Hi 210: Ancient Greece
Guidelines for Research Papers
Research Papers: How and Why?
Writing an undergraduate research paper is a valuable exercise. Students in the past have commented that their writing skills were improved by preparing research papers. This is particularly useful if, for example, you become an attorney and need to argue a case or if you enter the business world and have to advocate a particular course of action for your enterprise.
Pick a topic that matters to you; learn everything you can about it; and discuss it in persuasive, clear English.
Your paper should have a thesis; commonly a thesis takes the form of a question. You will review information and summarize material in the paper, but unless you argue a case -- answer your question -- your grade probably won't be higher than C.
Consult and cite at least 2 primary sources as well as 4 secondary sources. Read the works of Homer, Herodotus and Thucydides (or other ancient writers) that bear on your paper. Look at the Parthenon or the statues from Olympia if they are relevant to your topic.
Submit a second copy of your "Works Cited" page that includes the title of your paper. This will be given to the Reference Librarians for inclusion in their file of projects.
Ask for help along the way. I am glad to read drafts provided I have enough advance notice; the Writing Center tutors stand ready to help with your English; and the Reference Librarians in Reeves will be pleased to assist you in your research.
Manage your time carefully. Set a schedule for yourself and keep to it. Finish a draft of the paper in time to have it considered in the Writing Center and by me.
Follow the rules: observe the formatting requirements below, and take note of the characteristics of an outstanding paper.
The paper should be 5 pages long (not including title page or bibliography)
It should be typed & double-spaced.
Left margin: 1.5 in. Other margins: 1.25 in.
Type should be 12 pt. font.
Indent the first line of each paragraph 5 spaces.
Use footnotes, not endnotes or in-line citation. To format footnotes, follow the "Chicago" style (see Turabian below).
Include at least 2 primary and 4 secondary sources in addition to works assigned in class. These should not include encyclopedias except in specific cases that I have approved.
At the end, add a bibliography of works consulted. This should be formatted according to the "Chicago" style.
For complete guidance on formatting papers, consult: The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers . Fourteenth edition. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. 1993.
For a handy summary of rules for both notes and bibliography, consult: Kate L. Turabian. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations . Sixth edition. Revised by John Grossman and Alice Bennett. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1993.
For a research strategy that will take you from the beginning of your project to the end using materials available at Moravian, consult the Research Tutorial on Reeves Library's home page: http://home.moravian.edu/public/reevestutorial/tutoria_tour.htm
Pay particular attention to the explanation of how to identify a topic, and be sure to reach the discussion of using Library of Congress subject headings to search MOSYS.
Some Characteristics of an Outstanding Research Paper:
Its thesis is clearly stated and skillfully supported.
It is readily understandable.
Transitions are clear.
It contains ample illustrative material.
It maintains a high level of interest.
Its opening is fresh and provokes curiosity.
Points are supported by good examples.
It is technically proficient:
It demonstrates mastery of its subject, including:
Familiarity with the most important primary and secondary sources
Appreciation of the historical problems that the subject entails.
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