The Inquiry Project

From the Thoughtvectors syllabus:

The final assignment is the inquiry project. You’ll have to have this finished and published for a grade by the last day of class. It’s worth 35% of your final grade. Think of your inquiry project as a research paper for the digital age: although it will have many of the characteristics of academic writing, it’ll take advantage of thought vectors in concept space–and lots of creativity–to make something much more involving and rewarding than a typical “term paper.”


The final version of your Inquiry Project needs to demonstrate your ability to write a sustained, persuasive, and interesting argument based in your research. You’ll need to show you can cite sources accurately, and that you can successfully and coherently weave many voices, viewpoints, and data points to forward your own interpretation of your topic.   At the same time, however, you have the opportunity to demonstrate these things in the medium of the Web, where images, sounds, video, hyperlinks, and all the other affordances we’ve been exploring can be used to great effect. Consider this an opportunity to be boldly imaginative while positing and supporting your original argument.

Because the inquiry project represents the culmination of your questioning process for this course, the final project should not appear as just another post in your current course blog. Instead, make a new site.

Core Criteria

  • Coherently researched – in a robust conversation with arguments found in sourcework that allow for a diversity of possible interpretations of your primary text;
  • Intentional – someone reading it ought to see immediately that it has a point and has some polish.
  • Ambitious — project should present the best summation of your deep inquiry process. Although not a final answer (because questions will always linger), the inquiry project aspires to offer a compelling and personal way of thinking about your web phenomenon.
  • Purposefully written to and for the Web – project takes advantage of the affordances of the Web for composition (multimedia, hypertext (links), etc.)

Important Requirements

  • At least 3000 words (across all pages of the Inquiry Project that you write)
  • Links to at least eight argumentative, quality sources that appear throughout your project.
  • Three of the eight sources must include the New Media Readings.
  • Three of the eight sources must be scholarly.
  • In addition, include at least three links to arguments made by your peers from this class.
  • Thorough and thoughtful use of embedded media (images, videos, sounds, GIFs, etc.)
  • A complete bibliography of sources
  • Includes, in some form, an introduction, review of research, discussion, and conclusion.  See Dr. Coats’s post and these templates.

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 23: Inquiry Project in Beta (i.e. your draft) due by end of day.
  • Friday, December 4: Finalized Inquiry Project due by end of day. Send a link to me by email at