5000 word school 'investigation'

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aria230
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5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by aria230 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:25 pm

Hi,
At my school I am going to start the extended project qualification (AS) when I get back after the summer. This involves writting a 5000 word 'investiation' which can be about almost anything. As it's 5000 words I would like it to be about something that I am enthusiastic about so paddling was the obvious choice.

My teacher recomended that the title of the investigation should be a question and that it should be quite narrow. I will have to do all the research myself ect. An example title was 'Is dance a sport or an art form?'.

Two possible titles that I had thought of are:
- Is the construction of the bujagali (not sure if that is correctly spelt) dam justifiable?
- Should the river access policy be changed in England?

As for the first one, I thought that I could do research on the cost of production of the dam and the amount of energy that it will provide in comparison to other renewable energy sources. I could do research on the environmental problems that it creates and the effect that it has on the locals and the economy. I thought that I could get in contact with people like Kayak The Nile, Steve Fisher, Sam Ward, The company who are producing the dam, The Ugandan Government, People involved with other dams.

As for the seconds, I thought that I could do research on the current policy in England and Scottland and then compare them and their effectivness. Look at the fish population. The income that is created by river users. I thought that I could get in contact with people from the fishing organisation, The BCU/Canoe England, The Scottish Canoe organisation ect.

At this stage I am not looking for details or contacts ect as it will be about 3 months before I need to start getting into the 'investiagation' itself. However I am keen to hear your thoughts on my two idea's and or any other idea's that you could think of. I'm just unsure that I could do enough research to fill 5000 words without repeating myself or droaning on.

Chris

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Mark R
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Mark R » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:28 pm

aria230 wrote:- Should the river access policy be changed in England?
Do you mean, 'Should the law on access be changed?' or do you mean, 'Should CE/ BCU change their policy to improving access?'
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Ieuan Belshaw
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Ieuan Belshaw » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:43 pm

First question about the Dam - You could write a lot on it on both info on energy / science type stuff as well as why it shouldn't. Quite engineery/political essay which is cool and you could probably write a lot on it.

Second Q on access, its just political but you'll have a lot of information to go on just by using the search bar on ukrgb. Find the Tawe access one, plenty to go on there.

Choice is yours, do the one you find most interesting?
Ieuan :)

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james fleming
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by james fleming » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:28 am

Chris,

By any stretch of the imagination I ain’t an academic type person. However, if you are due to write a report on the Bujagali hydropower project and wonder if the spelling is correct to your assignment, then you might be up the creek without a paddle.
This is, probably, like others, a very emotive topic. Dams always are but, Uganda?

For me charity starts at home. Try and influence paddle sport in your home nation. I’ll assume, it’s England. If that’s the case and you can make a contribution to change the access then that’s where I would make a start, not some hydro in another continent.

This is my thought on your idea. I wish you the very best and I’m sure you’ll do very well, regardless what you select.

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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:33 am

I think the bujugali dam is probably a poor choice, not only does it run the risk of preachily holding a third world nation with some significant energy needs to a first world standard; but the information to properly understand it is likely to be thin on the ground and difficult (perhaps expensive too to get hold of.

To my mind "Was the construction of Llyn Celyn a justifyable public works project or a politically expedient consession by the govern,ent of the dsy to liverpool city coincil and the powerful labour party agitators demanding it's construction"
Is a far better, far simpler to research question.
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Adrian Cooper
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:48 am

One important aspect of a piece of written work, maybe much overlooked these days, is the quality of the spelling and grammar. Inasmuch as computers can do so much of this work for you these days, there is little excuse. I could give you an example of a line which would have benefitted from reading over:
"Was the construction of Llyn Celyn a justifyable public works project or a politically expedient consession by the govern,ent of the dsy to liverpool city coincil and the powerful labour party agitators demanding it's construction"
I'm sure you can find more.

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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Big Henry » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:33 pm

My suggestion will probably give you more work, but ultimately end up making the writing of the investigation easier.

Research both. Break them both down to chapter levels/titles - eg for the dam, things like 'Direct Environmental Impact On The Bujagali And Surrounding Area', 'Examples of Direct Environmental Impact On Other Dams', 'Unexpected Impact From Other Dams' (did you know that there are no Kootenai River White Sturgeon under the age of 37 left in the world since the construction of Libby Dam in 1974 stopped the river from flooding, preventing the high water flows that triggered the sturgeon to move upriver and spawn!?!), 'Energy Production and Requirements in Uganda', 'The Socio-Political Situation in Uganda', 'Effects on Tourism/Paddling' etc.

Once you have your chapter headings, you should know approximately how many words you can realistically write in each chapter. Then you should be in a position to decide which topic has stirred your enthusiasm the most, and which you can write a succinct, informative and well balanced essay on, with the appropriate word count. When you write it, always write the body of text first, then the conclusion, then the introduction, then you are guaranteed to have an introduction that includes everything you've written about (and nothing you subsequently forget to include) in it, and you'll give the impression that you know what you're talking about from the very first page, rather than stumbling around.

Good luck with it.

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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by HarryWats0n » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:41 pm

Do something less boring which requires less research. Something like the advances in safety over the years.

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aria230
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by aria230 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:13 pm

Big Henry wrote:My suggestion will probably give you more work, but ultimately end up making the writing of the investigation easier.

Research both. Break them both down to chapter levels/titles - eg for the dam, things like 'Direct Environmental Impact On The Bujagali And Surrounding Area', 'Examples of Direct Environmental Impact On Other Dams', 'Unexpected Impact From Other Dams' (did you know that there are no Kootenai River White Sturgeon under the age of 37 left in the world since the construction of Libby Dam in 1974 stopped the river from flooding, preventing the high water flows that triggered the sturgeon to move upriver and spawn!?!), 'Energy Production and Requirements in Uganda', 'The Socio-Political Situation in Uganda', 'Effects on Tourism/Paddling' etc.

Once you have your chapter headings, you should know approximately how many words you can realistically write in each chapter. Then you should be in a position to decide which topic has stirred your enthusiasm the most, and which you can write a succinct, informative and well balanced essay on, with the appropriate word count. When you write it, always write the body of text first, then the conclusion, then the introduction, then you are guaranteed to have an introduction that includes everything you've written about (and nothing you subsequently forget to include) in it, and you'll give the impression that you know what you're talking about from the very first page, rather than stumbling around.

Good luck with it.
That is a very good idea!

I think I might do this over the summer, thanks.

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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:35 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:One important aspect of a piece of written work, maybe much overlooked these days, is the quality of the spelling and grammar. Inasmuch as computers can do so much of this work for you these days, there is little excuse. I could give you an example of a line which would have benefitted from reading over:
"Was the construction of Llyn Celyn a justifyable public works project or a politically expedient consession by the govern,ent of the dsy to liverpool city coincil and the powerful labour party agitators demanding it's construction"
That was posted from my phone whilst I was on the way to work; that I managed to author a post of that length on a smartphone that's almost but not entirely incompatible with phpBB; without being able to see what i'd written, and it came out comprehensible at all is a small wonder.
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:24 pm

Just teasing. :-) I know you normally make quite a good fist of S & G. I thought it would be just a bit too churlish to use the OP as an example.

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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:26 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:Just teasing. :-) I know you normally make quite a good fist of S & G. I thought it would be just a bit too churlish to use the OP as an example.
Plus, It really is bad; I wish it was still possible to edit that post.
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Niall Milner
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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Niall Milner » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:29 pm

aria230 wrote:My teacher recomended that the title of the investigation should be a question and that it should be quite narrow.
aria230 wrote:Is the construction of the bujagali dam justifiable?
5,000 words isn't that much all said and done. Looking at a Dam with layered social, economic, environmental and engineering impacts is not going narrow! Pick even one of those four main strands and you could probably write a whole book!

Seriously, I'm all for you pushing yourself but if you're expected to really get under the skin of a subject and show detailed knowledge/understanding and ability to research I would keep it much narrower.

I'd go with "Should existing access legislation to natural rivers in England & Wales be changed?" Still a big project for 5,000 words mind but you should already understand most of the main issues, drivers and the answer!!

Niall

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Re: 5000 word school 'investigation'

Post by Phil Hk » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:31 pm

I am supervising students doing EPQ at the moment - my advice would be to tackle a topic that you can tackle with first hand research rather than a subject which is, by geographical necessity, going to be remote, theoretical and only underpinned by second / third hand resources

Phil

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