Research Paper Assignment



Each of you will compose a research paper of at least 10 pages on one of the following general topics, which you must narrow down to a workable size -- with my approval.


Language policy in American Schools since their beginnings.
Teachers in American Schools
Curriculum in American Schools
Race in American Schools
Education of Native Americans
Local Control and American Schools
Religion and the American Schools
Multiculturalism and the American Schools

The paper must have a minimum of 4 book sources and 5 journal sources; you may not use web sources unless you are certain they are
reputable, scholarly works ­ on-line journals are fine if they are in fact reputable, scholarly journals. It might be best to check up on them before you use them. (If you have any doubts about a particular site, ask me.) Please also be well aware of the difference between a scholarly journal and other kinds of periodicals, such as magazines and newspapers. You should rely exclusively on research-based books and articles written by scholars, not journalistic opinion pieces. (Though you are welcome to cite them, the assigned text materials from Spring and the on-line history may not be counted in this number.)


I expect you to identify your paper in the standard way ­ name, course number, and date of submission on the first page, and your name and a page number on each subsequent page. (Use the Footer function in your word-processor for the page numbering.) I expect your paper to have a title that reflects the content of the paper.


The ten (10) pages does not include notes and bibliography. I expect a minimum of 10 pages (2500 words) of text. If you submit only the minimum number of pages and the minimum number of sources, your paper will receive no higher grade than a ³C.² Minimal work gets minimum grade.

The paper is due at the beginning of the period on
3/4/08. However, each of you will meet with me individually prior to the due date (See the calendar for the exact dates of those conferences) so I can read a draft of your paper. (I expect that draft to be as final as you feel you can make it at that time. You will still have some time to make any corrections I specify.) If you have any doubts about your paper prior to that meeting, you should come see me. Don't wait until this scheduled conference. That will be kind of late to make major changes.

This course is designated as a ³Writing Intensive² course, so I will grade the papers both on content and writing. I expect high quality academic writing. (See Illinois State Board of Education ³Content-Area Standards for Educators,² ³Core Language Arts Standards for All Teachers.²) If you have problems producing quality academic writing, seek help from me or someone else. Though I will help you with your writing, I will not do your proofreading and editing. You will be graded separately on the prospectus, on the preliminary bibliography, and on the paper.

I also expect you to be very careful about avoiding plagiarism. Plagiarism is a violation of the Knox Honor Code. You can be discharged from the college for violating it. If you need a definition, look in your handbook.


You must cite your sources according to the standards outlined in the American Psychological Association¹s handbook. These are provided for you in Rules for Writers. It is your responsibility to have a copy of that book and to consult it carefully.