PROFESSOR SUSAN CAROL
My thanks to FSU's Anthropology Department
who put together many of these suggestions for "a good paper" in their
syllabus for a Globalization course. I did some revision to add my own
emphases. The responsibility for any egregious errors is my own!
And please remember to number
the pages and put your name on the project!
These are THE BIG 3. ADDRESS THEM BY THE MIDDLE OF PAGE
2 OF YOUR PROJECT:
Does the paper begin with a clear topic
and thesis statement?
is the topic of this paper?
is it important for the reader to know about this topic?
specifically, will this project add to our knowledge about this topic?
(Or more simply put: what is your project
about? Why should we care? What, specifically will you do?)
Does the introduction outline the structure
of the paper to come?
Does the body of the paper correspond to that
Does the conclusion summarize the thesis and
body of the paper and bring the paper to a COMPELLING close?
Does the author present
evidence from his/her readings to support the paper's central thesis?
Does the author consider
contradictory evidence (and what is the ratio of supportive to unsupportive
Does the author clearly
explain the relevance of the evidence to the thesis of the paper?
( And those summaries should
be SHORT and to the point!)
Does the author interpret
and analyze the evidence rather than merely summarize it?
Avoid "laundry lists" which describe the author
of an article (or book) and simply summarize the writing. Instead explain
WHY the article or book is important and how the evidence relates to the
main points of YOUR paper.
Does the author use the citation form correctly?
(Review the American Psychological Association Manual, 2009.)
Is the author consistent in their use
of citation referrals?
(Directly after the supportive literature cited.)
Do citations appear as necessary and in the
right place in the paragraph?
Is there a bibliography or reference section?
American Psychological Association reference
style (2009 edition) strongly urged.
THE GRAMMAR AND SPELLING
collected self-administered surveys from 100 students.
Is the passive voice avoided whenever possible?
Even journals generally don't demand the passive voice anymore!
surveys were collected from 100 students.
Avoid sentence fragments
(each sentence should have a subject and a verb).
Use the spell-checker
in your word processor
Check your use of apostrophes
Does your verb agree
with the subject in terms of singular or plural?
between paragraphs--and especially across sections of the paper--are important
Your paper should relate
to course material. (And some topics can be stretched only so far...)
PLEASE, PLEASE: NUMBER
YOUR PAGES (how can I reference something on page 5 if there is no
page number system?)
You won't solve the
world's problem in one paper so keep to suggested page boundaries.
Go back to the
first section above. What's your topic? Why is it important? What, specifically,
will you add or do? And if it doesn't relate to these three issues--it
doesn't belong in THIS paper!
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Susan Carol Losh