Points possible: 200
Due date: Nov 17th
This assignment seeks to develop both writing proficiency and critical thinking skills of the students. It will also develop academic research skills while allowing them to explore (or explore in further depth) a culture, element of culture, or cultural practice not (or lightly) covered in class, providing additional depth or breadth to regular coursework.
Students will conduct academic research, guided by a research question, on a particular religion, religious event, practice or component (holidays, taboos, circumcision, etc.) and write a research paper summarizing the research. This project is designed to improve student outcomes in the following areas: the ability to develop a research question, identify credible sources of information, cogently summarize concepts, and write a coherent, professional research paper.
The paper must be 8-10 pages in length, double-spaced using 11-point font. The bibliography or “works cited” page will not count as one of the pages (but should not exceed one page in length); if you have photographs or charts, they should go into an appendix, which does NOT count toward your page total. A cover page may be used, depending on which writing style you use, but for the purposes of this assignment the cover page WILL NOT count toward your page total. If you opt to write in APA style, you can include an abstract, but the abstract will not count toward your page total. I do not care which style you use (APA, MLA, AAA, etc.), just pick one and adhere to the style requirements. You must use a minimum of 8 sources for background information on your group and/or research question; at least 4 of your sources must be academic: those found in academically published books, manuscripts or peer-reviewed journals; web sites are not considered acceptable sources in most cases and must receive my prior approval to be considered valid sources of material for this project. Sources that are absolutely prohibited include dictionaries and encyclopedias (including on-line) and Wikipedia articles.
90 – 100 points: The research has a clearly identified and stated research question and paper stays tightly focused around this question. Resources used are appropriate, academic, and of sufficient breadth and depth for an introductory research project. Paper clearly reflects the research, is well structured and is nearly entirely free of technical writing errors. Bibliography is present and properly formatted.
80 – 89 points: The research is well focused and generally stays on-point. Resources are mainly academic and appropriate to the project. Paper has only minor problems in the areas of content, clarity, style, structure, flow or technical writing issues; bibliography is present but may have minor formatting errors.
70 – 79: The research has a focus, but it may be hard to identify due to a lack of clarity of expression or the inclusion of extraneous tangents. Main points are not well identified and/or presented. Major problem in one or minor problems in one more other areas: content, clarity, style, structure, flow or technical writing issues or minor issues in more than one area. Bibliography demonstrates a lack of underlying research, is missing, or has major formatting errors.
60 – 69: The project suffers from significant problems in either the research or writing aspects. The research does not demonstrate focus on any particular subject, giving a superficial and broad overview of the subject at hand. Paper has multiple problems in the areas of: content, clarity, style, structure, flow or technical writing issues. Inadequate or insufficient academic source material was incorporated or page length requirement was not met.
0 – 59: Fails to meet the minimum expectations for both research and writ
ing. The project suffers from significant problems in both the research and the presentation aspects. The research does not demonstrate focus on any particular subject, giving a superficial and broad overview of the subject at hand. Presentation has problems in more than one area of: content, clarity, style, structure, flow or technical writing issues. Minimum requirements for resources and page length not met.
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