Department of Translation
banner-introduction

 

Translation Studies Research Project

 

      A research paper in Translation Studies is a critical interpretation of factual materials and of scholars’ opinions compiled on a specific question in Translation Studies. A research paper states a purpose and methodology of a project, reviews related materials published by scholars, and offers a new perspective on a specific topic. Proper academic English style and correct academic referencing are crucial.

 

Briefing

The Project Coordinator (PC) will brief FYP students on the project and distribute a Project Approval Form towards the end of the first term prior to your final year. The PC may call other occasional meetings, as necessary.

 

Guidelines to the Research Project

1. Selection of Text
2. Working on the Project
3. Supervision
4. Format of Final Draft
5. Submission of Final Draft
6. Samples
7. Assessment Exercise
8. Assessment Guidelines
9. Assessment Rubrics
10. Translation Project Prize

1. Selection of Topic

 

1.1. Your Research Topic

 

When you choose a topic for your research, you should keep in mind that the project should be related to the contents of the program you have studied. Therefore, it should deal with selected areas and topics in the two major areas of Translation Studies (TS): (1) language use, and (2) literary and cultural issues. Keep in mind that your project is a crucial element of your university degree program, and the material and content you select must be of a standard appropriate to this level of study. 

A research paper should draw on existing scholarship with reasonable insight. You are encouraged to discuss possible topics individually with a member of staff, preferably your first-choice supervisor. When choosing your potential supervisor, please consult the table in Sub-Section 1.5, which lists the research interests of our staff.

On the other hand, it is essential that you browse resources in TS such as academic journals, conference themes, books, etc. to get a better idea of possible topics and current issues in TS. Ask your supervisor for the most appropriate materials or bring it up during one of the workshop sessions. 

 

1.2 Length

 

The research paper should be 8,000-10,000 words in length in English. This word count excludes footnotes/endnotes and the bibliography.

 

1.3. Submission of Project Approval Form

 

Please write a short abstract (approximately one typed page) justifying your choice of topic. You should identify the main research question and comment on its contribution to TS and draft a first general outline of your project.

 

After your project has been approved and signed by a full-time teacher, take your signed approval form, with the written justifications for your choice to the Department Office and have your name checked off on the master list.

 

The deadline for submission of the Project Approval Form is the first weekday after the end of the examination period in the preceding term.

 

1.4    Allocation of Supervisors

 

You may propose up to four choices of supervisors on the approval form. However, there is no guarantee that your first choice can be allocated to you. Teachers will start choosing supervisees during term break, and the list of supervisors will be published at or before the beginning of the term. Although it is advisable that you think about your topic early, keep in mind that your final supervisor may ask you to make changes for various practical, stylistic and thematic reasons. The list below is general and tentative. Consult the faculty of your choice for specific areas of interest.

 

1.5 Full-time Project Supervisors' Areas of Interest (for 2020-21)

 

 Name

Areas of Interest

Prof. Bai Liping

Literature, Current Affairs, Culture 

Prof. Chan Lung-jan, Andy

Popular Fiction, History, Current Affairs

Dr. Cheung Yu-kit

Literature, Current Affairs, Confucianism, Hong Kong

Prof. Hui Ting-yan, Isaac

Literature and Culture, Popular Culture, Current Affairs

Prof. Liang Wen-chun, Wayne

Literature (Fiction and Non-fiction), Culture and Current Affairs, other with approval

Prof. Bunzel Linder, Birgit

Literature, Culture, Psychology, Cross-cultural studies, Film, Poetry, other Humanities

Prof. Lung Wai-chu, Rachel

Any topic area except Religion, Science, History, and Technology

Dr. Sayed Gouda

Poetry, Comparative literature, Cross-cultural studies, Translation, World Civilizations

Prof. Sterk Darryl Cameron

Literature and Natural Science, other with approval

Dr. Tang Kin-ling

Culture, History, Current Affairs, China, other with approval

Dr. Tong Man, Jasmine

Literature, Popular Fiction, Culture, Current Affairs

 

2. Working on the Project

 

2.1. Back-up Copies

 

You need to discuss a working schedule with your supervisor. The project is meant to be a process of formative learning, which means that you should review and revise your paper as you write. The seven colloquia are meant to give you additional guidance and ideas, and you should discuss any new direction or major change with your supervisor. You may also bring up general issues you encounter at the end of each colloquium session.

 

2.2 The Writing Process

 

1. Select a topic related to Translation Studies. Note: If you are studying a novel, poem, short story, or translation, this work is called the primary source; the related critical and other scholarly works are called secondary sources. Your topic should focus on a specific issue in TS or related fields.

 

2. Write a tentative thesis statement and highlight your research purpose. This is what you are trying to support in your writing. Usually, a thesis statement describes the argument you are making in your research. After some reading, you may need to refine your thesis statement. It is normal to re-write the Introduction (and thesis statement) until the paper is finished.

 

3. Prepare a working bibliography—a list of available sources. You need to collect a few articles and books for a working bibliography. This will help you limit your scope and see if your topic has enough (not too little and not too much!) support from other scholarly work. Consult books of translation and/or literary criticism, the MLA International Bibliography, and other books and periodicals related to your subject and focus.

 

 If your topic is current, check the periodical databases in the library (JSTOR, ProQuest, Chinese database). Other acceptable online resources should be limited to online academic journals or other resources that can be referenced. Wikipedia, personal blogs, homework resources, general information that cannot be referenced as an article (with page numbers) are not acceptable. 

 

4. Take notes. Note taking is an important exercise from the beginning. You should keep track of all the selections you want to reference in your paper, including page numbers. Direct quotes and paraphrases without page number reference are considered plagiarism. 

 

5. Make an outline. An outline is the map of your project. Discuss your outline with your supervisor to see if you are going in the right direction.

 

6. Write a rough draft inserting parenthetical citations within the text (in-text citation). This method of acknowledging sources has replaced footnotes and endnotes in most cases. Use guidelines from The Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (MLA), or other sources for citations and works cited.

 

7. Write a Works Cited (bibliography) following MLA guidelines. Your Bibliography must include all the works you have referenced in your paper, including works that you have consulted for general ideas. You can refer to the bibliography format here.

 

8. Write the final copy.

 

9. Proofread the final copy.

 (Modified from http://www.write.armstrong.edu/handouts/ResearchPapers.pdf)

 

2.2    The Structure of the Paper

 

Your paper should have a title page, a brief abstract with 4-5 keywords, an introduction, the body paragraphs, a conclusion, endnotes (if applicable), and a bibliography. Your paper should have the same clear structure that you use in your outline.

 

1. The title (and sub-title) should emphasize the key issue of your paper.

 

2. The abstract (80-100 words) should give a brief narrative summary of your argument and methodology. 

 

 3. The introduction presents the main idea of your paper and gives a clear thesis statement that defines your argument and your methodology, as well as briefly states your findings.

 

4. A brief literature review that contextualizes your research topic, discusses the findings of scholars, and states your contribution.  

 

5.   Several sections (paragraphs) of argumentation or analysis. Your argumentation or analysis should develop from general to more specific. In these sections, you should develop your own ideas while also drawing on publications with quotes, paraphrases, or summaries. You can reference other research to support your own argument or to argue against it. You should also give examples, where appropriate.

 

6. The conclusion summarizes your findings once again, re-states your thesis statement, comments on the limited scope of your topic, and gives ideas about further research questions to be addressed in the future. 

 

 7. Endnotes, if applicable. (Refer to Style Guide)

 

 8. The Bibliography should list alphabetically all works used and consulted during your research and writing.

 

2.3 Academic Integrity

 

The Final Year Project represents your own work. While in academic writing, we expect that students use secondary literature (journal papers, books, etc.), it is of utmost importance to reference your sources in order to avoid plagiarism, both in-text and in the bibliography. The department expects your project to showcase what you have studied. This includes the ability to use scholarly resources relevant to your topic. Not making use of such materials will diminish the quality of your paper. Not referencing such materials may result in disqualification of your research paper.

 

3. SUPERVISION

 

3.1. Importance of Supervision Sessions

Since a substantial proportion of the Department's teaching resources are allocated to the Project, which is the cornerstone course of the whole Translation Program, project supervision should be approached with the same accountability as regular classes. Should there be any serious reason to cancel a session by the student or the supervisor, it needs to be made up at a later point.

 

3.2. Appointment Matters

You should contact your supervisor as soon as possible in the new semester and fix a time for supervision within two weeks after the start of term. The teaching load allocated for project supervision is 15 minutes per week. This means that you and your supervisor should have at least seven 50-minute supervision sessions within the year. If necessary, extra sessions may be arranged by mutual agreement.

 

3.3 Final Year Project Workshop

 

 Throughout the year, the Department offers FYP students seven workshops conducted by our faculty. Topics address issues related to your project, and it is a good venue for questions related to translation studies in general, the FYP in general, academic writing and style, practical translation issues, research methodology, and library use. Please refer to the tentative schedule:

 

DATE

TIME

ROOM

TOPIC

SPEAKER

Sept 14, 2020 (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  via Zoom

Theories & Practice: Literary Translation

 Prof. Isaac Hui

Sept 21, 2020 (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  via Zoom

Defining Characteristics of the Chinese Language

 Dr. Cheung Yu Kit

Sept 28, 2020 (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  MBG01 & via Zoom

Constructing the Role of Author, Text and Reader in Translation

Prof. Liang Wen Chun

Oct 5, 2020 (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  MBG01 & via Zoom

Theories & Practice: Sociology of Translation

Prof. Andy Lung-jan

Jan 25, 2021 (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  MBG01

Theories & Practice: Ecotranslation

Prof. Darryl Sterk

Feb 1, 2021 (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  MBG01

Theories & Practice: Culture and Translation

Prof. Birgit Linder

TBA (Monday)

 16:30-18:29  MBG01

How to Write the Introduction to the Translation Project

Prof. Bai Liping

 

 

4. FORMAT OF FINAL PAPER

 

The following guidelines will assist you to submit your project in an acceptable format. Students who submit work that is not in accordance with these guidelines might be asked to re-submit their work and/or be penalized for their shortcomings during assessment. Students who, for exceptional reasons, wish to present work in a different format must seek permission from their supervisor well before the submission date.

 

4.1 Typing/Printing

 

 Projects should be printed on A4 size paper (297mm x 210mm). The paper must be white, and the print must be black. Ensure that the printing of the final version is of good quality. 

Please use 1.5 spacing. Single spacing is not acceptable, except in footnotes. The type face should be easy to read and appropriate to an academic project. The Department suggests Times New Roman for English and 細明體 for Chinese. If in doubt, consult your supervisor, and present him/her with a sample of your work. Do not use sans serif typefaces, e.g. Arial, for your main text. The print sizes should be 12 points for main text and 10 points for footnote text. 

A new paragraph should only be indicated by three-to- five-space indentations in the first line, with the space between paragraphs being the same as that between lines. A blank line between paragraphs and indentation is only used to indicate a major break within a chapter or part, i.e, if you start a new section. 

The left-hand margin should be 4cm (to ensure that the text is not too close to the spine of the bound project), whereas the top, right and bottom margins should be 2cm. 

Page numbers should be at the top right margin, or bottom centre or right margin, and should be in the same typeface as the main text. They should neither be too close to the edge of the page nor too close to the text. 

Please use in-text referencing. If you do need to have comments that do not belong into the body text, please use endnotes (numbered). You can refer to the MLA Style Guide or OWL (Online Writing Lab) for further endnote references.

 

4.1 Title Page

 

 The title page must be clear and carry all the information that is required. Please do not add additional formatting here or elsewhere in your final copy.

 

Please provide the following details:

 1. The words "LINGNAN UNIVERSITY" in capital letters across the top 

2. "Department of Translation" directly below 

3. The course code and title, e.g. "TRA4325 Translation Studies Research Project" 

4. The title (and sub-title) of your paper 

5. Your name 

6. The date (month and year) of submission of the project

 

4.2 Binding

 

The final draft of your project must be bound in a way that looks formal and tidy. You should use transparent covers so that the title page can be read without opening the front cover. 

Please use plastic rings for binding to avoid loose pages. No pages should protrude outside the edges of the cover. Before binding, make certain all pages are in the correct order. 

Each of the earlier drafts should also be bound separately and securely. You must make sure that pages will not fall out, and you should still include a title page under a transparent plastic cover.

 

5. SUBMISSION OF FINAL PAPER

 

Please submit your project to the Department Office in person, so that a number can be assigned to each project. 

The deadline for submission of the final draft is 3:00 pm on the first weekday of the week after the end of term. Late submissions without proven cause face incremental penalties of 2% per day, subject to the discretion of the supervisor and/or project course leader. Late submissions of more than 10 days without valid cause will not be accepted.

6. SAMPLES

 

If you would like to see samples of completed projects, please contact your supervisor.

 

7. ASSESSMENT EXERCISE

 

Your project will be assessed by your supervisor and at least one other teacher. The procedure for the assessment of the project is as follows:

 

 1. After supervisors submit their marks, a double-blind second assessment exercise will be conducted. The second assessors, the names of the students, and the names of the supervisors all remain anonymous. 

2. All staff members except the one who has been elected the "Judge of Final Appeal" will take part in the exercise. The second assessor for each project will be assigned by the Department Office. 

3. When the grade given by the supervisor and that given by the second assessor differ by one sub-grade, the former will usually prevail. When they differ by two sub-grades, the median grade will be given. 

4. If the two grades differ by more than two sub-grades, the project will be subject to a third assessment conducted by members of the Project Assessment Panel. Third assessors will also be assigned by the Department Office. 

5. Supervisors may appeal against any upward or downward adjustment resulting from second or third assessment. These appeals are also handled by the Panel. 

6. The grades given by the Panel will be final, no matter whether they fall inside or outside the range between the grades given by the supervisor and the assessor(s). 

7. The Panel may refer difficult cases to the "Judge of Final Appeal", who is not involved in second and third assessments. 

8. The "Judge of Final Appeal" also handles appeals lodged by students. 

9. Cases mentioned in Points 7 and 8 will be handled by another member of staff if the project concerned was supervised by the "Judge of Final Appeal". 

10. The Project Assessment Panel or its representative(s) reserves the right to request any project student suspected of not having done the unsupervised part entirely on his/her own to attend an oral and/or a written examination.

 

8. ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES

 

Your paper will be assessed according to four categories: The conception of your argument, the use of research methods and secondary literature, the organization and presentation of the paper, and the proper use of academic English. 

If you feel that your English writing ability is lacking, you may consult The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. Also use MS Word spell and grammar check before handing in any document, and for varying your vocabulary, you can use the MS Word Thesaurus.

 

9. ASSESSMENT RUBRICS

 

 

EXCELLENT (A Range) 80-100%

GOOD (B Range) 65-79%

FAIR (C Range) 50-64%

PASS (D Range) 40-49%

FAIL (F Range) 0-39%

Conception of argument (40%)

    Project has a clearly articulated thesis that is analytically interesting and original; the analysis is perceptive.

Project meets most of the criteria listed in the column to the left, but is lacking in one or more of them—or accomplishes all of them at a slightly lower level than excellence.

Project has an identifiable thesis, but it may be obvious or uninteresting, and not particularly original; the analysis is superficial.

Project has an identifiable thesis, but it is uninteresting and not at all original; there is little analysis.

 Project does not have any identifiable thesis.

Use of research methods and supporting evidence (30%)

    Project provides ample evidence in support of its thesis; showing serious research; evidence is well connected to the thesis; documentation is exceptionally clear, as in the use of footnotes and references.

Project provides significant amount of supporting evidence, well-connected to the thesis; some parts may not be clearly related to the central thesis; documentation is mostly clear.

Project provides some supporting evidence, but less than enough; only a small amount of research is conducted; there is an obvious amount of irrelevant detail; documentation is incomplete or not clear.

 The evidence in the project relates only weakly to the thesis; hardly any research is done; the evidence is poorly documented.

 The evidence in the project is irrelevant. The student does not apply any research methodology in the thesis.

Organization and presentation (20%)

    All sections relate clearly to the central thesis; individual sections have a clear focus; structurally very satisfying; clear connections between sections; the order in which the ideas are presented makes sense.

Nearly all sections relate clearly to the central thesis in a clear manner; all or most individual sections have a clear focus; structurally satisfying; the order in which the ideas are presented makes sense.

Most sections relate to the thesis in a clear manner, most individual sections have a clear focus, and the order in which the ideas are presented generally makes sense.

Most sections do not relate to the central thesis in a clear manner; structurally confusing; ideas not presented in the proper order; connection between ideas not clear or satisfying.

The thesis is completely incoherent and disorganized.

Language use (10%)

    Project displays excellent English language skills, with very few grammatical and usage errors, and is perfectly understandable.

Project contains minor errors in grammar and usage, but the writing is clear and generally understandable.

Project contains several minor errors and/ or a few major ones; the writing is mostly clear but may be difficult to understand in places.

Project contains numerous writing errors that are serious enough that the thesis is very difficult to understand.

The English is extremely poor and thesis is incomprehensible

 

10. TFINAL YEAR PROJECT PRIZE

 

A maximum of four prizes of HK$1,000 each may be given each year to the best of the projects that score A- or above. The selection will be made at the discretion of the Project Assessment Panel.

 

 

(Last revised on 21 October 2020.)