UC Boulder Rave and The Elect


The culmination of your project is a final report that details the entirety of your research process and findings, as well as substantive conclusions and recommendations based on the outcomes of your research. As we’ve talked about, the research process is the primary thing you’re learning this semester, and a key element of that is writing up your process and findings, showing others what you’ve learned and why it’s interesting or important.


  • Academic report (single-spaced, within 4000-5000 words) Contain the following elements, based on Table 11.1 in your Hennick et al., textbook (p. 272):
    • Brief introduction, including the context of your project and the main problem(s) that motivate your research
    • Background, including your review of previous research from your annotated bibliography and the research questions you’re trying to answer
    • Explanation of research methodology: research site(s) and participants, data collection and analysis procedures
      • note: include site description early in methods section
      • note: in some section, include researcher positionality statement
    • Research results
    • Discussion of analysis and findings
    • Conclusions and recommendations
      • References (not included in word count)
      • Relevant appendices (not included in word count) – these are any extra materials that you think are needed for the reader. Usually, these are items that are mentioned in the text of the report but are too much of a “side note” or include too many details to incorporate in the main text.

Grading criteria

Your final report grade will be earned based on the following criteria:

  • Follows sections of a qualitative research report as explained in your textbook (Hennick et al., Chapter 11)
  • Thorough, informative, and insightful content for all the elements listed above
  • Insightful conclusions about your data and recommendations in the discussion section
  • Appropriate amount and kinds of data (your project must substantively incorporate all three sources of data: interviews, focus group(s), observations)
    • minimum data requirements:
      • field site observations
      • minimum 3 in-depth interviews OR + a focus group of at least 3 people
  • Reasonable connection to communication, broadly defined (explain how your research enhances our understanding of communication for this issue/context… something about human interaction, social construction, message transmission, language and symbols, meaning and interpretation, etc.) Ideally, this adds to the scholarly conversations already happening, that you introduced us to in your Lit Review.
  • Within word count: 4000-5000 (this is roughly 8 single-spaced pages, depending how much you mess with margins and font size)
  • Quality writing: spelling, grammar, concisely and clearly sharing your points, having clear flow between topics
  • Professional-quality design: attractive formatting; good use of color, images, and white space
  • Neatly structured and organized: sections, headings, subheadings, page numbers, etc.
  • APA – Correct documentation of references

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