Sunday, November 27, 2011

Guidelines for Final Project

Note:  I will revise this as necessary in order to clarify.

First, the raw requirements.

1)  Final projects, in general, should be 8-10 pages long.
2)  Final projects should contain at least 5-6 pages of new material.
3)  Final projects must follow a clear, focused, non-trivial argument addressed to a member of the class (Who has come to class and done the readings) from the first page until the last.
4)  Final projects must add at least two academic sources.  Non-academic sources may be used with my permission, for projects where they are well-suited.
5)  Final projects are worth sixty points.  This should be, in all ways, your best work, and should show a thoughtfulness and degree of effort beyond anything else you've done in this class.

Second, the guidelines.

1)  You may simply do a revision of previous work, including prior revisions.  Your argument should suit the length and complexity of the original; it will not necessarily match the original prompt, but should at least bear traces of it.
2)  You may, if you wish, define an entirely new project.  The subject matter must be clearly related to the class, and you must make use of a text (or texts) we have read together.  A project should always have a clear argument, which makes a claim that a person in this class might care about.  A comparison is not, in itself, an argument.
3)  While most people should do essays, and as likely as not everyone will do an essay, I will consider creative projects (including projects with a visual element).  If you want to do something other than an essay, the burden is on you to explain why it's a good idea.  Creative projects should be more difficult and ambitious than essays, not less.

Third, the dates.

1)  Your next blog entry is due on the 1st.  I will post one or two Corrigan-related prompts.  You may also post a *detailed* project proposal (1-2) pages, which includes your proposed research (exact sources, not general ideas), a clear argument or thesis statement, and either the first 1-2 pages (which should be rewritten if you're doing a revision) or an outline.
2) In any case, I need at least a brief project proposal (an explanation of what you intend to do and why, including a one sentence version of your argument and your sources), by December 5th.  This can change, of course, but I want you to start planning sooner, not later.
3)  The week of December 5th I will read and comment on rough drafts.  These are recommended, not required.  Any rough draft should include a paragraph or so explaining what you're doing, and any questions you might have.  Email these to me, in order to minimize turnaround time.  First come, first served!
4)  The syllabus says projects are due December 12th.  That's a somewhat aggressive deadline.  I'm giving you three dates instead.
a)  If you want full comments (that is, comments on individual paragraphs, etc.), I need it by 5:00 p.m. on the 12th (Monday).
b)  If you want limited comments (think a paragraph or two on the project as a whole), I need it by 5:00 p.m. on the 14th (Wednesday).
c)  If you don't need comments, I can accept papers as late as 5:00 a.m. (yes, you read that right) on the 16th (Friday).  I'm planning on taking the day off from work to do grading, hence the deadline.

Note:  Final projects should always be emailed to me.  If you wish, and/or as a backup, you may post them to the blog.

1 comment:

  1. I noticed in the first section that, you mentioned that the project should have an argument directed towards someone in the class, this is not supposed to be towards one specific person, is it?