INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE RESEARCH PAPER
50% of final grade
Length and language
2000 words in English or French
Double-space in Word document. No PDF files, No Google docs, 12-point font, Times New roman, APA Style citations
5% per day
This exam will be evaluated based on your demonstrated understanding of the material and critical engagement with it. It should reflect a balance between the material you have read and your critical responses to it. As a formal reflection of your thoughts on the material, all research papers should also have an introduction, a development, and a conclusion.
Presentation of your arguments is very important: always pay attention to the quality of language you use in expressing your ideas. While having good ideas is a strong first step to a well constructed reflection, the ability to communicate them in a clear, concise, and precise manner is equally, if not more, important.
Be vigilant against plagiarism when using quotations in your paper: whenever you cite an author, enclose his or her words within quotation marks and give the precise location of the quotation from the original source.
The specified number of words is a guideline intended to help you evaluate the degree of details expected for an answer. Make sure to take it into account. When marking, the instructor will be looking primarily at the content and information communicated within the recommended word count; in other words, to get the maximum marks, you must efficiently communicate good information within the specified number of words. All writing must be double-spaced, legible and neat.
It is important that you give the references and sources of your information. Marks will be deducted if there are no citations / references.
Use the APA style for citations (https://sass.uottawa.ca/sites/sass.uottawa.ca/files/awhc-apa-style.pdf.), but be consistent.
For this paper, students are required to use primary sources whenever possible. Primary sources are editions of the works of the philosopher(s) and/or school of thought whose name is included in the topic. Editions of their works, in full or in part, are available freely on the Internet. Students are also required to use at least two secondary sources, i.e. commentaries or other scholarly publications, whether books or articles, on their chosen topic. Many peer-reviewed articles are freely available on the Internet, as well as some older books that are now in the public domain. However, most are not available in this way, and in some cases, for some topics, to meet the requirement for this paper, the use of online services of a university library will be necessary.
This essay must be at least 2,000 words long including the introduction, body and conclusion, but not the bibliography. Though a bibliography must be appended, which lists all the books and articles used, quoted or simply consulted for this assignment.
1-The introduction must include a clear question and a thesis with general presentation of the topic as well as an overview of the essay. If relevant, there should also be an indication of what is not covered in the essay, though relevant to the topic.
2-The body of the essay may be divided into parts. If the essay is longer than the minimum required length and has several parts, it might be a good idea to insert a table of contents after the cover page. In any event, all pages except for the cover page and the table of contents should be numbered.
3-A conclusion should also be included in which one typically recapitulates the main ideas developed in the essay. Students should consider rounding out the conclusion by offering some thoughts on the reception throughout the ages of the works discussed in the essay or on their relevance today.
The purpose of the research paper is to reproduce or re-construct the argument of a philosopher on a given topic. The student should use his or her own words as much as possible. If the words, other than the common words, used are taken verbatim from primary or secondary sources, then they must appear in quotation marks, and a reference must follow. Since the essay reproduces an argument, references are of crucial importance, since they act as evidence in a scholarly work.
The essay will be assessed for the most part (40%) on the student’s ability to identify and reconstruct a philosopher’s thought, the main argument on a given topic and to articulate in a personal way, and yet intelligently and accurately, while being able to support by accurate references the reconstruction of the argument every step of the way. 5% of the mark is based on grammar and spelling. Failure to meet other technical requirements such as page numbering might trigger another deduction of up to 5%.
Grading rubric for the Research Paper (50%)
The structure of an academic essay is used
There is a clear thesis
Grammar and spelling are (mostly) correct
Professional/academic tone is used
The tone of the essay is professional/academic but does not rely on pedantic or overly flowery language or rhetoric.
The writer’s audience is academic, but anyone engaged in the issues will have greater clarity on the issue having read the essay.
Use of APA Citations (check Library for correct style)
Cite sources and quotations clearly and correctly
Credit the author appropriately to avoid any concern or confusion of plagiarism
Body of Essay
From beginning to end, I understand the argument being made/explained.
This is demonstrated through appropriate structure, clarity of writing, and use of primary text
They have understood the article well enough to articulate the main issues being addressed:
In turn I could understand the article without having read it (although I have read the articles)
The writer was able to raise an interesting and valuable philosophical point.
I as the reader have learned something having read this essay
I was engaged in the material and found the writing style comprehensible
Using the technical aspects of an essay style, I was able to convey meaning while keeping the interest of the reader
Originality and new perspective:
The essay demonstrated the thesis of the article in a way that highlighted something that I may not have thought about before.
Engaging with the primary texts:
The essay has effectively referenced and quoted the primary text (using correct citations), which has made the thesis clearer and more powerful.
Choose one of these following topics
Do you think that Malthusianism is one among the best solutions to the environmental crisis we experience today?
« With the resurgence of biology and genetics as arbiters of health and wellness, it is urgent that we approach them through the frameworks of feminist science studies ». Discuss this Subramaniam’s quotation in referring to concrete examples.
“Whereas science fiction celebrates science and technology by endorsing their ability to shape our lives, mad scientist stories embody the opposite message, that science threatens our well-being ». Discuss this Toumey’s citation in referring to concrete examples.
« The ecological critique can be understood as a constant warning against oversimplifications that are often introduced to ease the world of analysis ». Discuss this Barker and Kitcher’s statement in referring to concrete examples.
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