In an upper level class such as this one it should go without saying that the term papers MUST use some theoretical perspective or set of related concepts covered in class. The papers may also take the form of a research proposal you are developing for your thesis.
I also expect proper grammar and a bare minimum of typos. Proofreading is vital to successful writing and you should reread your own writing with the intent to revise it if necessary. Although you may choose your own style for citing your sources, the style put forth by the American Sociological Association is preferred. (See the ASA website for details.) That style is the same or at least very similar to that used in your readings, so you may use that as your model. Your final paper is due on May 4th by midnight. Submit it under the Assignment tab on our Blackboard site. If you encounter difficulties, your written assignments can be submitted via e-mail.
As this on-line class gets underway, I welcome individual inquiries about each of these requirements. Keep in mind that at any time during the semester you may begin to formulate ideas for your final paper and discuss them with me. Please be advised that this course requirement is about writing a RESEARCH paper that draws upon ACADEMIC sources. That means you will be expected to research the relevant literature in writing your paper so that when you write it, you will cite those academic sources in the text of your paper as you use them. In addition, you will include a reference page (a.k.a. a Works Cited page or References) to be included with your paper at the end of your research paper. Your FAILURE to do so will result in a FAILING grade for this course requirement because failing to use sources in your text and to list them at the end of your paper constitutes PLAGIARISM. Likewise, using sentences and paragraphs word-for-word without quoting and citing those sources is yet another form of PLAGIARISM and could result in a FAILING grade for this COURSE. (See the section on academic honesty and dishonesty below.)
Guidelines for Writing Final Papers
1. When organizing your paper, use headings and subheadings to set off the way youve structured your paper. For example:
PP (PP is a paragraph)
Your First Major Section of your Paper
Your Next Major Section of the Paper
2. A paragraph should be at least three or more sentences that develop an idea. They are your papers building blocks. One sentence paragraphs are rare. Use them very sparingly, if at all.
3. In a well-written paper, I expect a minimum of misspelled words and bad grammar because you have access to a dictionary. PROOFREAD YOUR PAPER. If the mistakes get intolerable, that state of affairs will be reflected in your grade.
4. If you are required to write a 10-page paper, it should be exactly that. NUMBER YOUR PAGES. DO NOT count your title page or reference page as part of the text as in APA style. The title page is NOT page 1 and the reference page is NOT a page that counts toward the minimum required number of pages. Papers should be double spaced, no more, no less. Use STANDARD ONE INCH MARGINS on all sides, top and bottom and use 12 point font. I will not accept papers that have print size any larger.
5. If you dont reference the materials from which you draw an original idea or a direct quote, you are plagiarizing. You are in effect stealing and that will get you in trouble. (See the Librarys link to sites about what constitutes plagiarism.) DO NOT FAIL TO INCLUDE A REFERENCE PAGE, OR YOU WILL RECEIVE A FAILING GRADE FOR YOUR PAPER. Make sure that the references included in your text are also listed on your reference page. You are NOT allowed to draw information from wikipedia or Webster’s dictionary! Webster was not a sociologist and wikipedia is not a scholarly source. You may use one true internet source defined as source written solely for internet distribution. Articles originally from books or journals are fine.
6. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional meaning that either you are aware that you are using another persons work as your own or you just didnt know any better. EITHER WAY, YOU WILL BE PENALIZED FOR DOING SO. Intentional acts of plagiarism include copying another students work, buying a paper from another person or website, copying material from an internet site without citing it, cutting and pasting material from any source without citing it, only changing a few words when paraphrasing from a source, and submitting the same paper or substantial parts of your own paper to more than one professor. Unintentional acts include careless and inaccurate citing of sources, lack of information while citing sources, inappropriate paraphrasing and improper documentation of sources.
7. Speaking of referencing, I dont care what system you use, but be consistent. You may use any journal style or you may want to use the style suggested in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Check the bookstore of your choice for a copy. The American Sociological Associations (ASA) web site details the format for papers. Check it out. Either way, dont fail to properly reference your paper or it WILL result in a lower paper grade.