Working with Community – Major Assessment Writing Guide
Provide a short introduction to your paper (150 words)
This is an academic paper. In an academic paper, the introduction simply outlines the structure of the paper and tells the reader what it hopes to achieve. The introduction should not leap straight into descriptive or background information.
Example: This paper begins with a summary of the [project name] and a description of [community it involves]. Next, the paper will provide a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the project and will also highlight challenges that the project has experienced. In the final section, I will discuss ways that I would work with this community by drawing on the principles of [insert your ideas], and community development approaches of [insert your approach], and I will argue why these approaches are well-suited to working within the [name of project]. (Please do not copy this as it is an example of how to set out your introduction)
Describe the nature of the community that the project works with (200 words)
Ask yourself, who interfaces with this project and why? This might include a snapshot of things like location, demographics, age, gender, education, employment, health, socio-economic status. Describing the 'nature' of this community might include experiences of discrimination, disadvantage, oppression, violation of human rights, high poverty contexts, social exclusion etc. Describing this will set the scene for the project analysis section to follow.
Briefly describe the community development project (background, context, goals and aims, and resources, including funding) (200 words)
What is the project? Why / When did it start? What are the goals, aims and resources? How is it funded?
Briefly critically analyse the CD approach (principles, processes) utilised to undertake this project (400 words)
Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the project. In this section, you might be looking at ways formal/informal power relations are shaping or impacting on the project; identifying (or guessing) the community development approaches the project has undertaken; and critically analysing how effective these approaches have been, or not. Use the course text and other community development literature to reference your answers. We understand that project websites won’t neatly spell out CD approaches in the same language used in the literature, so just tell us how you think they are approaching it using CD language and concepts you have learned throughout the course. The important point is to apply a critical lens. Does the project appear to be top down or bottom up? Who makes the decisions? How are people involved in decision making? Is participation meaningful or tokenistic? Example: if a project says it consults with the community but there's no further information, it’s perfectly fine to say that ‘not enough is known about whether or not the processes and decisions are community driven, or tokenistic and imposed by others’, then you can explain the crucial differences and argue their importance in relation to this community.
Briefly describe how the project works toward social justice and empowerment (200 words)
Succinctly identify any social justice issues this community faces related to real or potential reasons e.g. policy levers, racism, stigma etc.
On the basis of your critical analysis, explain the ways in which you would work alongside community members on this project moving forward utilising learning from this course to justify your practice approach (1000 words).
Also identify and discuss the community development roles and skills that you would use – including practical application (400 words).
Based on your critical analysis in the previous section, knowing what you know now, if you were engaged to work in this project, what might you do, and why? Maybe something is working really well, so how could you build on that and expand it? Maybe something is not working so well, so how would you address that? What CD principles would guide you? What CD roles and skills would you use? What CD approach would you take, and why is that a good choice for working with this community? Use the course text and other community development literature to make your arguments and reference your answers. The focus here should be on practice methods justified with underpinning theory – not just theory alone. Also included in this section is how you would go about the work – what CD roles and skills would you use to work alongside the community. Provide practical examples of putting theory to practice.
Provide a short conclusion (150 words)
In an academic paper, the conclusion does not introduce any new information. To conclude, briefly summarise the key points, re-state the main arguments, and bring the paper to a logical close.
• Writing in the first person, in ‘practitioner voice’, is acceptable in this paper
• UniSA Harvard referencing style
• Use of headings is encouraged
• 1.5 line spacing.
• Please include at least 10 – 12 academic references, 6 of which must be scholarly community development sources
• Word count is 2700 +/- 10%