The papers must be one-and-a-half to two pages, single-spaced. They must be typed using a 12 size,
Times New Roman font. Please make sure that you note the dates when papers are due.
Your paper must consist of five paragraphs and must answer as completely as possible each of the
following questions. Some of the questions require you to think carefully about the article, or review
relevant material in the textbook. If you are not sure what you are expected to do, please consult your
teaching assistant. You can also find additional information on the course website.
Include your name, section number, and date at the top of the paper. Include the Unit number and the
title of the article that you have reviewed. You must format it as five paragraphs and refer to the
guidelines given below.
1. What is the main point made by the author? After reading the article, what do you think the
author believes about the topic? Summarize the main point in two or three sentences. In some
cases the author describes another person?s argument. Be sure, then, to make clear whether the
author is stating his or her own opinion, or describing the opinions of other people. Then, explain
how the author supports his or her main point? Briefly summarize the information presented by
the author. Provide some specific details. Explain how this information is used to support the
author?s point of view. Describe what the author has to say, but do not comment on the
arguments at this point.
2. What are the strong features of the author?s arguments? Again, consider what you have learned
about the requirements for good scientific research: Are the arguments supported by solid
research data? Does the research appear to have been conducted properly? If yes, explain why
you think the research was well done. Does the author provide information about more than one
side of the issue? What are the weak features of the author?s arguments? Consider the following
possibilities: Is the argument based on personal anecdotes? Does it rely on isolated case studies?
Is the research that the author refers to adequate? Are the research data misinterpreted? Use
what you have learned about research in the course. For example, does the author try to infer a
causal connection from correlational data? Does the absence of control groups make
comparisons impossible? Are there other possible interpretations for the evidence that are not
recognized by the author? Does the author make unsubstantiated claims or assumptions that are
not based on any evidence at all? Are other explanations or points of view ignored by the author?
3. What have you learned in the course that supports arguments made by the author? Describe what
you have learned, not just your own opinion. Cite page numbers in the textbook.
You should look first at the chapters assigned for the same unit as the paper, but the information
can come from anywhere in the book. The more relevant information you can find, the stronger
will be your paper. ?I could find nothing? is not an acceptable response to this question. There is
always some information that is relevant. What have you learned in the course that goes against
arguments made by the author? Try to think of at least one thing. Cite relevant pages in the
4. How would you apply what you have learnt from this article to national or global current events?
Select a concept(s) from the article and connect it to or relate it to events happening in the world
today. These events could be something you have heard on the radio, seen on television, read in a
newspaper/newsmagazine, or read online. Make sure you clearly describe the event and then
explain the connection you see between the event and the concept(s). (For example, if the article
dealt with the issue of bullying and you read a news article about bullying at a high school in
Michigan or in another country like Germany, you could write about that).
5. Think deeply about the article and then give your personal opinion/personal reaction to the issue
being discussed. Why do you think it happens? (For example, if the article dealt with the issue of
bullying, you would give your opinion about why you think someone bullies others). Then you
must support your personal opinion with your own arguments. In doing so, please do not reveal
anything that is confidential.
The paper must be your original work, and not copied from any other source. If you copy the
paper, or allow your own paper to be copied, you will receive a failing grade for the course. To
avoid the risk of failing the course, do not share your rough draft or your final written paper with
any other student (see page 23 of this Study Guide for the course policy on Plagiarism and
Dishonesty). You may include short phrases from the textbook or from the article itself, but any such
phrases must be placed in quotation marks, and their origin clearly identified.
You must write or print a draft of your paper and review it carefully to make sure that the writing is
clear and that your arguments are sound. Good writing style and correct grammar are important. You can
give the rough draft of your paper to your TA if you get it done before the due date. This will enable you
to get feedback that you could incorporate into your final paper. When you are satisfied with your draft,
print or type a final version.
How to Turn In the Paper
Papers must be handed to your teaching assistant at the end of the section meeting when the paper is
due. If you are late for the section meeting, however, you will not be allowed to turn in the paper. In
other words, you must arrive on time for the section meeting and remain for the whole class. This rule
will be strictly enforced. If you prepare the paper on a computer, do not wait until the last minute to print
it. Something is sure to go wrong.
If you cannot attend the section meeting, then you may leave the paper (at your own risk) in the
mailbox in Room 229, Life Science II, or it may be given to the office staff in Room 229C to be placed in
your TA?s mailbox. The paper must be left in the mailbox before 4:15 p.m. the day before it is due.
That is, if the paper is due on a Thursday, it must be left before 4:15 p.m. on the previous Wednesday; if
the paper is due on a Friday, it must be left before 4:15 p.m. on the previous Thursday. Papers that are
left anywhere else, and papers left on the day of the section meeting, will receive no credit.
Papers may be turned in late only if you are prevented from turning in the paper by an unforeseen
emergency or medical problem. Permission to turn in a paper late will be granted by your teaching assistant only in the case of documented emergencies that could not have been anticipated, or an extended
illness that prevents you from attending school. To request permission in these cases, you should obtain
an "Excused Absence" form from the records manager in LSII Room 229C.
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