The purpose of this assignment is to (a) explore in depth a specific topic of the course and (b) present, discuss and evaluate the topic from your point of view. The topics covered in this course are broad in scope. During class, it is not possible to cover most topics in depth. The term paper will give you an opportunity to closely read and evaluate a topic that has attracted your attention. By reading and synthesizing the literature of a particular topic, you will develop in-depth knowledge about an issue or set of issues on that topic. As you summarize the material, and write a critical evaluation, you will be developing the skill to (a) present other people’s ideas on the topic in an unbiased fashion, and (b) provide your own voice on the subject. 1. Start by picking a topic that is particularly interesting to you. You are encouraged to write your paper on the same topic area that you present in class. 2. Second: for your own purposes, summarize each and every chapter assigned to that topic, not just the chapter you present in class. By taking copious notes on the topic, you will deepen your understanding and digest the material. As you read over the topic carefully, you will surely be stimulated by ideas that will catch your attention. 3. Third: Develop a point of view regarding the material you are reading. This should organically develop as you pour over the literature. Synthesize your point of view into a one sentence statement about the topic. That is your thesis. As you write your paper, it should start with an introduction that states your thesis and the supporting details that back up your thesis. Your introduction states points briefly: The body of your paper develops those precise points. While your essay should touch on and/or provide brief summaries for your readers regarding important issues raised in the literature, your paper should revolve around your thesis and supporting details. Finally, you should conclude your paper by restating your thesis with brief references to the supporting detail. Your concluding paragraph should end in a spirit that you have proved your thesis. In most cases, you are encouraged to reference material presented in the course texts. You are also encouraged to use outside sources carefully. As you summarize the texts you discover, you will better understand the material and likely develop your own views on a given topic. I will go over various questions like the length of the paper and due date in class. Your paper should contain page numbers, a cover page, outline and works cited. You should cite at least 3 to 6 references from the assigned literature of your topic. Organization of the paper Your paper should be organized in the following way: §Your cover page should contain your paper title at the center. Your name, course name, professor, and date goes on the bottom right. §Outline: The title on page two of your paper should be “Outline.” Then, state at the top of the page your thesis followed by topic sentences that serve as the controlling ideas of your body paragraphs. §Main Text: The body of your paper should contain the details that support your thesis. Make reference to the texts you are reading. While you can compare and contrast the readings, be sure to analyze and evaluate them. Your evaluation should support your thesis. §Conclusion: your conclusion should restate your thesis and topic sentences with an air of proving your point. §Works Cited or Bibliography: A list of all the sources that you have cited and/or read for your paper. Title-The title should be brief and informative. This is the bait that lures the potential reader to continue, so it is worth choosing carefully. Please pick a creative title that reflects the thesis of your paper. Outline-This brief section (less than a page) gives a concise, specific, balanced summary of the main points of your paper. It should present both your thesis (i.e. main claim) and major lines of argument. You will probably have to write and/or edit this page after you have finished drafting your paper. Introduction- The introduction is usually one paragraph. In the introduction, tell the reader what your thesis is and the main supporting points of your paper. Use the introduction to explain WHAT the paper is addressing along with the main supporting points that prove your thesis. Having a clear structure in your introduction will make it easier for the reader to follow your arguments in the body of your paper. Body of the text-This section should present an objective, unbiased account of relevant information from the literature, as well as your critical evaluation it. It will be most effective to present information organized around key points to support your thesis. Start by summarizing different important points in the literature of the topic. Give the reader enough information about the authors’ texts to follow your arguments. Being critical about the authors does not mean finding flaws. Rather, it involves presenting what the author says and expressing a reasoned opinion about what they are saying. Your role is to judge its correctness, value, or significance. Subheadings throughout your paper will help the reader navigate through your arguments. The main point of each paragraph should be clear and supported/contrasted by evidence from the literature. You must use proper citation format when presenting data or conclusions from the papers you have read. (See Tips for Writing College Papers for citation format). Conclusions-Present a brief summary of your conclusions or analysis of the information you have synthesized. The quality of your paper rests on how well you support your view, not on what position you choose to support. Use this section to summarize and/or synthesize the major points of your paper including your views on the material—points that you have already presented. Be sure to return to the general context you established in the Introduction and restate your thesis. Works Cited or Bibliography- Works Cited is a list of all the sources that you have cited in the body your paper. If you read other sources that you don’t cite, list both the works cited and other resources under the title Bibliography. Be sure to include all sources that are mentioned in the text by author/page in your text. List sources alphabetically with a hanging indent. Use whatever citation system you feel comfortable with.
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