course title Instructions for Formal Critical Paper

Step 1, Written Topic Statement—due March 30: Using the outline of course topics, choose a specific topic that you want to explore further in your critical paper. Write out a brief statement describing the subject you have chosen and why it interests you.

Step 2, Working Bibliography—due April 8: In the library, use the on-line catalogue, Wilsondisc (Social Science Index) or other bibliographical resources to find several readings that you feel will be relevant to your chosen subject. You can also consult the internet, but you must include at least one substantial print resource from the library. Hand in a working bibliography of the articles, book chapters, and web sites you have found, using a complete, correct, and consistent bibliographical format (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.).

Step 3, Article Summary and Plan for Paper—due April 15: Write a summary of one substantial (e.g., no less than 15 pages, preferably more) article and/or book chapter that you have read in preparation for writing your paper; you may substitute summaries of two shorter articles if these are more appropriate to your paper. Please note that the longer article must be a printed resource, not a web site, and if you use two shorter articles, at least one of these must be a printed resource. Along with this summary, hand in a written plan for your paper: What is your thesis? How to you propose to make a case for this thesis? What sources from our class readings (i.e., besides the extra article/s you found) will you use to support your thesis? Please note: the more precise and detailed your plan, the more specific and helpful the feedback I can give you for your paper.

Step 4, Final Version of Paper—due May 4: Submit the final version of your paper, typed or word processed, proofread and corrected, including all necessary citations and documentation in correct format. Please be aware that all use of published sources—including our textbooks and handouts—must be properly credited; paraphrases must be completely in your own words and cited; quotes must be exactly duplicated from the original and cited; and all major ideas taken from sources must be properly cited.

March, 1999
Barbara F. McManus
WMS 048 Syllabus