You are expected to submit a formal research paper during the semester. It is considered a full-scale college research paper, although much shorter than normal. As such is expected to be of very high quality and reflect on your capabilities to conduct detailed research, examine important issues and present them in a clear and concise manner. Any topic from Western History (to 1600) is permissible. SOURCES: 20 points Your sources may not be from the internet, only books, journals or periodicals may be used. You must have a minimum of 10 sources. Less than 10 sources will count as incomplete and all points for this section will be lost. Do not use your textbook as a source. Additionally, you are specifically NOT to use general internet sources such as Wikipedia, Ask, etc. Encyclopedias, textbooks, videos, and similar generalized sources are not permitted. STRUCTURE: 10 points The paper will consist of at least FIVE (5) full pages of text; typed 12 font, double spaced. This size requirement does not include additional required components of: a Bibliography and Title Page. The Title Page should include: the course title and number along with the date of submission and your name. Citations are required, either endnotes or footnotes are acceptable. Each paper must contain the following: 1. An introduction of the topic. Student will indicate what were their initial thoughts/beliefs regarding that topic prior to beginning the research. This should require no more than ½ of a page. First Person voice can be used in this portion. 10 points 2. Students will present the information discovered in the course of the research. The information is to be presented in a direct and detailed manner, without interjection of opinion. Do not use First Person in this section. This part makes up the bulk of your paper. 40 points 3. Students will present their opinions and comment on the information discovered in the conclusion. This “conclusions” section should be about a page long. 10 points Illustrations, charts, etc., if any, are to be presented at the end of the paper as appendices, not mixed in with the text. FOOTNOTES AND FORMAT 10 points The “MLA” system of attribution is the minimum standard format. However, students will receive 5 points of Extra Credit if they use the “Chicago Manual of Style” for footnotes and bibliography. – Use Times Roman font, 12-pitch typeface – Margins must not exceed 1” top-bottom-right-left. – Use double-spacing; do not add lines between paragraphs. – Do not skip additional spaces between headings, paragraphs, etc. NOTE: You must use one of the two attribution systems listed above. Failure to use proper citations in the body of your paper is considered plagiarization (cheating) and will result in a significant grade reduction. GOOD ADVICE WHEN WRITING PAPERS AND ESSAYS “Verbum sapienti satis est” – Titus Maccius Plautus 1. Remember this is college. a. Do not use the first person voice (except where permitted) unless quoting a source. b. Your style should be FORMAL. I am not your friend whom you are texting or emailing, I am your Professor who is grading your work. c. Don’t EVER use the word “you” except in a quotation. d. Know the difference between “you’re” and “your” and “their”, “there” and “they’re”. Be careful, spell check sometimes will give you the wrong version! e. Quality of work is a very important part of the grade. A last-minute job is always obvious. f. More is Good! 2. Do your best work 3. Do your own work! The purpose of the paper is to learn how to do research and perhaps learn something about your subject. You will receive a failing grade if you cheat or plagiarize. 4. Don’t do a quick “cut and paste” from the Internet. Internet papers can always be recognized because they never go into enough detail and are rarely attributed. And it is my job to check! 5. Earn the extra credit for “Chicago Manual of Style”. If you do this, make sure your Footnotes and Bibliography are presented in the proper format. If you use this style, Its recommended you use endnotes rather than footnotes. This will make your paper easier to format. Besides, extra credit is always a good thing! 6. Don’t understand how to use MLA or Chicago format? Find out BEFORE writing your paper! Sources for format information: Penn State’s Library has everything you need. 7. Have someone else read your paper before submitting it. This way you may be able to avoid embarrassing grammatical errors from spell check screw-ups or a poor vocabulary. 8. Submit your paper on time! Your grade will be reduced if you did not obtain permission for a late submission. 9. If you wait until the last minute, it will be a rushed job and quality will suffer. After grading many hundreds of essays and term papers over the years, I usually can recognize a paper which was slapped together at the last minute. Complete the assignment ahead of time, then relax and enjoy your leisure while laughing at everyone else as they sweat the deadline! 10. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE! Always attribute your work. There is no quicker way to earn a failing grade. If you don’t understand this statement, please see me and I will be glad to clarify.
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