Selected Topics

Course Details

Course Number: RADS 4903  Section Number: X30

Summer I 2011

Location: Bridwell Hall

Classroom Number: Internet

Days & Times:


Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Beth Leigh Veale PhD   
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Course Objectives


Course Overview:

The purpose of this course is for the student to develop a project using informal research methods.  The project is approved by forwarding a proposal form to the instructor. You can download it by clicking here: RADS 4903 Form.The project can be anything from starting a new procedure in your department, experiments with new methodology, or documentation of a revision of a departmental project or procedure.  It cannot be any project which has been completed prior to the beginning of the course, or one in which you had little or no input.   Please contact your instructor prior to starting any work on the course.  Please note:  during the summer sessions, I will have limited office hours.  Submit all questions to me by email as I will not be available by my office phone.  I will be able to access your e-mail messages from home; please make sure that your e-mail is an MSU WORKING e-mail.  There is an option to connect your personal email to your MSU account.  I will send responses, material, updates, etc., to the MSU email address only, so be certain you are checking it often. 

When you are planning your project, please consider the following portfolio format for submission (of course, we will customize the requirements to fit your project). I prefer the portfolio in an electronic binder. What I mean by that is you should organize your portfolio so that you can upload it to the assignment dropbox as ONE complete file (MS Word only [doc or docx]) when you complete it. 

Course Expectations


It is suggested that you organize your project in the following format:


First Things First

How does one pick a topic or project?

  • What interests you?  Is there something you have wondered about or wanted to investigate?
  • What is the current atmosphere in your department?  Is there an overarching issue that everyone has concerns about?
  • Is there an installation of some kind that you could follow?
  • Is there an issue such as absenteeism, low morale, staffing issues, communication or relationship with other departments that you could address?
  • Talk to your department supervisor or manager and find out if there is anything in the works that you could work on or if there is an issue the manager would like you to investigate

Required Sections:


  • Include why this project interested you
  • Why you feel it is important
  • What you expected to learn
  • You should include what impact this project may or may not have on your workplace.
  • You may want to mention individuals that helped you.

Narrative- Include details of procedures and resources you located. Specific information about the content is placed in this section. (APA format  NOT required). In the format of subheadings, discuss obstacles, difficulties, surprises, and particularly helpful information.  You may want to include images.  If applicable, place a bibliography of sources at the end of this section on separate pages.  Note:  No in-text citations are necessary.

  • Following the introduction, begin with historical information about your project.
  • Discuss how the project began, who was involved, etc.
  • Take good notes along the way so that when the time comes to turn in your drafts, you will have solid information for the instructor to review

Conclusion-Summarize what you accomplished and how you feel this information can be applied. What kind of future projects would you suggest? Prepare what you can conclude at each draft stage and bear in mind that your first conclusion may change by the end of the project and you should talk about the comparison between the two.

Optional Section:

Appendices– If there are any materials such as forms, charts, pictures, brochures, etc. that illustrate your project, place them in this section and provide list preceding the materials.

Each area of the portfolio must be marked clearly so that there is no doubt what should be included.  Think of how you would mark these in an electronic document as you would tab a print document.

If you plan to use a questionnaire or interview, you must have the forms/questions approved by our human subjects review board. This process takes about 1-2 weeks. Contact the instructor for the proper forms and paperwork.  Time is very short in the summer sessions, so be certain that you are

The project must be submitted in the portfolio format and must be submitted to allow at least ten days for the instructor to grade it.

Grading Standards



The course grade will be based upon the portfolio and the extent to which the project accomplished the goals decided upon by the student and the instructor.  The portfolio will be graded on content, organization, appearance, and the inclusion of the introduction, narrative, and conclusion.




Due Dates/Percentage of grade

Project approval: 

June 09



Rough draft to include introduction and roughly half of the narrative: 

June 30



Rough draft to include second half of narrative and conclusion:

July 22



Final revisions, completed project: (to give me time to grade it before final grades must be posted)

July 29



Submission Format Policy


I will also be looking at the following items

  • The entire document must bedone as a Word document only.
  • The introduction MUST be at least 1 page, double-spaced, typed;
  • The narrative should be AT LEAST 3 pages, double-spaced, typed;
  • The conclusion MUST be 1 page, double-spaced, typed
  • Coherent sentences to include subject-verb agreement, grammar, and spelling (1 POINT deduction for all comma errors, 1 POINT deduction for all semicolon errors, etc.). 

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


  • The entire portfolio MUST be uploaded to WebCT under the Assignment Dropbox.  Waiting until the last minute could result in a delayed posting, causing the assignment to be late. 
  • No late submissions will be accepted and will be awarded a grade of 0.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


On a personal note:  If there is a problem with the course, your projects, or anything at all, please let me know as soon as possible.  If I don't know that there is a problem, I can't help you.  Please pay attention to the syllabus and the calendar.  I am looking forward to a great, hectic, short semester!


If you have any questions, please

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.