The purpose of the term paper has been defined by Rivlin (1942) as:
“…to give able students an opportunity to do systematic, critical, or constructive work independently under the guidance of the instructor; to supplement the student’s knowledge of the field by wider reading and thinking, and by greater practical handling of the material than is possible through daily assignments; and to enable the student to explore more fully some phase of the course in which he has a special interest or for which he is particularly well qualified to investigate because of previous courses, yet which should not take up too much of the time of the class.”
The term paper / annotated bibliography assignment for this class is to be completed in three stages, with due dates as specified on the course syllabus.
The first stage assignment is a topic proposal that states your topic in an introductory paragraph or two (250-400 words)and briefly (125-150 words each) summarizes in your own words a minimum of four (4) relevant scholarly sources (journal articles, book chapters or similar resources).
Required weekly readings from the syllabus will not be counted in the minimum number of sources for this and subsequent assignments but these may be included as supplementary references above the minimum counts. The purpose of the writing assignment is to provide an opportunity to conduct “wider reading and thinking” beyond what has been assigned by the instructor (see quote from Rivlin, below).
The second assignment will increase the number of sourcesreviewed to a minimum of eight and expand the length of the summaries for each entry, including the original four, to 200-250words. Your introduction for this stage should be about one-page (approx. 350-400 words). When I mark your first two assignments, I will offer suggestions for further readings and revisions and it will be prudent to take these suggestions into account in your final paper.
The final assignment may be either a standard term paper or an annotated bibliography. It should be based on your analysis of no fewer than eight sources. If your final paper is an annotated bibliography, you will also be required to include a three to three and half page introductory discussion that synthesizes and evaluates the persuasiveness of the various analyses and evidence surveyed a brief conclusion in addition to the article summaries. If you choose to do a standard term paper, you may integrate the synthesis and overview discussion with the analysis from the source materials.