Istory of a Technology or Specific aspect of Engineering

General Statement: You will have to submit a 7-8 page research paper (that means 7-8 pages of text). The paper is a research paper on the history of a technology or specific aspect of engineering. You are able to pick your topic as outlined below.

Logistics: Margins ought to be normal settings, fonts & point size that are standard (Times New Roman 12 point is a good one), and double-spaced. MLA, APA or Chicago are all citation styles I will accept. Number your pages (the cover page is not page 1). Include a cover page and a Works Cited or Bibliography page. You must use at least four sources beyond any class material you use.

Directions:
You may pick any technology or aspect of engineering that your little heart desires and you do not need prior approval. I can give you some feedback if you want to email me what topic youad like to research and how you might approach it (a thesis), but you do not have to. The DB steps ought to help you come up with ideas, so donat fret.

Your paper ought to define the technology/engineering and also give its rich historical significance placing it into a broader context. To do this well you are required to consult no fewer than four sources outside the assigned class materials.

A word on plagiarism: Plagiarism in papers is also intolerable and grounds for failure. I take this very seriously and I ask that you do as well. As explained in one writing manual:
Your research paper is a collaboration between you and your sources. To be fair and ethical, you must acknowledge your debt to the writers of these sources. If you donat, you are guilty of plagiarism, a serious academic offense. Three different acts are considered plagiarism: (1) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, and (3) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.
Diana Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual, 3rd Edition, (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins Press, 2000), 171.

The paper will be graded by the same standards I set for all written work in all of my classes. (1) The quality of your research is critical. A paper using only Wikipedia and Encarta is not quality research; a paper using monographs and scholarly articles from university libraries is quality research. A paper using multiple sources from the same author is not quality; a paper using a variety of sources and scholars is quality. This research puts forth your argument, or historical content, which I view as a third of the paperas whole. (2) Another standard is your organization. A successful research paper will state a clear thesis statement upfront. The reader ought to know exactly what the paper is about, what the argument is, and what evidence will be used to support said argument. In addition, how your paper is organized lends to its overall persuasiveness. If the paper is not organized successfully the reader will be confused. An argument ought to build up in a logical, obvious fashion. (3) Finally, a poorly written paper obscures your argument and research. Typos, missed words, misspellings, missing or incorrect punctuation are all errors to be caught in drafts. Writing first, second and even third drafts are critical in having a polished final draft to turn in for grading. Samuel Johnson once quipped that what is written without care is read without pleasure. Keep that in mind. Reading your work out loud is a helpful way to improve your writing

An A will be given to any paper that is excellent in argument, organization, and style.
An A paper is strong enough that the entire class could benefit from reading it. To earn an A you must make an interesting, believable argument that adds significantly to a or goes beyond a what you have read in class. A-quality work must also follow a logical structure, with unified paragraphs and transitions that clearly signal how each section relates to the central argument. In addition, A papers have to be well-written, using lively prose that is free of spelling, grammatical, and idiomatic mistakes.

How to Make Each Part of the Essay Excellent:

A. Introduction. An introduction must give a broad statement that tells the reader the subject of the essay. In addition, a specific thesis must be stated in the introduction telling the reader exactly what the argument is and what evidence will be used. Generalities will not suffice. Be specific and have a point. A good introduction will serve as the outline for your paper. The most common mistakes are to make too general a statement that a five paragraph essay could not possibly do justice, make too long a list of things that are never covered in the body of the paper, or make an emotional statement but fail to tell the reader on what points you will be relying to convince her of the wisdom of your argument.

B. Body of Paper. The body of the essay should have a separate paragraph that discusses and provides the evidence for each of your examplesa one at a time. If the arguments are mixed up the reader will not find your argument compelling. Dedicate one paragraph to each of your examples. Make sure that the body of your essay proves your thesisthat each example is clearly linked to your thesis and that the entire thesis described in your introduction is covered fully in the body of the paper. The body of the essay also needs to be organized. That is each paragraph should follow a logical pattern developing your thesis and the information within the paragraphs needs to follow a logical order.

C. Paragraph Length. Be wary of very short (two sentences) or very long (half page or more) paragraphs. It is important that each new idea has its own paragraph with a topic sentence, one or two sentences of argument with a quote from a source as evidence, and a transition sentence to the next paragraph.

D. Transition Sentences. A good transition will guide your reader out of one paragraph and into the next by signaling the next argument you will discuss in detail in the next paragraph. Transition sentences are the glue that holds the readeras attention as you develop your thesis. Without good transitions your style, and ultimately your argument, will appear choppy and confused.

E. Evidence. Provide quoted evidence from the assigned sources to convince the reader with the authority of participants in the events or experts on the subject. An argument without evidence is opinioninteresting, but not convincing. Be sure to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism in papers is also intolerable and grounds for failure and even expulsion as per University policy. As explained in one writing manual:
Your research paper is collaboration between you and your sources. To be fair and ethical, you must acknowledge your debt to the writers of these sources. If you donat, you are guilty of plagiarism, a serious academic offense. Three different acts are considered plagiarism: (1) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, and (3) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.
Diana Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual, 3rd Edition, (Boston: Bedford/St. Martina Press, 2000), 171.

F. Conclusion. The conclusion of an essay should sum up your main points and convince the reader that any reasonable person would be persuaded by your logic and evidence. It should not be a sentence or two that says that you are done, nor should it introduce any new ideas. It should remind the reader of your position on the question, sum up your main points and finish with an appeal to the readeras logic.