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Unformatted text preview: SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY COURSE GUIDELINES COMPARATIVE RELIGIOUS STUDIES DR. MIRA Z. AMIRAS C OURSE G UIDELINES WRITING, RESEARCH, EXAMS AND PRESENTATIONS INDEX OF GENERAL TOPICS TOPIC PAGE GENERAL WRITING ADVICE, FORM & CONTENT 2 ADDITIONAL STYLE GUIDES 2 ON SHORT ESSAYS, MIDTERMS & FINALS 3 RESEARCH TOPICS 4 WHAT IS RESEARCH? WHAT IS ANALYSIS? 6 WRITING AN ACADEMIC PAPER 8 COMMON GENERALIZATIONS TO AVOID 9 ON THE STRUCTURE OF AN ACADEMIC PAPER 10 ON SOURCES, CITATIONS & ANNOTATIONS 11 ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES 16 VERY OBVIOUS SUGGESTIONS 17 REMINDER: WHAT IS ‘ ADEQUATE ’ RESEARCH? 18 CLASS PRESENTATIONS 19 GRADING CRITERIA — WRITTEN 20 WRITING GRADING SCALE 21 GRADING CRITERIA — ORAL 22 COLLECTIVE ORAL EXAM GRADING SCALE 23 LATE PAPERS, REWRITES AND MISSED QUIZZES 25 SAMPLE OF NOTATIONS AND COMMENTS ON PAPERS 27 http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/amiras/ mailto:[email protected] MIRA Z. AMIRAS RELS/MDES/ANTH SJSU Course Guidelines 2 OLD ADVICE FOR GOOD WRITING … in the labour of composition, do not burden your mind with too much at once; do not exact from yourself at one effort of excogitation, propriety of thought and elegance of expression. Invent first and then embellish. The production of something, where nothing was before, is an act of greater energy than the expansion or decoration of the thing being produced. Set down diligently your thoughts as they rise, in the first words that occur; and, when you have the matter, you will easily give it form: nor, perhaps, will this method be always necessary; for, by habit, your thoughts and diction will flow together. —Dr. Samuel Johnson, Wednesday, 30 August 1780 Make not your tale of accidents too full Too much variety will make it dull Achilles’ rage alone, when wrought with skill Abundantly does a whole ‘Iliad’ fill. —Nicolas Boileau, 17th c French literary critic GOOD TV , PERHAPS, BUT BAD WRITING Bite-sized is best, complexity must be avoided, nuances are dispensable, qualifications impede the simple message, visual stimulation is a substitute for thought, and verbal precision is an anachronism. —Robert MacNeil (MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, 1998) O N THE F ORM /C ONTENT R ATIO An academic paper whether long or short, should have substance— i.e. something important to say —as well as a good presentation— i.e. it should be well written . In this way, an essay or term paper is a lot like a good meal in a restaurant: you want a hearty, tasty meal ( content ) that also looks appealing ( form ). Some meals (and academic papers) are too overly garnished to really bite into (the equivalent paper might have a designer font, pink paper and a plastic lavender folder but have nothing at all really to say). Other meals (and papers) are hearty and filling, but rather mucked together. An academic paper, like a meal, should have an equal blend of form and content to make it satisfying. The sage advice on writing quoted above is really all you need to produce a good paper on...
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course AMS 100W at San Jose State.