Term Paper - Final Project Cultural Geography

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Term-Paper Instructions:


YOU are responsible for reading and understanding these instructions.  If you turn in an assignment that does not follow these instructions, your grade will reflect it. You cannot say I didn’t warn you. The  purpose  of  this  assignment  is  to  have  you  explore  the  type  of scholarly research  being  done by human geographers.  The project will give you an understanding of the breadth and depth of research that geographers do, point out important issues in this sub-field that are the subject of academic research, and give you insights on how geographers conduct research and present that research.  This assignment requires you to focus on articles in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals rather than popular media.  There are several things that distinguish scholarly articles from other types of writing.  Firstly, these articles are peer-reviewed; meaning that they have been judged by  up  to  four  other  scholars  working  on  similar  topics  for  their  accuracy  and  merit  before being  published.  Scholarly articles are also fully cited so that another researcher can prove the validity of the arguments by looking at the same sources.  Thirdly, while popular media articles generally stand alone as a report on something, peer-reviewed scholarly articles represent ongoing conversations among scholars to advance our knowledge about the world –in this case, human/cultural geography. 


Technical  Aspects: Your  paper  must  conform  to  the  following  formatting:  12-point  font  (Arial,  Times  New Roman, Garamond, or Book Antiqua), one-inch margins all around, double-spaced, and number the pages.  Any paper that does not follow the technical aspects will receive a 10-point discount in the final grade for this assignment. 


The Final/Analysis Paper (DUE by Friday, July31): For the paper, you will need to follow the format given below  in  analyzing  and  summarizing  the  components  of  the  research  article  about  which  you  are  writing:


Remember that you are only using ONE article in the part of the project.  In completing the following format, you will need to read each section of the article you are using very carefully, possibly more than once.  Your paper should be at-least 6 pages in length (not including the Cover Page), you must follow the formatting procedure listed above, and you must submit your paper to the plagiarism detection website Turnitin.com using the class webpage by the due date. Note that plagiarism will not be tolerated. If this or any other course assignment is plagiarized, you will earn an automatic failure grade in the course. 


Follow the format carefully.  When you write your paper, divide it into clearly labeled sections using the headings included below.  In each section, be sure to address the questions fully. Any paper that does not include the required labels/titles will receive a 10-point discount in the final grade for this assignment. 


I. Cover  Page: Author(s)  of  the  Article,  Publication  Date, Title  of  the  Article,  Publication  Source (Journal, Volume, Number, Page numbers), Your Name, GEO3421, Summer2020, Date Submitted.


II. Introduction: How does the author introduce the article (for example, do they tell a story to situate the topic, or do they discuss other research, a media report, an event)?  How does the introduction frame the coming discussion and argument?


III. Argument: What  argument(s)  does  the  author  make  in  the  paper  (for  example,  are  they  saying  that  some  topic hasn’t been studied (enough); or, are they saying that if we study some particular issue/case it will change (or  reaffirm) how we think about some conception; or, are they  saying that if we bring in a different conception it will change the way we think about a particular issue/case)?


IV. Structure of the Paper: How  does  the  author  go  about  making  the  argument  in  the  paper?    What  order  do  they  present  the information?  How do they layout the article?  What sections are in the article, and what points do they make in each one?  How do the sections build up to the overall argument?


V. Literatures: In what literatures (both theoretical and topical) does the author situate their work?  What works do they cite, and how do they conceive what they are citing?  Note: Not every paper will have a specific section dedicated to literature review –they may be embedded in various sections of the paper.


VI. Methodology: How did the author go about collecting that information (data) used to support their argument?  Did they  use  interviews  (who, with  and  how  many),  participant  observation  (where  and  how  long), document analysis (historical documents, newspaper accounts, policy papers, etc.), or statistical data (gather by the author or some other entity) to name a few?  How is the data presented: is it woven into the text of the article, or is it presented in some graphic form (maps, charts, graphs, photos)?  How well does the data support the argument that the author is making?


VII. Conclusion: How does the author summarize their argument(s) one last time?  Do they hint at broader implications of their work beyond the focus of this article?  Do they make a call for more research in a certain area?


VIII. Bibliography: How many sources does the article cite and what types of sources are cited?  How many of the sources are books?  How many are research articles?  How many are other types of documents (popular media reports –newspaper or magazine articles, government documents, planning documents, etc.)?  How many are internet sources?  Does the author cite Wikipedia? 


Important note:


Most  of  your  paper  should  summarize  the  article in  your  own  words!    If  you  wish  to  use  the  wording  of  the article’s author(s) you should ALWAYS put quotations marks around it and give the page number where it can be found.  No more than 10% of your paper should be quotations.  If you quote too much, you will lose points. 



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