Paper Guidelines for Geography 2002 – Spring 2012
Purpose of the Paper:
In the paper that you are required to submit to your TA, we want you to take a position and then develop and present a coherent argument on one of the topics that have been debated in class. For the paper, the topic choice can be any one of the five debates that we will have this Spring 2012 semester.
a) The wars in Chechnya and the adjoining North Caucasus
b) The geopolitics of Caspian sea oil exports.
c) The ongoing war(s) in Afghanistan- Pakistan
d) Solving Conflicts in Africa and the role of the international community
e) The Second Partition of Palestine
You are required to take one of the five perspectives on the debate of your choice, gather information to support your case, argue it fluently with supporting evidence, and package it well. You do not have to choose one of the positions that you argued in oral debate in recitation but it must be one of the many (25) options (5 debates x 5 positions in each) available.
The paper must be between 4 and 6 typed pages (11 pt or 12 pt Times Roman font), double-spaced with 1 inch margins all round. It should have a cover sheet with your name, student ID number, recitation section (time/day) and TA name. You can attach any supporting evidence (maps, charts, graphs, tables, etc) but you must refer to them in the text – no dangling appendages. You should give the citation for each item on the page where it's reproduced. The attachments will not count towards the page text limit. You should also have a bibliography on a separate page (also not part of the 4-6 pages). The paper is due by April 20, 2012 at 5pm. The TA will not grade the paper till the electronic copy is uploaded to Turnitin.com
In the paper, you should clearly indicate what position you are arguing. Think of this exercise as preparing a report for an international body like the United Nations or the International Court of Justice and therefore, make your best case. In the paper, you should
a) state clearly the key issues,
b) marshal evidence to make your points (historical, legal, economic, territorial, security, etc),
c) counter other arguments, and
d) state your preferred outcome for the dispute.
You should use the relevant textbook reading as an important source, as well as the web pages that represent your point of view. (They are available on the "debate materials" link on the course webpage). You must have at least 8 sources including two references that are from “academic sources” (books, journal articles, etc). Additional materials can be obtained in the library from the usual sources- start with Chinook and use “Find Articles and more”. The material must be up to date – to the end of 2007. Do not treat the problem as “historic” and discontinue the story before the contemporary period. Make sure to cite all sources used in the paper. There is no penalty for excessive citation: there is a huge penalty for plagiarism.
If you have trouble determining what is an academic source, ask the TA or your instructor.
The papers will be graded based on the following items:
a) clarity and consistency of argumentation;
b) evidence presented to support the case;
c) use of bibliographic and other sources;
d) up-to-date sources and account;
e) quality of writing and use of the English language (you will be penalized for egregious spelling and grammatical errors); and
f) the extent to which you represent fairly and accurately the position that you have chosen.
Please pay attention to format, spelling, syntax, referencing, etc. The paper accounts for 10% of the course grade. Late papers will be penalized 3 pts per day late, including weekend days. Papers will be marked on a 1-30pt scale. And, of course, we will be watching for source materials without attribution and other elements of plagiarism.
If you need help in formulating your position, deciding on a position, getting reference material, please contact the instructor or your TA.
Here is a useful link to a Geography-specific style guide from Professor J.W. Harrington at the University of Washington. Refer to it, if you have any doubts or questions on format, etc.
If you have any questions about the assignment, contact your TA or Instructor well before the deadline (April 20).
As you can read elsewhere on the course website, you are required to submit the electronic version of the paper to the Turnitin.com website. See the link for the details for submission procedures.