What the Health: Self-Determined but you must select a film as the base of your paper

General Topic: Film or Media

Specific Topic: Self-Determined but you must select a film as the base of your paper.


What the Health

Game Changers

Length: 5 pages NOT including your title page, outline, and bibliography.

Font Size. 12-point font size Times New Roman Font

Line Spacing. You may prepare your paper in single or double space format. If you choose to prepare in double space format, be sure to single space the title, abstract, itemized and enumerated lists, tables, and the bibliography.

Paper Margins. Allow 1-inch margins on all four sides and justify text on both sides.

The following information is the criteria upon which your papers will be graded. It is not a series of suggestions. This document should be followed explicitly. For example, if you do not have a thesis and support it, your paper will lose at least one letter grade. If you plagiarize, you will receive a failing grade. If you have questions, ask before you turn in your paper.

  1. Choose a topic of interest to you and then narrow it so you can completely cover your subject within the page requirement of ten pages. (Do not exceed the page requirements because you will lose points. Your skill at conforming to exact requirements is a vital one. In real life your work often must comply with requirements of length, often an exact number of words and format.) If you need help with this, just ask.
  2. As a general rule you should consult twice as many sources as the number of pages required for the paper. More or less is acceptable as long as the topic is covered thoroughly, the sources selected are the best ones available to you, or you have not been assigned a specific number of sources.
  3. You are responsible for knowing the accuracy and reliability of your sources this is true whether the information comes from a printed source, an interview or the internet. In other words, find out whether the author is qualified to write an accurate account. Whenever possible use primary sources – firsthand or eyewitness documents – rather than secondary sources – scholarly works written by reputable historians after the event. Regardless of whether it is a primary or secondary source you must evaluate the information and interpretations presented for veracity and appropriateness. You may find information about an author in the introduction of his work or in reference works like Contemporary Authors. (Do not use textbooks, popular magazines, dictionaries, or encyclopedias.)
  4. Prepare a bibliography according to the approved style manual for the course. The standard manual for use is your McGraw-Hill Handbook.

For note-taking:

1. You may use a computer, 3×5″ or 4×6″ note cards. If you choose to use your computer, please follow the instructions for note-taking as if you were using cards. Each card should contain only one main idea, with brief supporting information, from the source. The idea should be stated in your own words, not the author’s. The note card system enables you to organize your material for the paper by topic or subheading. You can move your material around. For each card, one must have the author, title of the work, and the EXACT page number(s). The information you present on the card should come from no more than 1 or 2 pages in your source.

  • Take notes by paraphrasing, which means putting everything in your own words. If you do use a quotation, you must put quotation marks around the information in your notes, in addition to providing the citation information.
  • Do not make the mistake of assuming that something you read in three or four sources about your topic is “common knowledge” and that you do not have to put your sources for that information. If you did not know the information yourself before you began this project, document it properly.
  • Put the author, title, and exact page number of the information on every card or entry. Use separate cards for the complete bibliographical information for each of your sources. If you use the computer, begin to create your bibliography right away by putting the information in the format required.

In writing the paper:

  1. Develop a thesis (an idea you want to prove) for your paper in the first paragraph; prove it in the body of your paper by providing all the supporting evidence you can obtain; and draw your conclusions at the end. (This is the most important rule for writing anything, not just research papers.)
  2. Write unified paragraphs with topic sentences, support, and transition to the next paragraph. Avoid one-sentence paragraphs!
  3. Unless you are an experienced writer, choose chronological instead of topical organization for your paper and stick to it. By following the flow of time and providing dates often, you are helping yourself write the paper and your reader follow your ideas.
  4. Do not make references to yourself in the paper. You are not the subject of your paper but its author. The opinions and conclusions are presumed to be yours unless they are properly cited (if they are not yours and not cited it is plagiarism) therefore it is neither necessary nor appropriate to precede them with phrases such as “I believe” or “In my opinion.”
  5. Avoid making the assumption that the reader knows anything about your topic. As you write, do so for your classmates or someone entirely ignorant about your subject but perfectly capable of understanding it if it is described and explained well. This helps you keep your information clear, concise, and logical.
  6. Attempt to be objective about your subject and information. Strive to present a balanced account. Do not make your subject into a hero or heroine or present only one perspective about an event. Examine sources that present a variety of perspectives and draw your own conclusions.
  7. Proof your paper carefully to correct organizational, grammatical, syntactical, spelling and/or typing errors before submitting it to the instructor. A large number of errors will lower your grade.
  8. Follow the approved style manual for rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, citations, and bibliographical format.
  9. In particular, watch for the following common errors: an ” ‘s” for the plural rather than the possessive form (or an “s” without an apostrophe for the possessive); the difference between “its” and “it’s”, “there” and “their”, “woman” and “women”; references to people as “that” instead of “who”.
  10. Avoid colloquialisms such as “a lot”, “kind of”, “sort of”, “like”, “got”, and all contractions of verbs (such as “wasn’t”, “isn’t”, “doesn’t”, “haven’t”).
  11. Do not use technical language or “jargon” in your paper. Use simple easily understood language that will not confuse your readers. If you are uncertain about how to use a particular word or phrase, find a substitute.
  12. Avoid plagiarizing. Use notes (citations of your sources) and quotation marks appropriately.

What is Plagiarism?

In short plagiarism is the theft of another persons wording or original ideas and interpretations. Plagiarism is the appropriation of “the exact wording of another author without attribution,” and the borrowing of “distinctive and significant research findings or interpretations” without proper citation. Most cases of plagiarism represent a failure to properly paraphrase, quote, and cite sources.1

It is not necessary to intend to deceive in order to commit plagiarism. Sloppy research and writing often leads to unintentional plagiarism. Several well known historians have fallen prey to this very phenomenon of unintentional plagiarism. To insist on proof of intent is to set an impossible standard of proof since no one can really know what another person intended and provides easy cover for the guilty.

For the finished product:

  1. Type, double space, and indent 1 inch for all margins. Use only Times New Roman 12 point print.
  2. Put PAGE NUMBERS on each page in the upper right corner. Exceptions: the cover sheet gets no number; page 1 is either not marked at all or at the bottom center.
  3. For every quotation, paraphrase or reference to an idea found in a book or article, include proper ANNOTATION. Following the punctuation ending the material needing such annotation, provide a raised reference number with either a footnote (at the bottom of the page) or end note (at the end of the paper) following the directions and examples for MLA style. On average, your 7-page research paper should have at least five to ten sources and approximately fifteen notes.
  4. Use direct quotations only when absolutely essential, either to make a point or because the author’s wording is so much better than your own. Short quotations should be incorporated within double quotation marks directly in the body of the essay; long quotations (used rarely) should be indented (on both right and left sides) and single -spaced without any quotation marks around them.
  5. List sources used in writing the paper in a BIBLIOGRAPHY on a separate sheet at the end of the essay; arrange books and articles used in the paper in alphabetical order following the directions and examples for MLA style formatting. Do NOT include texts, dictionary entries or encyclopedia articles in any bibliography. Remember to attach the bibliography even if you have presented it in an earlier assignment.
  6. Attach a separate COVER SHEET indicating a title for your paper (something more original than Essay Assignment or Book Review) – do NOT enclose this title in quotation marks; also list on the cover sheet your name, the number and title of the course, the instructor’s name and the submission date. Place the title of your paper and your name on the first page of the paper as well as on the cover sheet.
  7. PROOFREAD your final draft before submission. Writing a research paper is a formal academic exercise; presentation and appearance form an integral part of the final product. Neatness counts.
  8. Submit your final draft on ENGRADE. Do not hand in a hardcopy! It is the student’s, responsibility to keep a copy (photocopied or on disk) of any completed paper submitted for instructor evaluation. Also retain all notes, outlines or preliminary drafts used in writing the paper; instructors reserve the right to examine any or all of this material prior to assigning a grade to the submitted work.

Structure of your paper

Descriptive Title. The title of your paper should be as informative as possible and should clearly identify both the general field of the paper and the particular branch of it under consideration.

Introduction. The introductory section should provide a bridge from the abstract to the remaining discussion sections or the body of the paper. The first paragraph should be comprehensible to anyone interested in software engineering and should pinpoint the location of the subject matter. You should define/describe the questions and/or the topic that you will address. By defining and establishing the objectives of your paper in the introductory section, you clarify the goal and set the direction for the rest of the paper. At the end of this section, it is essential to indicate the scope of your paper, define the audience2 and describe the organization of your paper so that the readers know what to expect. The introduction should be between one to two pages.

Background/Review of the State of the Art. In the background sections that follow, you should provide an enlarged but focused description of pertinent literature organized clearly around the important questions and/or topics you posed in the introduction. The background information should be provided in enough detail to orient the reader who may not be a specialist in the subject under discussion and should establish connection with other results and studies. Make the background clear, crisp, and logically organized. Recall the following advice by Joseph Pulitzer, “Put it before them briefly so they will read it; clearly so they will appreciate it; picturesquely so they will remember it; and above all accurately so they will be guided by its light.”

Research Question/Your Solution and Results. Present a precise statement of the problem or the question that you plan to address and discuss its significance. You do this by providing an analysis of the models and technologies you reviewed earlier, describing their shortcomings (if any) and how your work (solution) will complement them.

Your description of results and evaluations must be well-documented. Make liberal use of tables, figures, and diagrams, and include literature references appropriately. Be concise and informative. If you write concisely about any topic, you describe it in the fewest possible words but without sacrificing clarity. Do not confuse brevity with conciseness. Make sure there is smooth transition between the (sub-)sections.

Observations, Discussions, Validation This section should present and summarize the major points of your work and convince the reader that you have properly addressed or solved the problem introduced in Section 4. You should be candid in discussing failures as well as successful results. This and the earlier section should constitute the bulk of your term paper.

Conclusions. The conclusions section is placed at the end of the document, right before the bibliography. It concludes the paper by pointing out its major contributions and perhaps indicating interesting areas of research related to the paper’s topic that have not been addressed by you, but deserve future investigation.

References/Bibliography. The conclusions are followed by a list of references (or bibliography) items. Use the Harvard family of bibliographic styles (see the references at the end of this article).

It is very likely that your references include journal articles, conference proceedings articles, books (or chapters in a book or in a collection), and technical reports. The following is a list of required3 items for each of such article:

  • Journal Articles: author, title, journal, volume, number, year, pages [month].
  • Books: author (or editor), title, publisher, year, edition, publisher address.
  • Book Chapters: same as book and/or conference proceedings articles.
  • Conference Proceedings: author, title, proceedings title, pages, year, publisher, [editor, month, place]
  • Technical Reports: author, title, institution, year [number, address]
  • Thesis/Dissertation: author, title, school, year, [address]

For other types of articles, please make a reasonable judgment as to what items must be included. Normally, author, title, year, and some information about the type of publication should be included. In addition to the URL address, you must include the corresponding author(s), title, and other pertaining information for all URL references. Save all your references and be prepared to turn in any item if requested.

 Evaluation Criteria

Grading Criteria

Your paper will be graded according to the following criteria:

  1. Content completeness, accuracy, and originality [30%]
  2. Paper results and contributions [40%]
  3. Organization (proper abstract, good title, appropriately numbered (sub) sections with descriptive titles, good transition between sections, use of diagrams and tables, good English) [20%]
  4. Appropriately chosen and annotated bibliography items [10%]

 Specific Formatting Requirements

An appropriately chosen topic and its well treatment should result in a paper about 7 pages. Note that it is the quality of the contents that counts, not the length. If your paper is slightly smaller or larger, it will be OK provided that its contents are acceptable. Please do not take advantage of line spacing, font size and margin size options to force a perceived smaller or larger paper. It will not work!

Organization. Organize your paper in terms of sequentially numbered sections, subsections, and sub-subsections, each with an appropriate title. The paper organization may be as follows:4

  • Paper Title
  • Your name and contact information
  • Introduction (problem statement)
  • Background sections (may include a discussion of existing work, literature survey, justification of your work)
  • Sections presenting your work (may include your solution, results, evaluations, validation, observations, case studies, application of concepts, etc.)
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Your grade is based on thesis, content, organization, grammar, style, proper citations, and the use of these research and writing guidelines. Follow them closely.
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