• Class Number 5761
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Mary Rasmussen
    • Mary Rasmussen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course gives students the opportunity to work closely with a member of academic staff in the discipline of Sociology on a research project in a field of interest. Students will develop real-world research skills and get a sense of how high-level academic research is conducted. The project, to be negotiated with a supervisor, will most often be related to work already underway by the faculty member, and the student will be offered the opportunity to join the research team. They will participate in a discrete element of the broader project.

Work submitted for assessment in SOCY3001 may not be resubmitted in whole or part for assessment in any other course, including in any Thesis (THES-coded) courses:

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify a research question or problem within an existing field of social scientific inquiry and devise a plan for investigating it;
  2. formulate a program of reading in consultation with a professional social scientist to provide context for the investigation;
  3. develop a timeline for the research project and manage work to that timeline;
  4. communicate research results —orally, visually and in writing — in a style consistent with academic standards; and
  5. work as part of a research team.

Research-Led Teaching

This course gives students the opportunity to work closely with a member of academic staff in the discipline of Sociology (or related discipline) on a research project in a field of interest. Students will develop real-world research skills and get a sense of how high-level academic research is conducted. The project, to be negotiated with a supervisor, will most often be related to work already underway by the faculty member, and the student will be offered the opportunity to join the research team. They will participate in a discrete element of the broader project.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Verbal feedback of a formative nature within research teams.
  • Written feedback of a summative nature based on the reflections, draft major essay, final major essay, and the poster presentation speech.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Additional Referencing Requirements

Check with your supervisor which referencing system they use. The general standard is the Harvard referencing system. A detailed description of this style can be found at https://academicskills.anu.edu.au/node/80

Lectures and Tutorials

There are no lectures in this course. Instead, there are 5 topics with assigned readings. Students will be getting face-to-face time with their supervisors (scheduling to be worked out between you and your supervisor) and at tutorials. Tutorials will be largely student-run. They will run for up to two hours, at a time to be decided informally at the beginning of semester. Each tutorial will be guided by the current reading topic, but will be focused around students’ own experience as part of a research team. We expect students to come to tutorials with questions about readings, assessment, or their own experience. Students may also use tutorial time as a casual and informal workshop for their research. The tutorials leading up to the final research essay and poster presentation can also be used for workshopping essay drafts and practicing presentations.


Below is the list of reading topics for the semester, along with some guiding questions. Each topic represents a major aspect of the research process. We’ve put them in order

There will be one mandatory reading for each topic. Then you will pick one additional reading from a list of supplementary texts.

All readings will be posted as PDFs on Wattle.

Topic 1: Problems

  • What’s your research problem?
  • How do you define a problem? What are the politics of problems?
  • How do you turn a problem into a research question?
  • How do you turn a question into a paper?

Topic 2: Literature

  • Where do you look for literature?
  • How to assess legitimacy/reliability/relevancy of publications, journals and discourses?
  • What role does referencing play in your work? Do you maintain the distinction between background literature and literature as the object of research?
  • How do you use literature to both answer and reconsider your original research problem?
  • How do you deal with literature that reshapes your project?

Topic 3: Methodology and Research Design

  • What method should you use? How do you determine what’s a good approach to your problem? How does your methodology change your problem?
  • What’s the distinction between pragmatic, experimental and value-laden approaches?
  • Planning? What kind of objectives does your methodology introduce? How do you create a do-able timeline?
  • Data gathering methods and theories?
  • What kind of data are you gathering? How does this affect how you carry out your research?
  • Managing your data source. How to treat literature, visuals, information, and people.

Topic 4: Writing, publishing and peer review

  • Tone and style: not just reflection and not just regurgitation.
  • Collaborative writing and peer reviewing (reciprocity and generosity)
  • Choosing where to publish; the politics of publishing
  • Practicalities of writing up a research project.
  • Different “types” of writing. What kind of writing happens throughout, and what kind of writing only happens at the end?

Topic 5: Designing and presenting academic posters

  • Timing, structure, argument, flow.
  • Turning papers into posters (and vice versa)
  • Poster design
  • How to make your poster and presentation work together

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
2 Problems
3 Literature
4 Methodology and Research Design
6 Tutorial Presentations
9 Draft research paper (Optional)
10 Writing, publishing & peer review
11 Designing and presenting academic posters
12 Final research paper due 28th October
13 Poster presentation TBC during exam period

Tutorial Registration

By permission

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Presentation (10%) 10 % * * 1-5
Research Paper (40%) [3000 words] 40 % 28/10/2021 15/11/2021 1-4
Poster Presentation (30%) 30 % * * 1-4
Participation in Project Team (10%) 10 % * * 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-5

Tutorial Presentation (10%)

In Week 6 (unless otherwise arranged) you will present a brief ‘work in progress’ overview of your research progress so far – your topic and your approach, the literature you are engaging with and any challenges you have faced. It’s anticipated that you will talk for about 5 minutes, and have 5 minutes of questions.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 28/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1-4

Research Paper (40%) [3000 words]

The research paper will be a culmination of your work with your research team. The paper is an opportunity to explore some of the bigger themes and ideas raised in your research, and to situate your work within the discipline or field of inquiry. Because your supervisor is the subject expert, they will be marking your paper.

How you structure your paper will depend on your specific topic, how exactly you contributed, and what your conclusions were. However, your supervisor will be looking for a number of elements:

  • A description of your specific research problem
  • A discussion of how your problem fits into other work being done in that area
  • A discussion of your methodology, and an explanation/justification of why that methodology was best suited to your problem
  • A discussion of your results/conclusions, their significance/impact on the problem and the larger field, and what new questions your work opens up.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-4

Poster Presentation (30%)

To culminate your semester of research work, you will create an A3 sized poster and give a 10 minute presentation of your research work. Poster presentations are very common at academic conferences, and they are a very different beast to journal articles or reports. You can use your research paper as the basis for your presentation. But remember: poster presentations are a very different style to formal academic papers! Do not just read your paper out loud. We will be discussing presentation tips and tricks in the weekly readings and in tutorials.

You will present your poster in a lecture theatre to academics from the RSSS. It’ll be an opportunity to show us your achievements over the past semester, and to make connections with other academics at ANU. The presentation will be recorded as required by ANU education policy (in case grade review is required).

You can create your poster on A3 paper or entirely digitally. If you make a paper poster, you will need to take a picture of it so that it can be displayed on a powerpoint and printed out for your audience. We will provide poster materials (A3 poster board, markers, glue, etc), a digital camera and access to a colour A3 printer.

15% of your mark will be based on the poster itself. We are looking for:

  • Clear and logical presentation (not cluttered or busy; easy to decipher the major research question, hypothesis, results, etc)
  • Accurate content/data
  • Attractive layout

The remaining 15% of your mark will be based on your presentation of the poster. We are looking for:

  • Clear and logical explanation of your work (i.e. clearly state the overall problem, your approach, and the findings)
  • Elaboration of major points, tables and/or diagrams
  • Persuasive presentation (i.e. we are persuaded that your topic is important, and that your research successfully investigated your problem)
  • Correlation between your poster and your speech

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 5

Participation in Project Team (10%)

Throughout the semester, your supervisor will be assessing your participation within the project team. They will be assessing:

  • The quality of your research
  • How well you work within a team
  • Your ability to work to a deadline, and within the scope of the project
  • Your problem solving skills

Your supervisor will be giving you personal feedback on the quality of your work throughout the semester, and guiding you in the right direction.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The research essay will be submitted using Turnitin, through the Wattle site.

Posters will be presented, but not handed in, although we do appreciate a copy for the archive. 

Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Research papers will be graded by your supervisor. Results will be made available via Turnitin.

Tutorial Presentations grades will be returned via email during semester break.

Poster Presentations will be made available within a week of the presentation date.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Mary Rasmussen

Research Interests

Gender, Feminist and Queer Theory, Research Methods, Qual Research, Young People

Mary Rasmussen

By Appointment
By Appointment
Mary Rasmussen

Research Interests

Mary Rasmussen

By Appointment
By Appointment

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