Project/Paper Assignment

Task: For the specific movement assigned to you,

For the first item, you will use traditional library research looking for scholarly books and articles on the subject. Using these sources, you are expected to produce a very condensed "history" of the movement which should include information such as goals and ideology, major events, leaders, internal structure, membership, public support, strategy and tactics, organizations emerging from the movement and pre-existing organizations in (partial) alliance with the movement, and -- last but not least -- successes and failures. Depending on the specific movement, some items will be more important than others. You will have to use your judgment to select and present the most important facts. This part should be about 1000-1200 words (or three typical manuscript pages). You should use at least two independent sources and cross-check the accounts given there. It is not sufficient to simply copy entries from an encyclopedia or a dictionary.

The last three items all refer to the current state of the movement, and here you are required to do your own primary research, i.e. you will go to the original sources. You will find out what (collective) actors associated with the movements have to say about themselves, how they state their cause, what action they undertake, etc. And you will find out what adversaries say about the movement followers, and what general events have a positive or negative impact on the movement. This is the more exciting part, because you are going on a discovery trip yourself, you have to decide whom and what to belief and what to discount as rhetoric. Traditionally, such a project would not have been possible in an undergraduate class. However, thanks to the WWW, information gathering has become very easy. Well, "easy" in some ways. The sheer wealth of available information can be overwhelming. And you need to learn to cope with this. -- Anyway, the main portion of your paper, more precisely 3000-4000 words (or 9-12 pages) should be devoted to the current state.

Sources: For the "history" part, you should utilize scholarly sources, i.e. books and journal articles written by scholars and aimed at the scientific community rather than at the general public. Such works typically try to give a balanced picture, they avoid blatant partisanship (being "against" or "in favor" of a particular movement), and -- as a formal criterion -- they include a bibliography which lists the sources used. If you use text verbatim (as it appears in the source), you must properly indicate such direct quotations. Failure to do so, constitutes plagiarism which is a serious academic offense. See the secondary textbook for more detail on this issue.

For the "current state" part, you will mainly use the Web. But you may also consider other sources such as newspapers, magazines, flyers, pamphlets, etc. You probably will not find much as far as scholarly sources are concerned. Usually, there is a time lag of several years between the publication of a scholarly book or article and the actual events covered. -- Searching the Web can be frustrating and confusing. It is important to keep good track of your explorations so that you can revisit sites, reread documents that appear particularly important, and be able to make proper attributions to the material you end up using in your paper. A very important "navigational" tool is a bookmark file, and search engines help you locate sites and documents that may be of interest to you. We will discuss and demonstrate the use of these tools in three special sessions that will be held in a computer lab (on Feb 3, 10, and 20). Don't miss these sessions -- even if you consider yourself fairly computer-literate.

Format: As stated above, the paper should be about 4000-5000 words in length, with the history part taking about one quarter. You can get a word count easily by selecting "Document Info" from the "File" menu in WordPerfect. The paper must be (laser-) printed (dot matrix printer acceptable if the ribbon is not worn out) or typewritten -- no exceptions.

Follow standard reference format (see secondary textbook or guides on the Web) and include a bibliography. Keep in mind that you are writing the paper for your fellow students, so do not assume that the reader is knowledgeable about the subject. Let a friend (not in this class) read drafts of your paper and ask for a critique. What he or she does not understand, most likely needs improvement. Start as early on the paper as you can, so that you truly have a "first draft" by March 20.