The Paper The completed paper should be from 2,200 to 2,800 words, with that total not

The Paper

The completed paper should be from 2,200 to 2,800 words, with that total not counting the citations, the footnoted materials, or any bibliography or title page. While writing more than 2,800 words will NOT lead to a penalty (you won’t be rewarded either!), writing less than 2,200 words likely will be penalized.[1]

In the papers themselves, a common failing, among other things, is the absence of sources for various statements which are not yours (that you got from somewhere but have not cited).  Put in footnotes one or more sources for every statement that you make which should require documentation (that is not simply your own thought).   

The rubric used includes these assessments of your work, which are stated here just as a reminder of things to consider (not overlook) while writing your paper, not as a guarantee of any particular point total.[3]

A well-stated thesis – understandable?  What is the author (the student) trying to do?  5 pts.

Analysis of Topic – 40 pts.

Clarity of Paper – 10 pts.

Strong Conclusion?  (Has the author attempted to prove anything?  IF so, given the brevity of the paper, has he/she been successful) – 10 pts.

Writing, Spelling, Punctuation –  20 pts.

You will receive fewer points on your paper for grammatical mistakes, especially ones that I   specifically advise against.

Sources – Quality and Number (the author should cite at least nine different sources, unless there is an understandable reason – the sources should be of different types, and most should be recent in origin whenever practical and appropriate for the paper) – 15 pts.

Again, the most important thing is to write a very good paper that is your work.  But the above standards may give you some idea of what you should do.

Here are three LINKS to the Course Website:




The emphasis in grading will be on the research and the substance of the paper.  However, poor grammar, bad spelling, incoherent sentences, and other problems of “style” will lead to a lower grade.  Furthermore, reliance on only a few sources (inadequate citation of sources) will lead to a lower score.Ordinarily, a paper should have at least nine different sources.  (In rare instances, that may be unfeasible; ask ahead of time if you are concerned.)

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