You will write a peer, assistant and
instructor-reviewed research paper for this class.
The schedule for the
parts of the research paper is below:
Research Paper Assignment
Topic and 6 sources
Choose a topic for your Research paper
based on the reading topics listed on the
syllabus, or a topic related to the computer ethics.
will need to write a 1500
word research paper that describes the issues, laws,
controversies, ethics, and new developments
related to this topic.
Once you have chosen your topic, read the chapter in the text related
to your topic.
Besides the chapter in the text
related to your topic, you should have
at least 6 other sources that you will use as the basis for your
The sources may be web based, but one source should
be initially non-web based
(that is, appear in print).
The sources should be current enough to cover your topic as it exists
today (e.g., a pre-Internet reference on
wide area network security will have limited usefulness).
A librarian can help you find material.
Send your topic, a list of 6 sources
and a summary of those 6 sources to me by email.
The summaries should be 3-5 sentences long.
Do not use attachments. Below are examples of how sources should be cited
(you may send the email source list to me unformatted, but
should use the appropriate format when writing your outline,
draft, and final research paper.)
Citation method for web addresses:
or person or organization responsible for the web page;
title (if one exists; otherwise use
a header if one is given. The title is the text
that will come up if you save the URL in your list of favorites,
or in other places. It does not appear on the web page itself.
You may view the title by viewing the source and finding the title tag);
"Date Written and Last Updated";
date accessed (the date that you accessed the web site).
Here is one link on how to cite Internet sources.
You must have some idea of when your source was created or
modified in order to use it. Do not use sources for which no date can
be found (the date you accessed the material is required, but not sufficient).
<www.Slate.msn.com/> Plotz, David.
"The Plagiarist: Why Stephen Ambrose is a Vampire." Slate
Written 1/11/02. Accessed 2/3/04.
Citation for books:
Lederer, Richard and Richard Dowis.
Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay: Practical Advice
for the Grammatically Challenged.
St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 1991.
Citation for articles:
Johnson, Deborah G., "Do Engineers Have Social Responsibilities?"
Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 9, no. 1 (1991), pp
You will turn in your outline three times.
turn in your outline to me
as an attachment in email (I will only grade whether you turned this
in, not its content) and
bring 3 copies of that outline to class
for peer review.
Both versions of your outline may be in any typed format.
your topic and list of sources and source summaries
in the outline that you turn in to me.
You do not need to give this source list to your peers.
The source list may be modified from what you turned in initially.
If you added sources, be sure to include a summary of those sources as
Your outline should be as detailed as possible.
Your rough draft should fall out easily
from your outline.
Your outline should have the following format:
Outline General Information
The following material is
from Dr. Jane Webb's
based on Simon & Schuster, Handbook for Writers, Annotated Instructor’s Edition.
Lynn Quitman Troyka, 1993, pp. 40-47.
Informal outlines are like organized lists. A formal outline follows
a pattern of content and format. Your outline is to be a formal
outline with a thesis
statement: for example, People who live in Hampton Roads can
reduce the destructive, life-threatening potential for themselves and
their families by being well-prepared long before a hurricane is
predicted to make landfall in their area. This preparation should
include plans to deal with a failure of all means of electronic
Similarly, your outline will end with a concluding paragraph.
A thumbnail guideline: tell them what you are going to tell them, tell
them, tell them what you told them.
Your outline may contain clauses or sentences, but should be
as detailed as possible so that the reader (you, your peers and me)
will know exactly how each bullet will be expanded.
In particular, labels with no verbs
are not informative enough (e.g.,
"During the storm" is not as helpful as
"Things to do/not do during the storm")
Pattern for your outline
Thesis statement: this is not numbered. It is a paragraph that
satisfies the requirements of clarity, focus, etc., laid out above.
I. First main idea
A. First subdivision of the main idea
1. First reason or example
2. Second reason or example
a. First supporting detail
b. Second supporting detail
B. Second subdivision of the main idea
1. First reason or example
2. Second reason or example
a. First supporting detail
b. Second supporting detail
II. Second main idea
(and so on, following the sequences above)
Your conclusion should be last.
Like the thesis,
it is not numbered
and written in complete sentences.
Conventions governing the outline
Numbers, letters, indentations. Follow the example I have given you
above. Besides the thesis
and conclusion, which stand alone, each major subdivision
is given a capital Roman numeral. These are followed by capital
letters, A, B, and so on, which address the next topical subdivision.
Use 1, 2 and 3 for the next level down, and if you need further
subdivisions, use a, b. The point: within each subdivision, the
next level down becomes more specific and less general.
Indent each of these subdivisions by the same number of spaces.
- In your outline, there can be no I without II; no A without B;
now 1 without 2, no a without b, and so on. (You can go down into i,
ii, iii, iv, and so on.) It is important to pay attention to
this point. Without the multiples of the topical divisions,
paper will not have a logically coherent structure.
Further details. Similar subdivisions treat similar levels of
generality. Be sure the ideas described by A, B and C, for example,
are logically similar levels of approach. Headings must not
overlap. Do not bring up any ideas in one subdivision that you have
already covered in another.
Use parallel structure in the levels. For
example, in the hurricane situation, A. might be Listen to the
weather radio for further updates as the storm approaches, while
B. must follow the same structure: Shop as early as possible to lay
in supplies before the stores are stripped clean. What you do
not say is Listen to the radio and Shopping
is the next step
Use a period at the end of your thesis statement and in your
I will grade the outline according to the following checklist.
When you are reading other students' outlines, you should use the same
It is important that you use these and no other criteria
when thinking about how I will grade your outline and
when grading others'.
For each bullet, rate the outline based on the following:
- 1 - missing. As a reader, I could not find where in the outline to judge this criterion
or where the outline fulfilled it.
- 2 - poor. As a reader, I felt that the outline
did not satisfy, or barely satisfied the criteria.
- 3 - ok/good. As a reader, I understood how the outline satisfied
the criterion, and I think that the writer did a good job.
- 4 - excellent. As a reader, I thought this part of the outline
was outstanding, a model for others to follow.
Here are criteria that I will use to grade the outline:
- Format Does your outline follow the assigned format?
Is there a thesis, properly formatted outline, and conclusion?
Is the source list included? (the
source list is just for me;
you do not have to turn the source list in to your peers).
Is the main idea clear?
Can you develop your thesis in the number of words you have been
(it is only 1500 words; your idea will have to
be fairly small; on the other
hand, it is considerably more than a paragraph).
Is the thesis specific enough to be usefully developed?
Is your outline detailed? Can you write a paper fairly easily from it?
Can a reader of your outline determine the structure, organization and main
points of your paper?
Does your outline make sense? Is it organized well?
Are your points supported by the subpoints within?
Will your outline create a logical and organized paper?
Do similar subdivisions treat similar levels of
the ideas described by A, B and C, for example,
are logically similar levels of approach)?
overlap? (they should not)
the paper discuss ideas in one subdivision that have
already been covered in another (it should not)?
Reaction to Outlines and Rough Drafts
When you turn in your outline draft
and rough draft, you will give them to two or three other students
in your class to read (so bring three copies).
You will also receive those students' papers.
and react to them using the
outline reaction sheet
rough paper criteria,
You must react to each part on a 1-4 scale;
this reaction will not affect the paper author's
grade, but will give you a basis for discussion for the next class.
You must also justify in writing
why you gave that person that score based
on the questions in each criteria that are supported (or not) in the
Your justification should be 2-3 sentences/phrases for each bullet.
The class period
after you receive the students'
papers, we will spend part of the class discussing your
reactions in small groups. The purpose of this discussion
is to help you learn both how to evaluate outlines
and papers (so that you
can evaluate your own) and what other students do that
you think is good (that you would like to emulate) or bad (that you
would like to avoid).
You will turn in your reactions to me and
use them as a basis for discussing each paper, so make
sure you have
written your reaction
on the reaction sheet before coming to class.
I will grade the reaction sheets based on how complete they are,
how helpful they are, how well they answer the questions under each
heading and how well the ratings are supported.
When you turn in your outline and rough draft, make sure that you turn
in the peer comments about your paper.
You may keep them to help you improve the draft that you give to me,
but in order for your peers to get credit for their ranking, you must
turn them in to me (I will not use others' ratings
of your work in any way when
determining my own grade for your work. Turning in others' ratings
allows your peers to get credit for their reactions of your paper).
You will turn in your rough draft
multiple times just as you do with
Turn in your first rough draft to me
(as an attachment in email; I will only grade whether you turned this
in, not its content)
and bring 3 copies to class
for peer review.
Finally, modify that draft based on peer review and turn it in to me
that I graded with the rough draft
with the final rough draft that you turn in to me.
You do not need to give a copy of that graded outline to your peers.
You should create your rough draft in Microsoft Word
using Times-Roman 12 pt font.
It should be 1450-1800 words, include at
least 5 sources,
and you must include at least 6 footnotes.
Whenever you include
somebody else's idea in your paper, you should
footnote that. If you quote a source, you should include quotation marks
around the quoted source.
You should have very few
if any direct quotations.
Most footnotes should be citing an
idea you read elsewhere that you have paraphrased in your paper.
You may use any accepted style for footnotes, but be consistent.
Use footnotes, not endnotes.
Your paper should be single spaced with spell and grammar checking
turned on (that is the default in Microsoft Word).
Your paper should have page numbers in the footer.
You should send me a copy of your rough
draft in email (as an attachment)
and give me a printed copy with the
number of words stapled to the front (there is a word count function
in Word. Use that one. That is the one that I will use).
Your rough draft should be in final form (it is rough because you will
be given a chance to modify it
to improve your
grade for your final draft
based on my comments on your rough draft).
Your paper must be your own work with no plagiarism with all ideas that
are not yours cited with a footnote.
Footnotes may be citations within the paper instead of literal
the point is that you must have 10 citations
no matter how you choose to designate those.
final paper section contains the grading criteria for both the
rough and final draft.
You must turn in a final paper to me in email and in hardcopy.
It may be the same as the rough draft or modified significantly.
Your final paper should incorporate any comments that I have made
and any other improvements that you can make,
and should be in the same
format as the rough draft.
You should also attach a word count of your final draft and
send me email with your final draft as a Microsoft Word attachment.
You should include your graded outline and
your graded rough draft when you turn in a hardcopy of your final
Both your final and draft will be grade using the following criteria
(when evaluating others' drafts, use the same 1-4 scale
that you did for the outline):
page modified 1/9/07 by Lynn Lambert
This material may be used and modified in whole or
in part as long the original
author and URL are cited.
- Spelling. This includes errors that Word finds and those that Word
does not find.
This includes errors that Word finds and those that Word
does not find.
- Format. Is the format followed? Is the paper long enough? Are
there enough footnotes? Are there at least 7 sources? Are non-obvious
ideas cited in footnotes?
Is the graded outline and graded rough draft included if required?
(it is required when you turn the final
rough draft and final paper in to me).
- Cohesiveness. Does the paper stick together? Do the sentences
within the paragraphs follow from one another? Do the paragraphs make
sense? Is it difficult to follow the paper? Is it easy to see where
the paper is going?
- Organization. Does the paper follow the flow of a good outline?
It is possible to determine what the main ideas are, what the
supporting paragraphs are, and what ideas support which paragraphs?
Is the paper organized around a thesis and supporting points
(it should be) rather than being a
sequential summary of sources (it should not be)?
- Thesis and Conclusion. Does the paper have a thesis?
Does the thesis drive the rest of the paper (it should)?
Is there a conclusion? Does it sum up the paper well?
Research. Are the sources cited broad enough to cover the topic
well? Are ideas footnoted? Is the paper supported well with facts?
Are there enough different ideas to indicate a thorough understanding
of the topic?
- Content. Does the paper contain good ideas? Do the facts
the broader ideas?
Does the paper have a point?
Does the body of the paper support the point?
- Readability. Does the paper flow? Is it interesting?
Was the paper easy and fun to read?