Why is international research a good idea?
International research is a process of inquiry that encourages critical thinking and international understanding for engaged, lifelong learning.... Expand Text
Why do a capstone research project?
Working on a capstone research project, including a senior seminar paper, a course term paper, a senior honors thesis, a proposal for a scholarship or award, an independent study, a directed research project or a study abroad program project, ties together the various pieces of your education in a cohesive way. For an interdisciplinary program such as International Relations, a capstone research project brings to bear many of the disciplinary perspectives that you learn through the program's curriculum. On a more personal level, by doing a capstone research project you have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your creativity, leadership, and your ability to solve problems and communicate your thoughts effectively. A capstone research project can also have more tangible results - launching you on a career or leading you toward further exploration. Shrink Text
How can you get started with an international research project?
The international research process actually begins before you decide on a question to research. So, we encourage you to start planning for research early, even if you're still exploring it as an option. Your academic preparation provides you with the necessary skills to successfully complete the research project. Planning your coursework and study abroad experience, developing your writing skills, getting introduced to disciplinary foundations, and learning another language proficiently are key components of the international research process.
Nearly all students at Tufts will have to complete some type of capstone research project. Regardless of the type of paper or project you will complete, you all have one thing in common - at some point someone (most likely a faculty member!) will ask you to articulate a plan that explains what you are going to research and how. Before you begin to conduct research, you will need to consider key steps in the research plan, clearly outlining how you propose to do it.
The Research Planner on the IRN can help you construct a plan for research by taking you through the key steps in the process and providing resources to help you accomplish them. Remember, research is often a cyclical process. While we number the steps in this tutorial, you may find that as you move through the process you are completing them in a specified order - and that's OK! The steps and corresponding tips are meant to provide you with a guide to get you started and to help you put together a viable plan of action for your international research. Some steps do have specific university deadlines so keep your eyes open for those and check the IRN community calendar so that you don't miss them. Shrink Text
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