Final Project

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The final project is a 8-10 page research paper, built around taking the theoretical concepts brought forwards in the course, generating a hypothesis around that idea, and then examining a real-world scenario online in the light of that to answer a question. In lieu of submitting a paper, you may present your finding using a different medium, such as a podcast, video, or web page.

The final project should be integrative--bringing together materials and issues from class and expanding upon them. Ideally, students will identify the topic for Assignment 2 and leverage their time working on the other assignments towards the final project. It will be detrimental to change "mid-stream," due to the limited time of the course.


Please include your final project topic here including name(s) and title: Final project titles

Submit the final project on or before May 10th.

Research questions

Your project should consist of an original documentation and analysis of Internet activity. You should decide upon a set of research questions - a single question is fine. The next step is to define a research frame. This could be an online community or set of communities, or participants in a web page or online game. Your research may focus on a single Internet project or compare two communities. You might choose to focus on a community that is a sub-unit, or a community that spans more than one URL. For instance: a WoW (World of Warcraft) guild is a sub-unit of WoW, but also exists on two or more platforms: voicechat in-game and a website forum out-of-game.

The next step will be to gather evidence that will help to answer your research question. Finally, you will compile this into a final report that summarizes your research topic, methods and conclusions. We hope that you will be able to weave in one or more of the theories and constructs that have been introduced in the class.

Finding appropriate research questions is often the most complex and time consuming process in research and will normally take many iterations.

Some of the questions you might ask as you search for a more narrow set of questions might include: Research questions

Questions steps

  1. Decide upon a set of Research questions
  2. Define a research frame (group, community, etc)
  3. Gather evidence
  4. Compile into report that summarizes your topic, methods, and conclusions

Project Ideas

The possible final project topics and questions can be found here: Project Ideas. We are open to ideas and questions that lie outside of this set, though you should express this interest and a potential topic as early as possible.

Group Work

Students have the option of working in groups for the final project. Working in a group can be fun and productive and should enable the participants to take their topic farther than an individual. Students should also consider the time required to coordinate their activities and potential complications of group work. A majority of students in previous classes have had a good experience working in groups.

The maximum group size is three. Those that wish to work in a group will be responsible for forming and organizing the group. For those that choose to work in a group, it is essential to come to a clear understanding within the group how the work will be shared. There is an additional class requirement for those that work in a group: each group must submit a statement that describes the contribution of each member of the group.

Looking to form a group or join a group? Need a partner? Go to the Group Project Page