Final Project

Final Project

This final assignment is an opportunity to expand on your knowledge from the course by exploring a topic of particular interest to you. You will find inspiration in the many questions raised by the course discussions and readings, as well as your own personal and academic background.

On the form, it can be a paper or some sort, and/or can have a multimedia component (if that is something you would like), and there is room for creativity! You can write a research paper, make a podcast, a website, write fiction, a comic book, a business consulting style project, make some kind of video or documentary, etc. Really any format you can think of to convey your content in a way that showcases your strengths. Of course, whatever the format, substance of content is required!

On the substance, your project must have a clear central argument/analytical message (for example, Mondovino has an argument!) and demonstrate your understanding of important wine debates, conflicts of interest and battles over competing ideas of wine. You will all need good research and a strong, thorough bibliography, though the way it will be included will vary depending on the format. We can discuss details once you pick what you want to do.

Examples of what past students have done include:

  • Research papers or consulting papers, some based on an experiment (wine tasting, shopping, etc) or survey.
  • Websites/blogs: are only good if you don’t just make them a spot to copy paste different sections of a research paper. If you think paper, then do a paper. If you go for a site or blog, it needs to be because the format is appropriate for your project.
  • Label design or analysis. Critical analyses/reviews of wine apps, wine shops, restaurant wine lists, etc.
  • Magazine samples.
  • Video documentary

IMPORTANT: No matter what you choose to do, it must have substance. A review of wine apps, for example, would have to be informed by strong market and scholarly research about consumer behavior, etc.

Grading criteria

Presentation of argument: Your project, whatever its form, should have a clear central argument and thesis and the project should be constructed to defend it.

Execution/presentation of ideas: An A level project will be something with depth, and polish, that looks close to ready for professional use, something that could actually be used in the real world, whether it’s a research paper, a consultant report, a podcast or a video. If you do a great job with it, maybe you can use your project as part of your portfolio later.

Quality and breadth of sources:  There is no specific number of sources, but you must have show that you read a lot of substance to build and back your ideas. It’s not so much the number that matters, but the density of content you learn from your sources. If you use only scholarly journals and books, you could get by with a minimum of 10, but would need more if you shoot for higher level work. The more you use a lot of shorter non-scholarly sources, the higher number of sources you need to build enough knowledge overall. Pay close attention to the quality and relevance of your sources. The more you read, the better your work can be.  The best papers are always based on a lot of research, going above and beyond basic expectations.

Note: if you write a paper, then you can do a bibliography and in text citations. Project formats for which this doesn’t work require that you make a separate annotated bibliography. For example, if you do a podcast, your annotated bibliography would explain how the sources were used.