UNC Charlotte    Spring 2008

Modern Philosophy

Guidelines for Research Papers

Length, Topic, and Method for Research Papers

Each student is to write an original research paper of about 3,000 words (about 8 double-spaced, typed pages).

Topically, the research paper is to arise from, but go beyond, class readings and discussions by focusing on:
  1. one of the philosophers (such as Locke or Rousseau),
  2. one of the methods (such as rationalism or empiricism), or
  3. one of the themes (such as substance or sovereignty).

Methodologically, students have various options, such as:
  1. analyzing additional works of a particular philosopher,
  2. presenting alternative interpretations from the literature on a philosophy, method or theme, or
  3. comparing two or three of the philosophers or methods in relation to a specific theme.

In addition, each research paper must have a thesis for which the student presents support.  Hence, unlike the take-home and in-class exams in this class (which are expositional), the research paper must be argumentative and must draw from sources in addition to assigned readings.  The majority of the secondary sources must be from journal articles or books, namely, web sources must be in the minority.  Also, citation of articles in Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> is not acceptable.

Due Date for Proposals on Research Papers

Each student is to submit a descriptive paragraph or outline of approximately 300 words on the proposed research paper by March 20.

Due Date for Research Papers

The research paper is due no later than April 17.  N.B.  Grades on late research papers will be lowered one letter grade for each class day they are late.