Winter Term Paper

Traditional Term Paper

You must write a 6-8 page term paper (not including the Title page or References page) on a subject that relates to the material covered in the course. This topic should be academic in nature and preferably something you are interested in learning more about. You are required to use at least three (3) sources, not including the textbook. You are certainly welcome to use the textbook, but if you do, then you must still include three (3) additional sources. Your sources must be cited in the APA format. This includes both in-text citations and your references page. The paper should be typed and double-spaced in no larger than 12-pt font. An abstract is not required but a Title page is required.

I am not against Wikipedia as a source and am okay with you citing it a couple times in your paper. However, I am not okay with you using Wikipedia as your main source. Wikipedia is very valuable as a starting point for finding related information that is most likely going to offer you better sources. I encourage you to use it as a research tool. I do evaluate the “meat” of your sources so be sure that when you Google your topic that you actually evaluate the sources for yourself as well. Try to go beyond just the first three websites Google lists. Make sure the sources you use are credible and academic in nature. Be suspicious of content that does not list an author. Use the library! Google Scholar is also a better way to search the web and find articles than a traditional Google search if you choose to use only electronic sources.

It would be a good idea to refer to the SCC guide on writing papers in the APA format that is included in the Written Term Paper Information section. This is the standard to which you will be held in determining the grade for your paper. If you do not follow this format, you will lose points. You also need to be sure you understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it in your paper. If you plagiarize any part of your paper, whether intentional or not, you will receive a zero for the assignment and I will consider if the severity warrants being formally reported to SCC. I do check papers specifically for plagiarism so be aware and ensure content that is not your own is always properly cited, whether quoted directly or paraphrased.

Your paper should have a clear introduction of the topic you have chosen. The body of your paper should include the discussion of your topic. Consider the following questions: What is the main point of your paper? Are you arguing for or against a certain idea? What do you want your reader to take away from your paper? In other words, what are you trying to prove to your reader with the evidence from your sources? I am not interested in reading a “list of facts” about your topic or a retelling of what would be posted on Wikipedia about it. You need to have a properly structured paper with an introduction, a body with main points and support for those points from your sources and a conclusion that reiterates what you want the reader to take away.

A suggested outline would be as follows:

Title Page: Must be in APA Format

Introduction: This would be a one to two paragraph introduction that clearly outlines for your reader what your topic is, what you will discuss about your topic and the ultimate point or “take away” you hope to convey to your reader.

Main Body: This is your main presentation/discussion of your topic. This is where you would present your main points with supporting evidence from the research you have done. You should be referencing your sources using APA format in-text citations in this section for anything you write that is not original to you. That includes anything you paraphrase, not just direct quotes. Again, make sure you do not just list off a bunch of facts with no analysis or context whatsoever. You need to present a clear discussion with plenty of evidence that you did do research and you can present that research well. I am pretty sure you are all capable of telling me a whirlwind of stats about your particular topics. I am also capable of simply reading your sources for myself so don’t just repeat what they say. What I am interested in is can you take the facts and stats you have found and weave them into a meaningful discussion in your own words. This shows me you can process, analyze and present the research you have done concerning content in this class.

Conclusion: This is where you wrap up your main points in one to two paragraphs. Remember this is a conclusion so you should only be reiterating the arguments you made in the main body. You should not be introducing any new argument or point to the reader that you have not already discussed.

References: List of all references in APA format.


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