Final Project and Paper

The goal of the final project is that you will gain a holistic experience by conducting a small research project that employs the digital methods you have learned in the second half of the course. You have freedom to choose a favorite topic as long as it meets the following two requirements:

  1. Your project must have a network dimension in its analysis. You may use Palladio, or Gephi, or both for your data visualization.
  2. Your project must address a question about middle-period Chinese history (i.e., Tang and Song dynasties). A project on other periods and aspects of Chinese studies is acceptable with prior consultation with me.

You are encouraged to create a final project that builds on your midterm project, but this is not required.

A good final project strikes a balance between significance and feasibility. This requires that your project ask a question that is both meaningful in the scholarly context and also manageable given available datasets and your time commitment.

You will share your findings with the class in a short presentation and report them in a short essay. The presentation should be about 7 to 10 minutes long. The essay is expected to be 3 to 5 pages in length, typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and proofread for errors of grammar and spelling. Submit your essay as a Microsoft Word document. Include citations in Chicago/Turabian format.

Important Dates:

  • April 17 & 19 (Tuesday & Thursday): Project Tutorial. You have completed several exploratory Gephi projects in the past two weeks. On Tuesday, we will discuss these projects together so that you will develop some general ideas about your final project. If time permits, you will also explore the possible data sources on Tuesday on your own. On Thursday, we will work intensively on the project on Thursday, working together to have your datasets prepared for analysis, and troubleshooting any technical problems you may have encountered.
  • April 24 (Tuesday):  You will give a 7- to 10-minute presentation to report the findings of your project. Your presentation should be enriched by PowerPoint slides. Submit your slides before class to the Moodle dropbox: Final Project Slides. Your presentation must include the following components:
    • What is the question you are asking? How does it fit into the broader scholarly context on China/Chinese history?
    • What data do you use for answering this question?
    • What is your answer to the question?
  • May 9 (Wednesday): Final Paper due. You will feedback from me and your classmates on your project during the presentation. After the presentation, you will revise and improve your project and write up a short 3- to 5-page essay discussing your findings. Submit your essay by 6:30 p.m., May 9 to the Moodle dropbox: Final Paper. Also compress all your supporting documents into one zipped file and submit it here: Final Paper: Supporting FilesAssignmentThese supporting files include, for example, your data files (such as those in .tab, .xlsx, or other formats), network graphs (.gephi), and map package files (.mpk). You may include–as necessary per the nature of your project–other supporting files of your choice.