Course Code

CHES3500/ CCSS3110/ CCSS3111

Course Name

Chinese Studies Research Methods/Social Science Research Methods and China Studies/Humanities Research on China


Monday 8:30-11:15am


ELB 202


Séverine ARSENE

Teaching Assistant

LIU Songyu

Course Description

This course prepares advanced CCS major undergraduate students to research for their final year capstone research projects. The main product of the course will be a research proposal that will ideally be followed through to develop the final year paper to be submitted at the end of Term.
There are three aims to the course: 1) to gain familiarity with research methods of the various disciplines in the humanities; 2) to explore several styles of scholarship; 3) to learn how to undertake an advanced university-level research project and produce an interesting, productive research proposal.
This workshop-style class will guide students to reach this objective step by step. Students will be introduced to fundamental concepts in qualitative and quantitative research methods and designs in the social sciences. These concepts will be discussed practically, by making students begin thinking about their own research topic, and by conducting data collection and analysis exercises.
The mode of instruction is highly interactive and requires students to actively participate in class discussions, complete research exercises, conduct peer review, and continuously work on their own projects. In the end of this course, students are required to present a revised research proposal, identifying interesting topics, compiling references, making bibliographies, formulating research questions, choosing appropriate research methods, and writing up research plans and goals.

Course Outline

Detailed Course Outline is available on Blackboard.

Week 1: Introduction: Research on China

Week 2: Research Matters

Week 3: Academic Writing

Week 4: Designing a Research Project

Week 5: Literature Review and Finding Sources

Week 6: Survey Research

Week 7: Qualitative Methods

Week 8: Corpus and Data Analysis

Week 9: Research Week

Week 10: Individual Consultation 1

Week 11: Individual Consultation 2

Week 12: Proposal Presentation & Feedback 1

Week 13: Proposal Presentation & Feedback 2

Assessment & Assignments

Class attendance & participation (25%)

Research Assignments (30%)

Project Presentation and Peer Review (10%)

Research Proposal (35%)

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.