FLC 302/SOC 394 Spring 2003                                                                           Instructor: Professor Kurthen

 

          GUIDELINES FOR READING, TEXT ANALYSIS, EXAMS & WRITING & STUDENT PROJECTS

 

  1. KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING SIX 'WHAT'-QUESTIONS when evaluating the reading

- What is the topic and intention of the author(s)?

- What are the levels/dimensions of analysis and methods used?

- What are the key arguments/examples and conclusions? Are they appropriate and convincing?

- What is your own comment, opinion/critical comment or question after evaluating the text?

- What other reading, argument, theory, or example complements or contradicts the reading?

- What did you learn from, what did you miss in the reading?

 

           2. WHAT MISTAKES TO AVOID IN COMPOSITION, WRITING, AND PRESENTATION

Avoid the following common composition mistakes:

1. rough and loose analogies of theories

2. a topic too broad and unspecific

3. generalizations that are not sufficiently supported by evidence

4. usage of personal values, anecdotes, private opinions, and speculations without supporting empirical evidence

(statements such as “I believe…,” “It may be….,” “Probably…” are indicative of a lack of hard evidence)

5. rambling and lack of focus. It is always better to choose and stick with a narrower topic/question and then

explore it more in-depth instead of bouncing from subject to subject

6. plagiarism and recycling of papers or topics from other classes and students will be considered academic

dishonesty. You will receive a F-grade, and an official investigation, reprimand, and permanent negative

record in your student file will follow.

 

Avoid the following common writing mistakes:

1. inconsistent and contradicting statements in your argumentation

2. circular reasoning

3. false grammar and sentence construction

4. inappropriate and unprofessional vulgar diction

5. confusion of causes and effects, dependent and independent factors.

 

Do not forget to take care of the formal aspects of your presentation:

1. spell check grammar and stylistic errors

2. indent and single space quotes

3. quote correctly, i.e. cite the reading with quotation marks and give the source and page number/s in brackets

[EXAMPLE: Cohen/Kennedy 2000, p.25]

4. use very few footnotes and endnotes

5. clearly demarcate in your lay-out distinct paper segments and headings (Introduction, Methods/Data,

Analysis/Interpretation, Conclusion/Summary)

6. use the required format: CG Times font, Size 11, line spacing (1.5), and margins/indentation (1 inch).

 

      3. MID-TERM ESSAY AND TERM PAPER PREPARATION: A PATTERNED PLAN OF ATTACK

- Address and answer the assigned or chosen question/issue completely.

- Organize your thoughts and paragraphs before beginning writing an outline.

- Write a good introductory paragraph, then the 'body' of the essay, then summarize in the conclusion

your own critical comments.

- It is better to write simply and correctly than to try to write eloquently but make errors.

- Use specific details that support your arguments. Avoid too many generalizations or referrals not relevant to topic.

- Always remember: Not quantity, but quality counts.

- After finishing writing, proofread your essay carefully, check introduction, key arguments, and your conclusion.

Correct errors in grammar and spelling.

 

                                             4. HOW TO DO A Country Report

First do some basic research on a country to become more familiar with its history, geography, people,

government, economy, and foreign relations using information from literature and the web (see "Links" in the FLC website).

- history: historical origins and independence, major events/conflicts in past and present, historic adversaries

and friends, short characteristic of national identity, find and attach at least one recent article that is about or makes a reference to this nation

- geography: area and location, climate and terrain, border states, major cities, natural resources and land use, environment-current issues

- people: population, age structure, population growth rate, gender ratio, standard of living

(UNDP Annual Report), life expectancy, ethnic diversity, (official) languages, religion, literacy, health, social cleavages

- government: government type, constitution, legal system, suffrage, head of state, political parties,

 four problems/threats that currently seem to affect this nation, political stability

- economy: development status, global ranking GDP and growth rate, labor force, unemployment rate,

industries/agricultural products/natural resources, energy sources (type and origin), currency, imports/export $ value,

commodities and major trading partners/blocs, balance of payments, external debt, economic aid donor or recipient,

exchange rate of local currency, radio, TV, and internet lines per capita, major ports, airports, highways and railways

- foreign relations: intervention of UN in any conflict involving this nation, allies/bloc membership, international

disputes involved, membership in organizations, global importance, military manpower, major weapons systems

(arsenal, nuclear), military expenditures as % of GDP.

 

In the next step, summarize in your own words the current status of a country within global economics and politics,

 and point out at least three advantages and disadvantages of a country's integration into the global commons.

Finally, develop at least three possible solutions/alternative scenarios about a country's future in global economics

and politics based on the above basic facts and a country's resources.

 

               5. EVALUATION CRITERIA USED FOR MID-TERM EXAMS & TERM PAPERS

Quality of Analysis/Interpretation/Logic (50% of grade): Excellent (A) Good (B) Fair (C) Poor (D) Very Poor (F)

Introduction/Conclusion/Illustration (25% ): Excellent (A) Good (B) Fair (C) Poor (D) Very Poor (F)

Composition/Writing/Presentation/Format (25% ): Excellent (A) Good (B) Fair (C) Poor (D) Very Poor (F)

 

 

                                 6. SOME EXAMPLES OF STUDENT PROJECTS

 

- establishing a group or chapter on campus that educates students about an issue of global importance

(human rights, environment, trade and sweat shops), collects signatures and money, writes letters, organizes a teach-in or a rally, etc.

- devising a FLC brochure to recruit students/high school students for the FLC minor program. The brochure could

demonstrate the usefulness of globalization knowledge and share student experiences (e.g., field trips, guest lectures, extracurricular team projects)

- researching an internship program with a global organization (private, non-profit) on L.I. or in NYC,

- interviewing key persons of the organization or students who participate in a program and evaluating their experiences

writing a grant application for a presidential mini-grant award for departmental diversity initiatives and

subsequently organizing a SBU event on globalization

- actively contributing to a SBU diversity event, such as the Spanish Heritage Month, Black History month,

Asian Student Alliance (ASA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), Hillel, Latino American Student

Organization (LASO), Philippine United Student Organization (PUSO), etc

- attending a conference or lecture series on globalization (e.g., the SBU President's lecture series,

International Focus Lecture Series, Sociology Department Globalization lectures) and subsequently

- writing a reaction/opinion paper or an article for a student newspaper

- writing a collaborative paper on a global topic and presenting it at a professional or student conference outside the SB campus

- doing a survey on the campus about the FLC program or a globalization topic. Evaluate the findings and

write a report or videotape and edit responses

- writing articles on globalization for a student paper (such as the SBU Statesman), an online discussion group, or a professional journal

- composing a letter to the editor of a local or national newspaper or magazine (New York Times,

USA Today, Time Magazine etc) about a current issue that relates to globalization

- researching how much and how well U.S. news media (print/TV) represent global events that happen during our semester

- contacting a local high school teacher and collaborating on a lesson plan for a globalization topic

- writing a play or making a video related to globalization

- contacting a non-governmental global organization, such as (Greenpeace, Doctor's Without Borders,

Amnesty International, United Nations Association of America, etc) and doing personal and/or phone

interviews for a report about the organization's history, aims and purpose, membership, staff and budget,

governance structure, actions and outreach, enforcement mechanisms, etc.

- doing a field research projects, such as gathering information about the national origins of retail

store products and analyzing the findings using globalization theories, such as the "world systems perspective"