A 250 word (±50) rough outline is required to give students an opportunity to assess the viability of their research essay. Be brief, but write in full-text style (no bullet points). Students are required to have a cover page. Provide a title, your name, student number and a word count on a cover page.
Your written, full-text rough draft includes your
(1) title (again),
(2) research goal,
(3) research question,
(4) important definitions,
(5) the theory you plan to use,
(6) a short synopsis of the results you expect to find,
(7) the relevance of your topic for this course,
(8) briefly, a reason for your interest in writing on this topic.
Again, no lists or bullet points (like above or below), just full parargraphs. Four peer-reviewed scholarly articles need to be included in your bibliography (carefully choose a citation style). Topics must not be related to your presentation topic, must be relevant to this course, and must contain no spelling mistakes.
The full version of the paper will be graded similarly to the essay (details below):
• A tidy look with a cover page, author’s name (yours!), your title, the date, and a word count provided, etc. (10%),
• your topic is relevant (5%),
• you are within your 200 words limit (5%),
• your topic differs from your presentation (5%),
• your in-text citation and reference list is consistent and correct (10%)
• correct grammar with less than 1 mistake per page (5%),
• you have an open and interesting research question (10%),
• you have found a theory you want to use (10%),
• your logic and reasoning is sound (20%),
• you provide a tentative answer (20%). Use the writing center and edit your work, a lot. You may be asked to provide an electronic copy.
Based on the above assignment, and taking the instructors’ return comments into account, students are required to submit a revised essay, with all relevant improvements included. Their final essay must be unique to this course, on double-spaced pages, contain 2000 words (±500 words). Please provide a word count but do not count your cover page. Students are required to use at least seven scientifically relevant, peer-reviewed scholarly articles in their essay (you may use, but not count the ones from the course outline). Students are encouraged to meet with their instructor to discuss their topic before writing their essay. Students’ essay topics cannot be the same as their seminar presentation topic. The essay must be submitted in hard copy on the due date and they may be requested to submit an electronic copy. Keep a hard copy of your essay for your reference. The grading scheme is according to the outline, below. Again, use the Writing Centre. Edit your work often (at least 25 times).
Grading Scheme for Essay:
I. Finished Product, with Cover Page, Author, Title, Date, Page Numbers, etc. (10%): The look of the essay is tidy, all relevant information is included, pages are numbered (not on the title page), and the essay has the look of a finished product. Please no plastic. II. Topic Relevant (5%): Your chosen topic is relevant to this course and the instructor has OK’ed your essay question. III. Word Count (5%): Within a 2000 word limit, excluding cover page and reference list. IV. Essay Differs from Presentation and Commentaries (5%). V. Reference List in a consistent (e.g. ASA) style (10%): Please consult a style list; at least seven scientific and peer-reviewed, scholarly articles are used in the essay. Do not include a URL if the material is only available with a YorkU passport login. VI. Grammar Correct with ≥ 1 Mistake per Page (5%): If I find more than one spelling mistake per page the full 5% is deducted. Please carefully edit your essay several times; your overworked and underpaid course director gratefully acknowledges it. VII. Research Question Excellent (10%): Your research question can be answered in a student research essay (note: needs to be found twice in the essay, once in the intro, once in the conclusion), it’s not a no/yes (closed) question, not a policy evaluation, you are motivated to answer your question and able to give an answer. Don’t skip this. VIII. Theory-Based (10%): You must outline the main paradigm and theoretical assumptions you use. Work with them throughout the text. IX. Logic / Reasoning (20%): You carefully reason every step of your essay and never stitch anything together haphazardly or skip a step. You follow a line of thought to the end, provide a reason for the next thought introduced and follow through in logical steps. You carefully considered what to write before you put it on paper. Note: You are writing for a professional audience. Edit your essay at least 30 times. X. Tentative Answer Provided (20%): An answer to your question is included in the conclusion. You sum up your most important results and draw your conclusions. The answer doesn’t have to solve a riddle, possibly there is no answer or several answers exist, but the student takes a stand and presents her or his results in a mature way.