that sums up this question and leads to the next key question... and so on .... Concluding paragraph to wrap up the source review

The Source Review IS:

  • Focused on answering your Key Questions
  • A logical and carefully structured discussion of new information you have found, with your own analysis
  • A way to apply important concepts you have learned from your courses (such as gender, capacity building, participation)
  • Clearly written in paragraph style
  • Approximately 10-15 pages long

The Source Review IS NOT:

  • A series of mini book reviews pasted together
  • A repetition of the background analysis already covered in Chapter 2
  • Pages of quotations with no analysis or application
  • A "shopping list" of points
  • Longer than 15 pages

Section 4: Conclusion and Recommendations

Purpose:

  • To summarize the major findings from your source review
  • To propose your suggestions for mobilizing these ideas into actions

When writing your conclusions, reflect on the Key Questions and your Source Review:

  • What lessons have you learned through reviewing sources?
  • How do they connect with other learning at Coady
  • How can these lessons be applied in your situation? (relevance and transferability)
  • What recommendations can you make to your organization? (implications for practice)

Conclusion and Recommendation Tips

  • Organize your thoughts clearly and stay on the point
  • Analyze and synthesize ideas from your sources
  • Avoid vague statements, make practical suggestions
  • Action plan not needed, but provide ideas on next steps
  • Do not re-hash the problem situation
  • Do not start a new topic or research

Reference List

Purpose:

  • To acknowledge the sources of material that influenced your thinking on the topic.
  • To provide the information other people would need to be able to find those sources.

Format:

  • One long list of all the sources you used in your independent study.
    NOTE: Material that you read but did not mention in your paper is not listed.
  • Listed alphabetically
  • Includes standard information in a consistent format: Author, Year, Title, etc. Refer to handout How to Cite References, or the link on the Library's webpage.