As you know, you are expected to write a term paper, as part of the College’s Writing Across the Curriculum requirement. Your paper should be a minimum of 6 pages of student writing, double spaced, in 12 point type, with no wider than 1” margins, plus a list of references (or works cited). Student writing means writing that the student actually does, and does not include any cover page, tables, pictures, references and lists. Your title and name should be shown on the top of the first page and should not be larger than 12 point type. You will be turning in your work electronically and also by providing a printed copy. Your work on the paper should be broken down into the following stages:
You will be writing a college level paper. Please remember this, because I sometimes receive papers that are written for an elementary school type of audience. This is not an elementary education course, where that type of paper might be OK. You are writing for me as the sole audience. Therefore, you should not write a paper on the level of Car and Driver or any other general public magazine. This paper should be more sophisticated than at that level.
Your final paper in the form of a physical printed copy, is due to be received no later than Nov 24, 2016, and should also be submitted to Turnitin by 11:55 PM that date. If you miss this deadline, Turnitin will accept your paper but your grade will be reduced by one letter grade, per day it is late. Both the electronic copy to Turnitin and the printed copy, must be submitted. The date of the latter submission, will be used to calculate the date the assignment is turned in and accepted.
The printed copy of the term paper, MUST be accompanied by the Certificate of Original Authorship, containing the original (not electronic) signature of the submitter.
Your paper must be original work for this class. You may not use a paper previously written for any other class.
Your references must be published literature. Anyone caught citing Wikipedia will immediately receive a zero (0) for the paper. You may use the library’s databases of published electronic literature or you may use actual published scientific articles (paper), newspapers, or books.
Be sure to cite all references that you use in your paper. You should use ALA or APA style. If you are not sure about this please contact the Learning Resource Center on the first floor of the Parker Building. Remember, plagiarizing is defined as using the ideas, writings, or work of another, without citing the source. If you are not sure if something is plagiarism you should check, either with me or with the learning resource center. I strongly recommend that you use the writing tutors at the learning resource center. There is no charge for their services and they are there to help you improve your writing skills.
Your final paper must be submitted to www.turnitin.com. AND a printed copy sent to me.
A word of warning about Turnitin, the system will search virtually the entire internet looking for documents (papers, WebPages, etc.) from which you might have copied material. It will also keep a record of your paper on file. If you submit a paper which has previously been turned into the system from NSU, or from elsewhere (a paper writing service for example), Turnitin will find that paper. If you are caught plagiarizing you will not fail this assignment, you will fail the course.
Please understand. NSU subscribes to this service not to catch you committing plagiarism (although we will), but to prevent you from trying. Plagiarism can, and will, when you are caught, ruin your academic career. Don’t even think about it.
The research paper is worth 20% of the final course grade. I made it with that many points in order to place that much value on it as a learning experience, and to meet the college’s Writing Across the Curriculum requirement. You may approach this as “Oh, another paper,” and although the college has a minimum writing across course requirements, I wanted the paper to be a particularly valuable one for students. I kept the writing to one short paper so that students could have most of the term to do the research and write a quality document. I am looking forward to reading the finished products.
Please do not wait to do your paper. Some students submit their topics and then do nothing until the last week before the paper is due. Then they find themselves short on time, because they did not plan ahead. I always received emails from students, who want extensions of time for the paper, because something came up at the last minute (Murphy’s Law) . They are usually denied, because the student had most of the semester to do them.
The paper should be one of the topic listed in the Term Paper Info menu item.
Q. How long should the paper be?
A. The absolute minimum should be six full text pages, double spaced (standard sized borders, 8.5″ x 11″ standard paper using 12 pt type like this document). These would not include biblio/references or title pages.
Do not use pictures as fillers. I am going to be interested in what you say,
so pictures will not impress me. Of course six full text pages is a minimum,
while a 50 page paper is not required,
I will go by the axiom: effort in = grade out. It is worth about a fourth of the
course grade. If you are in doubt about getting an ‘A’, go the extra mile.
Q. Do you want any particular style like ALA?
A. I am not a stickler on style, but you should use the ALA style for citations You should list the sources of anything you put in your paper and quote them within your text. Nothing should be in your text that does not identify itself as coming from another writer or source. The source should be fully identified, and not by just listing the entire source at the end, leaving the reader to find within that reference, where it came from. You should plainly state this within your text, and follow the conventions of using quotation marks for any writing not your own. Paraphrasing and rewording also comes under this requirement, as well as the use of ideas that are not your own.
For references, use in a separate page at the end, so they do not take up footnote space at the bottom of each page.
It is important to realize that the minimum of 6 pages is a minimum. If you want an ‘A’ dont expect that six pages and stop, will do it. Six pages shows me that the student is doing the minimal effort, and the paper will get a passing but minimal grade.
Q. What about graphs and tables?
A. Please do include tables and graphs from sources. These are not pictures,
and are not filler. You can cut and paste them right into Word documents, as
long as you give the source of the table or graph. I do this in small 8 pt type
For example, you find an interesting table at some government
web site. It contains the average global surface temperatures for 1930-1950
say, and you want to refer to it in your writing. You might say ” According to
the National Weather Service, the temperatures plummeted from 23.5 degrees
Celsius to 23.0 degrees Celsius from the period of 1934 – 1944 (see table
4.1).” (This is for example only. Global Warming is Earth Science, and not a
good paper selection for this course.)
Then, you reproduce the table, and at the bottom of it, you simply cite
where it is from like, Table 4.1 From: Report of Global Temperatures 1930-1950,
National Weather Service, 1994.
You should also make it a full reference in your list of references at the end,
and tell the reader how to find the reference. Please refer to the complete fair
use policy that relates to education at the following NSU web site:
Again, you are advising the reader as they go along, where you came up with
your facts and actually citing the facts themselves rather than a whole work.
You can then effectively weave them into your writing without the limited
informational style that scientific journal submissions have.
Q. Do you want me to take a particular position or argue both sides of an issue?
A. You do not have to take a position as this is a report type paper, but you could
do so, if you want to.
What I would want to know in that case, is what you say and the arguments
you make. Those arguments should be well supported by what you were able to find,
and how you were able to put those things together. That in the end, is a more
valuable experience than merely writing a book report type of paper.
Q. How will you grade them?
A. First, I will look at the writing itself, and the effort involved. Is the paper too
short and show little effort? Are there many grammatical, spelling, and
mechanical errors? In other words, I will be first looking to see if the paper
showed that it was put together well. After that, I will be judging the content.
I am going to want to see how well you were able to present your topic, and use
reference material to do so.
Q. How many sources do I have to give in my reference page?
A. I require a minimum of 2 books outside of your textbook. That is
because I sometimes receive papers where they are entirely based
on the textbook and a few internet sources. In researching any
topic for an academic presentation, students ought to utilize a variety
of resources. A paper based only on quick references, is lacking in
the in-depth study that is needed in order to produce a quality and
and credible product.
Q. Can I use Wikipedia as a reference?
Q. Can I use my textbook as a reference?
NO! Outside sources (see above) should be used. It is assumed that all
students have the textbook. It does not count towards the required number of
Q. What grades do you give for the paper?
A. The papers will be graded on a 0-100 scale to be broken
down into the following categories:
Mechanics of writing, which includes appropriate length,
style, syntax, grammar, and spelling. This category would
normally be worth 20 points, but the grader reserves the
right to increase this number if the paper is totally lacking
in this category. If a paper is received for example, that is
only a few pages of poorly written rambling, it should receive
a failing grade regardless of anything else.
References: This category counts for up to 20 points based on the
number and quality of references. There should be a minimum of
about 7-8 references (including the 2 outside books) for an acceptable
kind of paper.
Topic: This category is worth 10 points,
This is based on writing on one of the Topics in the list.
Supportive Ideas, and Research: Half of the paper should be graded on
how well the student supports the topic with the research they have done.
I am looking for creative papers that show that the students have done a
significant amount of research on the topic. Included in this category, is the level of
the paper, which is expected to be college level.