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In the argument paper you will take a stand on a controversial aspect of the relationship between technology and society. You must write on one of the topics listed below. The higher grades will go to papers that exhibit logical thinking, an analytical framework, specific evidence, the ability to inform and communicate, sound organization, and a concise and coherent argument. In this paper the premium will go to those who are capable of making a persuasive argument. That argument must be backed up with specific factual information from your research, not just based on your own impressions. I expect you to come to your own conclusion (and so you are certainly allowed to use "I"), but you may conclude that each side is partly right.
Instructions on paper format:
Your paper should be about 1000-1200 words and include a references in a standard form (MLA, Chicago, or APA). The paper is due by 12 noon on October 21. Papers will be handed in via Blackboard and screened by the Turnitin plagiarism detection system. (This system does keep a copy of your paper--if you have a problem with that please speak to the professor.) Late papers will be penalized one point if handed in later than noon on Oct. 21 and an additional point for each calendar day late (so a paper two days late would lose three points).
You may organize your paper either by considering both sides and then drawing your own conclusions or by making a coherent argument for one position. However, if you write a paper that argues one side throughout you must seriously consider the objections raised by the other side (you may go on to disprove them). I want to see an understanding of both sides demonstrated in your paper even if your argument is all for one side.
You must provide footnotes or references to your sources (not just for quotes but also for specific information and arguments) in the text of the paper and provide at the end an overall list of the sources you used to write your paper (not just the ones you cited but all sources that you read that you found useful). You may use any standard format (that is, one that is published or available from a reputable page on the web). You can find standard formats at: Writers Handbook . In most cases I would expect six or more different sources on your list of sources.
Information on doing web research:
I am going to let you use the web to do research for your argument papers. Please don't get the wrong idea--historians still believe in the importance of books. But I want you to struggle with opinion in this paper, and the web is a wonderful source of opinion. And the library doesn't work very well when lots of people are trying to write papers on the same topic. You are more than welcome to use books and articles as sources for your paper if you want to, but in this special assignment I am willing to accept papers written only from research on the World Wide Web (I would not do that for a longer term-paper requiring more in-depth research, except for certain topics where primary source material is available on the Web).
Each topic page includes a brief introduction to the subject, plus links to a variety of pages dealing with that topic. You must choose one of these topics on which to write your paper, and you should use the links given to start your research. You are encouraged to search beyond our links: for information on Web searching see The Spider's Apprentice for advice and The Searcher for a long list of different search engines.
Now, you must be careful about doing research on the World Wide Web. Before a book is published, the publisher normally sends the manuscript out to experts in the field for evaluation. That doesn't mean that books are always right, but that plus fear of lawsuit means that the information published in books is screened for accuracy. On the other hand, anyone can put anything on the World Wide Web--there is no screening at all. So you must evaluate the information for yourself. This is one of the skills that I want you to learn.
You may want to ask yourself:
Checklist for a good paper:
Yield Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Power Plants
the Space Shuttle a Mistake?
Global Warming Melting Arctic Ice