Sample Independent Study Proposal

Student Name

Independent Study Proposal

Rationale and Plan of Study

  1. Rationale for conducting an independent study: This independent study is intended to provide Laura Cramer with an opportunity to conduct original research while enrolled as an undergraduate student. After gathering unique data, I will exercise my analytic skills to produce a paper in the subject of nutritional anthropology. Practice in research methods and quantitative analysis will be of great benefit and relevance to my future work. A grant from the School of Graduate Studies and Research has been obtained to assist in the financial matters of the research (please see attached proposals). The independent study will allow me to explore my interest in the areas of nutritional anthropology not covered in existing courses.
  2. Purpose of the study: The study is focused on exploring the eating habits of college students in a cafeteria setting to determine the nutritional value of foods being consumed during typical meal times. I am interested in learning what food choices students make and why they make those choices. If problems are detected in eating habits, data may be furnished to nutrition education programs and target areas of education may be identified.
  3. Objectives: Upon completion of the independent study, I will have:
    • Acquired knowledge of human nutrition and eating habits
    • Gained confidence in methods of field research
    • Gathered and analyzed personally collected data
    • Produced a professional paper in the field of nutritional anthropology
    • Become more professional in work and research habits
  4. Activities to accomplish objectives: To accomplish the above named objectives, I shall conduct a research project within Foster Dining Hall on IUP's campus. With the help of Dr. Miriam Chaiken, I will utilize the information I gather to write a paper centered on the eating habits of students and using background information gathered from outside reading completed throughout the first half of the semester. Weekly meetings with Dr. Chaiken will help to build a sense of professionalism in work ethic.
  5. Required reading
    • Cleveland, L.E., et al. "Method for Assessing Food Intakes in Terms of Servings Based on Food Guidance." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 65 (1997): 1254-1263.
    • Counihan, Carole M. "Food Rules in the United States: Individualism, Control, and Hierarchy." Anthropological Quarterly. 65.2 (1992): 55-66.
    • Hertzler, Ann A. and Robert B. Frary. "College Students' Nutrition Information Networks." Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. 24 (1995): 191-202
    • Rathje, William, and Cullen Murphy. Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
    • Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
    • Tavelii, Suzanne. and Kathy Beerman. "Source of Error and the Nutritional Adequacy of the Food Guide Pyramid." Journal of American College Health. 47.2 (1998): 77-82.
  6. Evaluation process: Methods of evaluation for the independent study will revolve around completion of research, reading of background material, weekly meetings with my advisor, Dr. Chaiken, and completion of a paper as the final product. All requirements must be met to pass the course.
    • 15% Completion of research
    • 15% Attendance at weekly meetings
    • 15% Summary papers of background reading material
    • 15% Rough draft of paper
    • 40% Final Paper
  7. Use for special purpose: Honors credit is being sought for this independent study.
  8. Number of credits: This independent study will be a three credit course.