Over the course of the semester, students write a research paper examining terrorism, broadly defined. This paper should be between 8 and 10, double-spaced, typed pages, Times New Roman, with standard 12pt font and standard one inch margins.
You are encouraged to think of topics that are “out of the box” [but are feasible in a semester long paper]. So please do not think you have to exclusively write on 9/11 and Islamic extremism. However, since this is a research paper, it will require you to come up with an original thesis question in which you will attempt to answer through research. Do not panic, by originality I mean topics that are simply not biographies of terrorist leaders or basic histories of the terrorist groups. I would suggest that topics look at themes [or variables] that connect different groups across time and space. If you want to do a case study of just one group, be sure to find an appropriate thesis question that forces you to consult different texts to think about an answer. Also it is O.K. to pick a topic you are not familiar or comfortable with. After all, that is what the research is for. But on the other hand, if there is something you want to work on; or if you are a nontraditional student in the military, intelligence, or law enforcement please feel free to discuss with me topics that tie in with your work. Overall, I want you to think of this paper as yours to develop on some level [no matter how basic] of terrorism with information that you can take after the class is done.
The overall paper is worth 25% of the class grade. However, failure to turn in a paper means an automatic failing grade regardless if you can still statistically pass the class.
Research Paper Assignments
You will prepare and present a 3 minute ‘QuickShare’ of your research to your peers [and me]. Not only will I get a chance to see and hear you, but you will also be able to share your work with others in the class. This video posting is worth 6% of your grade.
Research Paper Final Draft
The completed paper is due the first day of Finals week’. The final paper is worth 15% of your grade.
Final Paper Notes
- All components of the paper are to be formatted using the Chicago Style or APA[Links to an external site.] – for everything, including citations and references.
- For information on Chicago Style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html[Links to an external site.]
- For information on APA: http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/apa[Links to an external site.]
- Websites do notcount as sources, unless they are primary sources such as speeches, sources for statistics, or sites of published academic work and newspapers etc. If you are using the internet for primary sources in your paper, you must include the URL and you must identify the website so I can verify its veracity. Note that a paper source that you access using the web, for example via a university library database, is perfectly acceptable. What I am trying to do is to get you to avoid using Wikipedia as a source or random websites that may or may not be providing valid information.
- Remember, the Research Paper is subject to university and department policies on academic dishonesty. This means that plagiarism – defined as the intentional or unintentional attempt to pass off another’s work as your own – is prohibited and will be prosecuted.