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GOVT 2305/2306: American Government: Home

Assignment: Research Paper

There is a required paper for this course.  This paper will be 10-12 double-spaced, typewritten pages in 12 point font and should be a topic taken from the list of suggested topics below or a topic previously approved by the instructor.  The style and form of your papers should be consistent with MLA style and formatting. Conferences (as needed) will be arranged by the instructor with the student on a one-to-one basis.  Style and form will be examined as well as the student’s ability to be clear, concise, and objective in recounting his/her subject.  

The writing requirement may also be carried out through a field experience which must be carried out under the direction of the instructor and reported on at the same time research papers are due.  If you wish to attempt this, contact the instructor.

This paper must be turned in by the due date.  Failure to do so will result in a reduction of one letter grade for each day it is past due.

Academic Ethics

Academic Ethics:  It is expected that all students will engage in ethical conduct and will not engage in copying work or collusion on exams or the production of research papers.  Such violation of ethical standards will result in an automatic grade of "0" on the work in question with no opportunity to make up the work.  This expectation also extends to proper citations and credit for works used in the research paper.  All quotes, paraphrases, or facts taken from another source must be cited.

Research Paper: Guidelines

The following guidelines must be adhered to in your research paper.  Failure to do so will result in a lowered grade.

  • The paper must have a cover page with the course number, the instructor's name, the due date of the paper, the title, and your name.  Any paper received without your name will be discarded and counted as not received.
  • You must use the MLA style to write this paper.  This is particularly important for your citations and list of references.
  • This paper should be not less than 10 pages, double spaced, 12 point font, and one inch margins.  Cover pages and Bibliography pages do not count as part of the page count.
  • It is my philosophy that if you can't write it, you don't know it.  Therefore grammar, style, and spelling will be considered in your final grade.
  • You must use source citations for all quotes, paraphrases, or borrowed ideas or facts.
  • Choose a topic that most interests you.  It must be approved by your professor.  Failure to have your topic approved will result in a grade of "F".
  • Do preliminary research to ensure that you have sufficient sources to support your paper.  In a paper of this length you should have not fewer than five sources.  While appropriate Internet sources may be used, it is a requirement of this class that not more than half of your sources come from the Internet. 
  • Every well-written paper should have at least three main parts.  You should have an opening statement with a thesis which addresses the question or issue you are researching.  The body of the paper should present the evidence to support your thesis.  If there is contradicting evidence from your sources, you should pay attention to that also.  The paper should end with a well stated conclusion that either supports or refutes your thesis and explains why.
  • The paper should also discuss the effect or repercussion of the issue you are researching.
  • Late papers will be penalised one letter grade for each day you are late.  This is calendar days, not class days.  Remember that if you write a "C" paper and are 2 days late, this will immediately convert to a grade of "F".
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