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Global Studies Senior Capstone Project

This guide provides support for students completing the Global Studies Senior Capstone Project

Getting Started -- Planning Your Research Project

Doing a global studies research project can seem daunting given the unlimited possibilities and unique challenges of dealing with global-scale issues. Thinking ahead and outlining a research plan for your project can be helpful in managing your project in the face of likely constraints related to time, limited familiarity with the scholarly literature, engagement with several different disciplinary fields, and challenges in accessing primary sources that might function as evidence in your project.

Use this section of the guide to help you to anticipate some of these challenges and plan ahead in order to successfully complete an enjoyable project.

Things to Consider -- Components of Your Research Project

While the research process is often iterative and non-linear, there are certain components that reliably make up a scholarly research project. These components are closely related. They often include:

  • Your research question
  • Your primary dataset or body of evidence that can help address your research question
  • The set of scholarly literature that serves as context, which you aim to respond to, synthesize, or borrow from
  • The theoretical or conceptual frameworks you use to guide and inform your analysis of selected primary and secondary sources
  • A presentation of your research

Challenges Unique to Global Studies Research

Challenge 1: Engaging with Multiple Disciplines

  • Ways to address the challenge:
    • Work closely with your committee members to identify relevant sources
    • Ask the Global Studies Library Liaison and other relevant subject librarians for assistance
    • Use multidisciplinary literature databases
    • Be intentional with the research methods or framework you adopt

Challenge 2: Access to Primary Sources

  • Ways to address the challenge:
    • Keep in mind that it may take time to find and access primary sources and datasets
    • Determine what primary sources or datasets may be readily available to you
    • Work closely with your committee members and subject librarians for promising leads
    • Consider your linguistic competencies and plan accordingly