The term paper
I am scaling back your term paper assignment this semester. Instead of 8 to 10 pages total, I would like the body of your literature review (not counting title page and reference list) to be 4 to 5 pages. You’ve written a proposal and received my feedback on it, but here is some more detail about my expectations for the finished product.
· All writing should be your own. Any word-for-word phrases that come from other sources will be inside quotation marks and properly cited. Any ideas that come from other sources should be cited, too. All papers will be checked with TurnItIn plagiarism detection.
· Sources should generally be academic research – long, with a big list of sources at the end. (A few exceptions can be made for news sources that report up-to-date information, such as the percentage of Americans online.)
· Every paper should have a page that lists its references in APA style (if you need help, a quick online guide is available at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/).
· You must submit an electronic copy through Canvas.
· It is worth 400 points, or 20% of your grade.
The literature review
· A well-researched general literature review integrates and presents what is known about a topic. You report on the research and writings of others, and you cite them appropriately. (A different kind of literature review makes an argument or offers a rationale for a set of hypotheses or research questions that your study goes on to examine with empirical data. You may well write that kind for your capstone project.)
· You will want to demonstrate an understanding of your topic and round up the best research on it.
· Usually it’s best to organize the paper around areas within the topic. A history of how African-Americans have been represented could follow a historical organization, from earliest representations to modern ones. A discussion of the effects of media violence might be organized around the different effects (fright, mean world perceptions, aggressive behavior, etc.).
· Integration of your sources is important. Use the sources together to make points (or counterpoints); show how they comment on each other. I don’t want a paper that reads like a bunch of unconnected abstracts.
· I will expect a minimum of 8 sources. These should be high-quality academic sources. And you should cite all of them in a way that shows how they contribute to our understanding of your topic.
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