Friday, 31 July 2015

The Ridges

COM4234 Advanced Project

A major focus of the Advanced Project is the design and implementation of a research project, the topic of which will be discussed with and approved of by the instructor. Students will undertake advanced reading and will refine their critical analysis skills.

The final report will be graded as follows:

Project: The Ridges


Every couple of years I receive a proposal for a research project on The Ridges, and I'm always hesitant to approve it. Your proposal was no different in that regard. While I always approve The Ridges proposals in the end, I've never regretted doing so until now.

What you've presented hardly passes as an in-depth study of The Ridges' folklore and history--it barely registers as a vlog about a haunted building. Instead of the critical investigation you promised, you slapped together a video that showcases your friend's alarmingly rapid descent into madness after spending a few hours inside The Ridges.

Your thesis "The Ridges is not haunted" is abandoned in favour of documenting the goings-on in your living room. I can understand, perhaps even forgive you for the change of subject matter, given what happens to your friend, but I cannot understand why you don't seek medical attention for her condition. Your shocking lack of concern for Robbie's well being is unforgivable and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Moreover, if she is, in fact, haunted or possessed by the spirit of her great-aunt, then you've disproved your thesis. Meaning, The Ridges is haunted and you have proof of that. What are the spiritual, religious, and intellectual implications of this finding? Truly a missed opportunity there.

Still more puzzling is your choice to include your methodology, such as it is. I know I asked students to outline their research design, but you must know that your approach is damaging to your final grade. The only benefit in including your perfunctory research into The Ridges History and your eleventh-hour attempts to secure access to The Ridges is that I know have an example I can show to future students of how not to approach their advanced research project.

Finally, I must address the nature of your investigation as it appears in the video. Simply having a friend film you as you explore the building is not enough (also, the camera should proceed you). A lack of understanding of, or appreciation for, The Ridges' history clearly shows in the first half of the video. Not once do you provide any context for what's shown on screen, nor do you address past accounts of paranormal or supernatural activity that have taken place. No real research is presented to the viewer, nor do you demonstrate any real awareness of your subject matter. Your video is ninety minutes of you arguing with your friends.

To sum up, your research project, which was to disprove the existence of ghosts with specific attention being paid to The Ridges, fails to demonstrate any of the advanced skills this course was designed to help develop in upper-year students. You show no ability to think critically or independently, nor do you seem capable of conducting independent research.


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