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 can appear as a post in your current course blog. However, the document will be submitted on a Google Doc.

Core Criteria

  • Coherently researched – in conversation with arguments found in source work that allow interpretation of primary data; copious use of a minimum of eight argumentative sources, three of which  from our New Media readings.
  • 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 the author’s inquiry process. Although not a final answer (because questions linger), the inquiry project aspires to offer a compelling and personal way of thinking about the data.
  • 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 2500 to 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, four of which must be scholarly. Three must be  from our New Media Readings and one must be one of 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.