Research in Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies 191A - Fall 2010

 Professor Ross Frank

SSB 103, Wed. 10:00-12:50AM

 Office Hours:

 Phone: (858) 534-6646

Wed. 1:00-3:00am
Thurs. 10:00-11:00am
& by appointment (phone or email)

Office: SSB 227
(Social Science Building)

Course materials available at:

Download pdf version of the syllabus
Jump to Class Schedule

Jump to Class Documents

Course Description

Student Responsibilities

Attend all Class meetings and complete all assignments by their dues date.  A written (typed) assignment will be due each week at the beginning of class.

The grade for this course will be cumulative and assigned based on the level of your effort in the course, your participation in class meetings, and the final form of your Prospectus, as follows:

50% = class attendance, participation, and written assignments;
50% = final research prospectus


The following required text is available at the UCSD Bookstore:

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003, 2nd ed.

Students planning to conduct research using interview or ethnographic metods should read:

Briggs, Charles L. Learning How to Ask : A Sociolinquistic Appraisal of the Role of the Interview in Social Science Research. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986.

Course Documents

Class Schedule

Week 1              September 29            Introduction & Planning

Assignment for first class session: Week 1 - in class excercise

Week 2        October 6:            Guidelines for the Research Proposal/Prospectus. The Research Question


1) Read Chapter 3 (look at Chapter 2) of Booth et al’s Craft of Research
2) Write a brief description of your research topic that explains what you are interested in writing about, what you do not know about it, and why you want your reader to know about it (following Booth’s ch. 3). 
3) Bring 3 copies of the description to class for discussion in break-out groups.

Week 3      October 13        Library Resources meeting

Library resources meeting with librarian Alanna Aiko Moore (10-12:50)
NOTE:  This class will meet at Geisel Library.  Please meet Alanna at the information Desk immediately inside the main Geisel building for a quick tour of the Social Science and Humanities Library. Afterwards, please proceed to the Science and Engineering Library Instruction Room for hands-on work during the rest of the class.


1) e-mail your revised research topic to Alanna Aiko Moore  (aamoore@ by Sunday, October 10. 
2) Read Chapter 5 and 6 of Booth et al’s Craft of Research).

Week 4        October 20            Research, Literature Review and the Research Project


1) Read Literature review handout
2) Read the article at:
as an example of a good literature review. Please note how the authors discuss the changing conversations in the field of transnational migration over time.
3) Annotated bibliography due:  identify 3 research areas most relevant to your research topic;  find 3 sources for each area;  and select 1 out of the 3 sources to write an annotated bibliography for each area.

Week 5      October 27        Human Subjects, Ethics, Methodology, and  Research Reports


1) write a 3 page literature review and e-mail to all members of the class by 8pm on Monday October 25;
2) read the literature reviews of classmates for discussion and constructive criticism in class;
3) complete CITI training module and select “Basic Human Subjects – Social & Behavioral Focus” course (access from  Bring your certificate to class.

Week 6      November 3        Research Reports and Discussion


1) Write Introduction and Methodologies (3 pages) that includes the following:

• description of research topic and main research question(s)
• significance of your topic and research questions: what makes this an Ethnic Studies project?
• discussion of methodologies proposed in response to the research questions.  Explain why you have selected your particular method(s) and discuss the feasibility of the project.
• overview of the information you will use as evidence in support of your arguments and how you are collecting, organizing, interpreting, and critically analyzing it.

2) e-mail your Introduction and Methodologies sections to all class members by 8pm on Monday, November 8.

Week 7      November 10    Research Reports and Discussion


1) Group 1 will turn in their first draft of the prospectus.
2) Make an appointment to meet with me this week.

Week 8      November 17: First Drafts I - Presentation and Critique

First draft presentations (Group 1) and discussion


1) Group 2 will turn in their first draft of the prospectus.
2) Group 1 prepare written comments and constructive critique.

Week 9      November 24: First Drafts II - Presentation and Critique


1) Group 3 will turn in their first draft of the prospectus.
2) Group 2 prepare written comments and constructive critique.
3) Group 1 will Revise! Revise! Revise!

Week 10      December 1    Looking ahead at the Honors paper


1) Group 3 prepare written comments and constructive critique.
2) Groups 1 & 2 will Revise! Revise! Revise!
3) Human Subjects submission (if needed).

Final Revised Prospectus Due Wed. Dec 8 (5:00pm Finals Week)

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Updated September 26, 2010