Paper Guidelines for a Geography Essay


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"Deleted year guideline was issued" Paper Guidelines for Geography

Purpose of the Paper:

In the paper that you are required to submit to your TA, we want you to take a position and then develop and present a coherent argument on one of the topics that have been debated in class. For the paper, the topic choice can be any one of the six debates that we will have this Spring semester.

a) The legacy of Kosovo

b) The war in Chechnya

c) The geopolitics of Caspian sea oil exports.

d) The war in Afghanistan

e) AIDS in Africa

f) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict

You are required to take one of the five perspectives on the debate of your choice, gather information to support your case, argue it fluently with supporting evidence, and package it well. You do not have to choose one of the positions that you argued in oral debate but it must be one of the many options available.

Paper Mechanics:

The paper must be between 4 and 6 typed pages (11 pt or 12 pt fonts). It should have a cover sheet with your name, social security number, recitation section (time/day) and TA name. You can attach any supporting evidence (maps, charts, graphs, tables, etc) but you must refer to them in the text – no dangling appendages. The attachments will not count towards the page text limit. The paper is due in the recitation section meeting in the week of 22 April.

Paper Content:

In the paper, you should clearly indicate what position you are arguing. Think of this exercise as preparing a report for an international body like the United Nations or the International Court of Justice and therefore, make your best case. In the paper, you should

a) state clearly the key issues,

b) marshal evidence to make your points (historical, legal, economic, territorial, security, etc),

c) counter other arguments, and

d) state your preferred outcome for the dispute.

Paper Sources:

You should use the relevant reserve reading as an important source, as well as the web pages that represent your point of view. (They are available on the "debate materials" link on the course webpage).

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"Paper Guidelines for a Geography Essay." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jan 2018
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Also, take a look at the relevant sections of the textbook, the CD that comes with it, and the text web-site. You must have at least two additional references that are from “academic sources” (books, journal articles, etc). Additional materials can be obtained in the library from the usual sources- start with Chinook and use “Article Access”. The material must be up to date – to the end of 2001. Do not treat the problem as “historic” and discontinue the story before the contemporary period. Make sure to cite all sources used in the paper. There is no penalty for excessive citation: there is a huge penalty for plagiarism.

Paper Grading:

The papers will be graded based on the following items:

a) clarity and consistency of argumentation;

b) evidence presented to support the case;

c) use of bibliographic and other sources;

d) up-to-date sources and account;

e) quality of writing and use of the English language (you will be penalized for egregious spelling and grammatical errors); and

f) the extent to which you represent fairly and accurately the position that you have chosen.

Please pay attention to format, spelling, syntax, referencing, etc. The paper accounts for 15% of the course grade. Late papers will be penalized a grade per day late. And, of course, we will be watching for source materials without attribution and other elements of plagiarism.

If you need help in formulating your position, deciding on a position, getting reference material, please contact the instructor or your TA.

Style Guide:

Here is a useful link to a Geography-specific style guide from Professor J.W. Harrington at the University of Washington. Refer to it, if you have any doubts or questions on format, etc.


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