Students will choose one of the issues discussed in the Class Discussions and write a research paper. The paper will present a thesis, and support it with data and discussion. The paper provides the opportunity to apply and discuss concepts that we have studied in the course and are relevant to your chosen issue.
A map, hand drawn by the author, will accompany the paper, at an appropriate scale to provide spatial context to some aspect of the issue. The map will contain map elements of title, scale, and legend. Spatial referencing (latitude and longitude) must be included in the map. It is a requirement that you refer to the map in your paper.
An important part of writing the paper is substantiating credibility of the material presented, by citing sources. Primary academic sources (i.e. peer reviewed) are most credible in this regard, and two primary sources are required. Students are required to cite a minimum of four sources. The paper will follow usual academic format of introduction, discussion and conclusion. A short paper is expected. Be precise and to-the-point in presenting the material. Use 1000 words as a guide but this is not a firm target. The research paper must be typed with DOUBLE SPACING. The hardcopy paper is due at the last class of the semester.
Research Papers are graded on the basis of the following criteria:
Quality of research (20%) – This criterion relates to breadth of information and relevance. Choose your sources carefully. Use two primary sources.
Substance (30%) – identify important concepts that we have discussed in the course and show that you understand the material; explain it accurately and clearly
Quality of thought and analysis (30%) – show that you can think intelligently and critically about the material; present some of your own ideas
Style (10%) – write your paper in standard academic English, with proper grammar, syntax and punctuation; cite all sources using an accepted bibliographic style. Primary research sources are strongly encouraged, i.e. sources that have been peer- reviewed (the course text is acceptable).
Map (10%) – A map, hand drawn by the author, will accompany the paper: Map will contain elements of title, scale, spatial referencing and legend.