Ferruh Yılmaz



Honors Seminar, COGN 191A, Fall 2006
Department of Communication, University of California , San Diego
Thursdays 5-8 pm , MCC 125
Instructor: Ferruh Yilmaz
Office Hours: Mondays 1-3 pm (Sequoyah 113)


The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles. Emily Martin, Signs, vol. 16, No. 3 (Spring, 1991), pp. 485-501 (Electronic reserves).

Researching Society and Culture. Clive Seale (ed). Thousand Oaks : Sage Publications, 1998. (Chapters 5, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 & 19. Electronic reserves)

Researching communications : a practical guide to methods in media and cultural analysis. David Deacon, Michael Pickering, Peter Golding, Graham Murdock. New York : Oxford University Press, 1999. (Chapters 1 & 2. Electronic reserves).

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Joseph Gibaldi. New York : Modern Language Association of America , 2003.

A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations. Kate L. Turabian, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.


September 27

Introduction: What is an honors thesis? Presentation of student projects.

October 5 – Good research and writing

Reading : The Egg and the Sperm

Discuss the qualities of good research and writing

Bring in an essay or book chapter (no more than 20 pages) whose writing style you admire and which has some of the qualities you aspire to in your thesis. Your selection does not have to be on the same topic as your planned thesis. I will photocopy these and make them available at our October 12 meeting.

Oct 12 – Approaching research

Distribute essays and sign up for presentations. Each group will prepare an essay analysis and a short presentation that describes why this article is successful, how it is structured and thematically set up, how it establishes its relationship or position to existing scholarship.

Ch. 1 in Researching Communications: Approaching Research, and

Ch. 5 in Researching Society and Culture: Gender, ethnicity and fieldwork: a case study

Oct 19 – Designing research

First group of student presentations

Ch. 10: Writing a research proposal (Researching Society and Culture)

Oct 26 – How prepare for research?

Second group of student presentations

Next week: Short research statement and annotated bibliography of sources. You will have met with your advisor before handing it in and this will be reflected in your statement.

Ch. 2: Dealing with documentation & Ch 4: Asking Questions (Researching Communications)

Nov 2

How to conduct research?

Third group of student presentations

Bring to class three copies of short research statement and annotated bibliography of sources. The statement should include a section about the data collection. We will do collaborative workshops in groups of three students.

Ch. 11: Doing social surveys, ch. 12: Coding and analyzing data, ch. 16: Qualitative interviewing, and ch. 17: Doing ethnography (Researching Society and Culture)

Nov 9 – Library resources

Presentation by Elliot Kanter, Librarian for Social Sciences at UCSD (date subject to change), in Geisel Library, Room 274. Meet at front of lobby of Geisel Library at 5pm.

Next meeting: revised research statement and at least two primary sources. Explain how your research has changed.

Nov 17 - No class meeting.

Nov 24 - Thanksgiving

Nov 30 – Getting your hands dirty with research

Bring to seminar a revised research statement and at least two primary sources. The research statement includes a section about how you are going to analyze the data. We are going to discuss your statements in class. We will also form collaborative writing groups.

Ch. 18: Analyzing cultural objects: content analysis and semiotics & ch. 19: Analyzing discourse (Researching Society and Culture)

Dec 7 – No class meeting.

An extended research proposal is due (5-7 pages) and a plan for research that includes what you intend to do over the break, what you hope to read/do, and your hypothesis (the kind of conclusions you expect to draw from your research).