POLS 499, Spring 2016                             The Assignments Page

Sid Olufs


Some Writing and Research Resources

**The best writing support online source is probably Purdue Owl. 

**The University of Wisconsin, Madison, has a writing manual online. 

** The University of Northern Alabama has some useful resources online. 


Week of May 3 and 5. 

   This week we start the presentation practice sessions.  They will start Tuesday the 3rd of May and continue at least through the 5th.  Use appropriate visual aids, and do the complete presentation. 

   Remember your final presentations, scheduled for the 12th, 17th, and perhaps the 19th, are 20 minutes in length.  That includes discussion and 5 minutes transition.  We do not need to do as much discussion and transition time in these practice runs.  General time guidelines:  please do not exceed 12 minutes, and something is probably wrong if you go less than 8.  


Week of April 19 & 21.  This week we meet in class.  Prepare an oral presentation to the class, 3 to 5 minutes in length, that describes:

      your topic,

      the specific question you wish to answer,

      how you go about answering the question, and

      what remaining issues you have to solve. 

We will try to get though everyone on Tuesday, and if not we will meet Thursday to finish up. 


Week of April 12 & 14.  This week we meet for individual paper appointments. 


Week of April 5 and 7.  This week we need to finalize all design elements for your papers, for those of you not yet at that stage.  For Tuesday, please bring a revised updated abstract for your paper.  Make it as good as any of the examples at the abstracts link.  Note what all they include.  This should tell you, very clearly, how well you see the entire project.  For Thursday, bring as many draft pages of your paper as you have. 

   It is time everyone was drafting their paper.  You want to be done with it in four weeks. 


Week of March 22 and 24

We will meet individually this week.  A signup sheet was passed around in class Thursday the 17th.  Remember your time!  Please send me your next product, to be discussed at our meeting, no later than Sunday evening, March 20. 


Week of March 15 and 17

Tuesday, March 15.  Please bring to class a draft of the first two pages of your paper.  In that short space you should be able to:

      describe in two short paragraphs the general issue or problem you address in your project;

      describe, briefly, something about how your project differs from previous research or the particular issues that arose in your efforts to understand the issue or problem;

      clearly state your research question; and

      describe briefly the rest of your paper. 

You have that chapter on writing_social_sciences in the Sakai resources section.  Read it!  Follow the advice!  We will read and comment upon these drafts.

Thursday, March 17.  Please bring to class a draft of your literature review.  Again, read and follow the advice in the chapter on writing_social_sciences. 


Week of March 1 and 3,  also Week of March 8 and 10.

   We will have individual meetings on your papers.  The signup sheet was set in class on February 25.  You need to send me your next stage by Sunday evening, February 28.  For most of you that is going to be a revised description of the project and a draft of the first two pages.  We will discuss your work at our meeting the week of March 1 and 3.  We will repeat that sequence of events the following week, March 8 and 10.



Week of February 16 and 18.

Your professor has been reading through the versions of your abstract  and research questions, etc., you brought to class on Thursday.  Many of you are very clear, but overall these products are not quite where they should be.  I shall send you each a picture of your submission with my comments.  For the coming week, please deal with all the items mentioned in the comments. 

For Tuesday, February 16,  Bring your revised abstract to class, on paper.  If comments were made on your concepts, revise and bring to class as well.   Also for today, Read Booth pp 105-138.  These three chapters deal with the components of arguments.  Diagram the elements of the argument in your project, using the conventions in Booth, and bring to class. 

For Thursday, February 18, I anticipate we will have to revise the diagrams you made for Tuesday, so bring the revised versions to class today.  We will set up a schedule for one-on-one meetings for your projects.