Final Course Paper Instructions
Due: Wednesday November 23rd, 2016
Length: 1750 words
In your final essay, you will explore a comparative topic related to one of the following course themes/broad topics:
- internationalization of higher education
- Toronto/urbanization (i.e. the development of large, urban centres)
- culture (e.g. music, art, film, television, sports, etc.)
- foreign policy
Choose one of these themes and compare/contrast what you perceive to be the most significant similarities and/or differences between your country of origin and Canada. Given the length of the essay, you should develop your comparison with no less than three similarities or differences.
NARROW: Clearly, some of these themes (for example: politics, literature, popular culture) are very broad. With such topics, you will definitely need to further narrow your focus in order to successfully write an essay of only 1750 words.
ARGUMENT : Please keep in mind that the essay does require you to develop a thesis or central argument. In other words, you should not simply ‘tell a story’ or present basic information about the theme/topic. You are trying to prove an idea or interpretation based on critical thinking and research. Think about how or why similarities and differences exist and consider what they reveal about the two nations.
RESEARCH: Effective research is critical to the development of university level writing. For this assignment, you must find a minimum of six relevant, scholarly sources (e.g. scholarly books, journal literature) and a minimum of one primary source (e.g. government document, newspaper, autobiography, official website, statistics) .
You will be evaluated on your ability to locate and integrate appropriate scholarly research and to write an argumentative, comparative essay in clear, correct, and concise language. Below, you will find a checklist of questions you can use to review your paper before submitting it. And, remember, please do consider and incorporate the constructive feedback you receive from the peer evaluation process.
NO219 Essay Checklist
Before submitting your paper, you might ask yourself the following questions. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it does provide a good sense of the considerations that are taken into account when student writing is evaluated.
1) Introduction and Thesis
• is the topic of the essay clearly and succinctly introduced?
• has the thesis been clearly stated?
• does the thesis reflect the scope and main points of the essay?
• does the thesis address significant issues?
• have various (books, journals, etc.) and useful scholarly sources been cited?
• does the essay use a sufficient number of sources, or is it dependent on too few?
• does the essay demonstrate a thorough understanding of the sources (facts, theories, concepts)?
3) Structure and Thesis Development
- are points to prove the thesis arranged in a coherent and logical sequence?
- are major points relevant to the thesis? do they advance the proposed thesis?
- is there appropriate and sufficient evidence from sources to support the thesis?
- have the ideas and words of others been documented and formatted correctly?
- does the essay demonstrate originality (either in approach, or a truly original thought)?
- has the argument been presented with a balance of self-confidence, and respect for the opposing views?
• has the thesis been restated?
• are the main points of the essay very briefly reviewed or summarised?
• does the essay conclude in a general manner, with reference to its broader implications and/or significance?
5) Writing Style
- are paragraphs structured correctly (i.e. one point per paragraph and neither too short nor too long)?
- are there effective transitions between paragraphs?
- is the essay grammatically correct? is spelling correct?
- is the writing clear and concise?
- are all verbs in the same tense?
- has use of the ‘first person’ been avoided?
- have direct quotations been used sparingly?
- are awkward, disjointed, fragmented, and run-on sentences avoided?
6) Technical Details
- are references complete and accurate?
- is the bibliography complete and consistent?
- is there a title page?