LB492 S15
Final Project - Researched Essay
Outline, Expectations, Due Dates and Point Allocation

A. Components of the Final Project (100 Points Total)

By Wednesday May 6, 2015, each student must turn in each of the following:

1. Final Paper (60 points)

2. Proposal (10 points)

3. Annotated Bibliography (10 Points)

3. The Paper Draft and the Peer Review Exercise (20 Points)

B. Descriptions of the Components

1. The Final Paper (60 points); Due Wednesday May 6, 2015

a. Overview

The final product of this series of exercises is a 12 to 15 page masterpiece (double-speced, one inch margins). This paper should address a topic derived or connected to the the issues and ideas discussed in our seminar. Students should examine their topic from multiple perspectives (e.g. the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities)

2. The Proposal (10 Points); due Monday March 30, 2015

Your proposal should be 1.5-3.0 pages long (double-spaced, one inch margins) and should lay out what you plan to do in your researched essay.

a. Your proposal should do all of the following:
  • State what your topic is, as specifically as possible.
  • List what question(s) you will attempt to answer in the paper.
  • Name the kinds of sources you will use and discuss how you will use them.
  • Explain why this is a Capstone Senior Seminar paper.
  • Explain why this is an original critical analysis.

b. You will need to have read many of your intended sources in order to write your proposal. You will certainly find that you need to add extra sources as you complete your researched essay project.

c. Give the researched essay project a tentative title, and put that title at the top of your proposal.

d. You may write about your paper in the present tense or in the future tense for purposes of the proposal. I recommend the present tense.

e. The following link is to a sample proposal (written by Alice Dreger). You do not need to lay out your proposal exactly as it is here. You should organize your proposal in a way that makes sense for your project.

f. Proposals are due by Monday March 30, 2015. Submission should be electronic, and early submission is encouraged. I will examine submitted proposals and hold individual conferences with students as necessary (and as desired). 

3. Annotated Bibliography (10 Points)

a. Overview

The annotated bibliography is a fleshed-out set of references that you will incorporate into your paper.

b. Annotated Bibliography Workshop; Monday April 13, 2015

The workshop will help students understand how the Annotated Bibliography will be layered onto and incorporated into the Final Paper

c. Instructions for preparation of the Annotated Bibliography:

  • Your bibliography should include at least 7 sources (see me if you need an exception to this rule) arranged alphabetically, and should be annotated. You may name more than seven sources in your annotated bibliography. If you are planning to use fewer than seven, you must check with me at least two days in advance.
  • You can use websites as sources. However, I expect at least 5 of your sources to come from the MSU library collections. These do not include reference works (i.e. encyclopedias).
  • Each entry in your bibliography should be annotated. In other words, you should state in 2-5 sentences how you will use that particular source in your researched essay. (See the sample.)
  • Note that, for your bibliography, you should consistently use one of the citation systems APA or MLA.
  • Your Annotated Bibliography is due with the final paper on May 6, 2015
  • The following link is to a sample annotated bibliography (written by Alice Dreger).

4. Paper Draft and Peer Review (20 Points); Monday April 20 , 2015

Bring two copies of your draft to this session!!!

a. Overview

On April 20 we will have a peer editing session on drafts of your final papers. Students will be asked to assess how well their classmates have integrated the various elements of their project (i.e. proposal and annotated biblio) into their final papers. The peer review sheets and peer reviewed drafts will be turned in with the final paper and will be graded. Draft will be worth 10 points (showing up with an editable draft) and your performance as a peer reviewer will be worth 10 points.

b. Paper Draft and Peer Review Workshop

This meeting will take place at Espresso Royale on Grand River at 4:10 pm

5. Final Paper Grading Rubric

Students papers will be assessed using the LB492 Final Paper Grading Rubric.

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This page last updated January 6, 2015 (JS)