Fall 2011 Syllabus

Urban Studies 984 is a core course in the doctoral curriculum.

The class will provide experience in mastering research techniques and in designing research projects that will be applied in writing the doctoral dissertation and conducting research in one's chosen career. We will start the semester by dissecting exemplary pieces of research to explore how they were done.  Then we will examine a variety of sources and methods for conducting urban research, including identifying and using quantitative data, archival and institutional records; constructing oral history and survey research instruments, and conceptualization of a research design. Students will prepare, execute, write up and present an individual research design paper over the course of the semester. The course will also address the ethical, financial and institutional issues surrounding human subjects’ research.

            Kate Turabian,  A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations, 7th ed. (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2007).
            ISBN: 9780226823379

If you are a student with a disability, please feel free to contact me early in the semester for any help or accommodations which you may need. See www.uwm.edu/Dept/SecU/SyllabusLinks.pdf for UWM Academic policies.  No weapons are permitted in any building on the UWM campus.. 

The url for this syllabus is:  http://www.uwm.edu/~margo/984/984syl2011.htm

Discussion Topics, Assignments, and Due Dates





Sept 12

Introductions. Varieties of Urban Research Methods. 

Plan for the semester.   

First Short Assignment:  Identify a Piece of Research (due 9/26).


Sept 19

Reading for method: Amanda Seligman, Block by Block, Introduction, Ch. 1 and Epilogue; Beryl Satter, Family Properties, Introduction, Ch. 1;  Amanda Seligman, "'But Burn--No': The Rest of the Crowd in Three Civil Disorders in 1960s Chicago," Journal of Urban History, 37 (2011): 230-55; Beryl Satter, "Our Greatest Moments of Glory Have Been Fighting the Institutions We Love the Most": The Rise and Fall of Chicago's Interreligious Council on Urban Affairs, 1958-1969,"  U.S. Catholic Historian, 22 (Spring 2004): 33-44. Find these materials for download here.


Sept 26

Reading for method:  Gregory, Southern Diaspora, Preface and Ch. 1. 

Asking a question:  Turabian, chs. 1-2.   

Second Short Assignment: Ask a Research Question (due 10/3).

Elements of a Research Design.  


Oct 3

Third Short Assignment: Citations and Footnotes (due 10/10). 

Reading, TBA from results of Assignment 1.


Oct 10

Finding Existing Research on a Topic. Examples of Existing Research and Archival Sources.  Quantitative and Qualitative Research.  Archives Visit.   Reading, TBA  from results of Assignment 1.


Oct 17

Fourth Short Assignment: Developing a Research Design Proposal Topic (due 10/24).  Reviewing or Replicating Existing Research.  What is known about your proposed research project?    


Oct 24

Fifth Short Assignment: Developing an  Annotated Bibliography (due 10/31)

Looking at Methods Again:  What techniques can you use?  What obstacles do you face?  Laying out a research plan.  


Oct 31

Paper topic proposals returned.  Research Logistics.  What resources do you need to conduct your research?  Acquiring Funding?  Setting Aside Time?  Developing Additional Technical Expertise?   


Nov 7

Human Subjects Research and IRB Applications.  Bibliographies returned. 


Nov 14

Research Logistics continued.  Collecting Data and Undertaking  Analysis.  Making sense of what you've found.


Nov 21

Plans for presenting research:  Research paper or article; dissertation; research report; monograph.  Additional Reference Formats.


Nov 28

Short Assignments 6 and 7: Oral  Presentations and Critiques. Guidelines for Presentations and Critiques.  Schedule Requirements for Final Paper


Dec 5

Short Assignments 6 and 7: Oral Presentations and Critiques


Dec 12

Short Assignments 6 and 7: Oral Presentations and Critiques


Dec 19

Turn in Final Paper.