1 BASIC STYLE REQUIREMENTS (CPHL 606 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS)
Please take the time to read the instructions below very carefully before composing and submitting any and all written assignments for this course. All of the following instructions, with respect to style, apply to both written assignments for this course. They are not mere recommendations or suggestions – they represent required guidelines that every student must follow. That is to say, your assignment will be graded in accordance with these guidelines with respect to matters of style. If there are any differences between these guidelines and the guidelines presented in the Course Outline or in the Course Modules Section of D2L – these instructions will represent default course policy. [For reference purposes later on, this document will be referred to simply as the Basic Style Requirements Document or the Basic Style Doc.]
A ) Length Requirement
a) for the Reading Analysis Assignment – 3–4 pages, double-spaced. b) for the Major Essay Assignment – 8 –10 pages in length, double spaced Please note that the length requirement refers specifically to “the body” of the written assignment, and “does not” include the title page, or the endnotes, or the bibliography (for further specifications as to how your written assignment is to be formatted – see below).
B ) Format
It is strongly recommended that bothCPHL 606 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS be composed in Microsoft Word (or converted to Word format) before they are submitted to the assignment dropbox in order to avoid any “compatibility issues”. C ) Citation Style Both written assignments need to be composed in accordance with a particular style manual. MLA is preferred (but if you go with this option you still need to have a title page), but others will be accepted (APA or Turabian), just be consistent. Please Note: Regardless of which citation style you choose, all in-text citations in your written assignment must be supplied with page numbers if the original source itself has page numbers (book, article, magazine etc.). 2 D ) Font Both written assignments must be written in black type or print, in 12 point font, no more, no less. (Ariel or Times New Roman is strongly preferred). This requirement applies to every part of the written assignment, including the title page, the bibliography and cited sources page (if you are not using footnotes). The only exception to this is that footnotes (if your citation style recommends them) may be in 10 point font.
E ) Margins
The margins of both writtenCPHL 606 WRITTEN assignments must be formatted to 1 inch, this applies to all of the margins: top, bottom and side margins. No more, no less. F ) Line Spacing The body of both written assignments must be formatted to be double spaced, again no more and no less, and the pages must be numbered (your title page does not need to be numbered).
G ) Research Sources
Let me be precise here. The number of works or research sources you merely consult (read or peruse to inform yourself about this topic) can be unlimited, but if you cite or quote material from a source into the body of your essay, then it is regarded (for the purposes of this course) as an essay source. For the purposes of this course, essay sources are of two kinds: internal and external.
a) Internal essay sources cover those readings that are in the Course Reading List in D2L. b) External essay sources cover any other source. Although there is no set limit regarding the number of sources that can be cited in your essay, the following guidelines should influence (and limit) your choices in this respect: a) Your lecture notes from the modules are not to be used as a research source. I have no interest, as your instructor, in receiving essays that simply end up reiterating the material from the lecture notes, and neither writing assignment will be satisfactory if it attempts to follow this particular “shortcut”.
b) You may use as many internal sources such as apply to your topic (from the course readings).
c) it is strongly recommended that you do not use any more than two external sources for the reading analysis assignment and up to a maximum of five external sources for the essay assignment may be used in addition to your internal sources (rather than exceed these guidelines, be selective about the sources you use for research purposes).
d) Please do not e-mail and ask me for the “minimal” number of sources that can be used with respect to the written assignments. Apart from avoiding complications regarding plagiarism, your referencing of internal and external sources indicates to your reader the strength and quality of your research 3 effort – suggesting that you want to put your best effort into this aspect of your assignment (aim high, not low). Note: At least one of these external sources (sources that are not assigned class readings) must be non-internet based (a hard copy book, newspaper or journal article) Note: I will accept online scholarly journals, like those found in JSTOR, as an exception to this rule. This applies to both written assignments.
CPHL 606 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
H ) Title Page Both written assignments must have a title page (even if you go with the MLA format) that clearly states the following information: 1. the title of the written assignment 2. your name 3. your student number 4. your section number Note: once this information is provided to your reader on your title page, it does not be need to be repeated or included in the first page of your written assignment (do not put your written assignment title at the top of your first page, that is what your title page is for). There is also no need to copy your thesis topic (statement) onto the title page of your written assignment or to onto the first page of your written assignment. Simply tell your reader in the first paragraph of your written assignment what your thesis statement is and what your premises will be and proceed from there. I ) Bibliography (or Endnotes page) Both written assignments must also have a separate bibliography page listing all of your cited sources and (if applicable) a separate endnotes page (or included footnotes in the text).
J ) No Graphics Both written assignments are to contain no pictures or graphics whatsoever. Do not include pictures, large ornate and colored print, splashy colored lines or graphics, colored pages, textual graphics, (boxes, squares, rectangles, etc.) oversized or colored title font, or colored backgrounds of any kind. Your written assignment should only contain text in black 12 point font and nothing more. This applies to the title page also.
CPHL 606 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
K ) Using Plain Language Use simple, direct and plain prose when composing both of your written assignments. It is perfectly acceptable to write in the first person (I think that…, I would argue that…, I would conclude that …). In fact, this method of writing is preferred to the use of the word “one” and “ones” or “the writer” as pronouns in this context. If you are unsure what I am referring to here I would recommend that you take a quick look at Strunk and White’s excellent classic “The Elements of Style.” 4 L ) Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation and Diction While it is rare that lack of attention to these elements in your written assignment will (on its own) result in a failing mark, an overabundance of stylistic errors will have an effect on your mark. It is frustrating for any marker (not just myself) to struggle to understand what is being written because a minimal amount of attention was paid to the mechanics of writing (cf. Negative Halo Effect). Simply running your spell checker after composing your written assignment will not result in a product with improved grammar or good diction. Make sure that whoever is proofreading your written assignment is qualified to give some attention to this aspect of your writing. Note: Please avoid the use of the virgule mark (/) to create “slash constructs” such as “men/women” or “and/or”. Simply use the appropriate conjunction to join such terms as the context would deem appropriate (either “men or women”, or “men and women”), or simply reword the expression in order to drop the virgule mark. For example, in the case of “and/or” simply drop the virgule and pick the appropriate conjunction to use depending on the context. M ) Make Use of the Resources Available to You Ryerson University has an excellent “Student Learning Support” webpage with a variety of resources available to students in order to assist their academic efforts. This website can be accessed anytime by going to the following link: http://www.ryerson.ca/studentlearningsupport/writing-support/ N ) Restricted Sources Please note the following: a) Both written assignments must also have NO content from any other student’s written assignment whatsoever. This is in order to avoid Turnitin’s plagiarism checking services from returning “a false positive” for plagiarism in the event that it compares your essay with essays that have been submitted to this course previously. b) Both written assignments must have NO Wikipedia content whatsoever (no citations or quotations). c) Both written assignments must also have NO content from Sparknotes.com whatsoever (no citations or quotations). These sources are restricted without qualification or exception. Although Internet “blogs” are not a restricted source (right now), students are advised to be especially careful when it comes to properly citing any content from an online “blog”. Unlike many other publications such as books, articles, newspapers, magazines and e-zines – online blogs are (generally speaking) sources that are not peer-reviewed or professionally “vetted” in any way. Many bloggers have been known to plagiarize heavily or to employ shoddy referencing practices which may or may not be entirely accurate. Many students who have attempted to incorporate various materials into their written assignment taken directly from online blogs (without citing or properly citing the blog as their source) 5 have discovered to their dismay just how unregulated and unreliable non peer-reviewed sources can be (it is also plagiarism). O ) Unoriginal Content (Use of Quotations) Any and all unoriginal material that is used in your written assignment (verbatim quotations, or close paraphrases taken from sources) must be set apart and clearly distinguished as such.
CPHL 606 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
Make sure that you consult your style manual well in advance of composing your written assignment in order to be familiar with the directions on how to properly quote and cite any unoriginal material in your written assignment. As a general rule, short quotations need to be in quotation marks and accurately cited (including page numbers). Lengthy quotations usually need to be set apart from the regular text, usually by indenting the paragraph(s) being quoted. Students are also strongly encouraged to avoid “sloppy” citation practices such as incorporating material from an outside source and assuming that because a few words are changed here or there, that this material does not have to be cited or properly quoted. Students are also required to consult the Course Statement on Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct well in advance of submitting their first written assignment assignment in order to make themselves fully aware of the expectations with respect to this particular course regarding academic integrity. If there are any questions or concerns regarding the above guidelines, do not hesitate to contact me. Christopher M. Thomson Ryerson University Last Revised: January 11, 2016