This course is designed to develop an understanding and appreciation of the college research paper. The first part of the course rests upon the establishment of a thesis and of ideas associated with developing the point the thesis endeavors to make. Following this, the emphasis shifts to the development of such evidence as concerns the establishment of a point of view. Next, the course matter will explain how to manipulate that evidence to prove and endorse a particular political agenda. To this end, you will learn how to write the following:

4-5 page expository -- 15% of your final grade, DUE 13 February 1999

7-8 page persuasive -- 15% of your final grade, DUE 20 March 1999

which represent the bulk of what future coursework will consist.

Once you have learned how to put your own thoughts on paper in a clear, concise, explanatory or persuasive manner, you will learn how to incorporate the ideas of others into your texts to use as evidence upon which you may justify your claims. Your last assignment in this course is, therefore, a

12-15 page research paper -- 40% of your final grade, DUE 15 May 1999

For the assignment, I will give you a list of topics from which you may choose. Should a better topic than those listed present itself to your mind, you are free to use it, provided you first submit a statement of intent, or prospectus. Yet, as the focus is on the development of a research paper and on the honing of argumentation skills, you must work with the same topic, or issue, throughout the course of the semester. So, be sure to pick one you like.  Click here for an example of the finished product.

Also, there will be one 4-5 page academic book report DUE 1 May 1999, comprising 15% of your final grade, concerning Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. As the book is not in stock in the college bookstore, you will have to purchase a copy from a local bookstore.

Regular journal entries will be assigned, based on readings from the book, Current Issues, available in the college bookstore, and these will comprise 15% of your final grade. These journals will be collected on the enclosed dates.

Do not add needless confusion to my life. Late papers will be docked a letter grade for each class meeting they are late and cannot be rewritten for additional credit.

Do not be absent. We need your input and assistance in class. This class is the foundation of your college future. If you leave here not knowing advanced research techniques, you will not be very successful in future coursework that requires use of them. Should you find yourself unable to come to class, please notify me. A student who misses class more than three times, for any reason, excused or not, will be automatically dropped.

If you need to contact me for any reason during the course of the semester, please feel free to call me at home (314) 752-9311, or e-mail me at SEBASTIAN@MAHFOOD.COM

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