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EST 361 History of the American Environmental Movement : Research Paper Assignment

 

EST 361, History of the American Environmental Movement

Research Paper Assignment

In a variety of forms, the American environmental movement has been active for over a century. As a final project for this course, your assignment is to identify an historical or contemporary American environmental advocate (or opponent), organization, campaign, or issue that you would like to learn more about and write a medium-length research paper on that topic. As an integral part of the assignment, you are expected to effectively utilize course concepts, frameworks and understandings in analyzing the relation between that subject and the American environmental movement more broadly. In the discussion section of your paper, for example, explain:

  • Why is/ was that advocate/ opponent, organization, campaign or issue significant in the development or success of the American environmental movement?
  • How has the rich tapestry of the American environmental movement been influenced by this subject?
  • How can a deeper understanding of that advocate/ opponent, organization, campaign or issue help us understand the path toward sustainability in the US and beyond?

The assignment includes two interim deliverables as well as the final paper:

  • Proposal (T-1). By Thurs., Oct. 31, submit a proposal in the form of an abstract (~1 p.) describing the historical or contemporary American environmental issue, campaign, advocate/ opponent or organization that you would like to examine in your research paper.
  • Abstract, outline and bibliography (T-2). By Thurs., Nov. 14, submit a revised abstract, outline and preliminary bibliography for your research paper. At least 10 relevant, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles on your topic should be included in the bibliography, in proper reference form.
  • Research paper (T-3). Should be 10-12 pp. in length, double-spaced, 11 or 12 pt. Times New Roman, plus coversheet and bibliography. Due at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Final Exam period for this course.

Grading. Your research paper will be graded along the following lines:

A      Outstanding: fulfils all aspects of the assignment, in an exceptionally clear, coherent, and convincing way; highly effective use of course concepts, frameworks and understandings, plus material from a variety of scholarly sources

B      Very good: fulfils all aspects of the assignment, including use of course concepts, frameworks and understandings; well organized (clear thesis statement and conclusion, well developed argument); well documented (use of citations, quotes as appropriate, and references); careful attention to detail (proofread, spelling, citations & references, pagination)

C      Acceptable: fulfils some, but not all, aspects of the assignment; limited use of course concepts, frameworks, and understandings; argument, organization okay, but could be improved; limited but correctly utilized documentation; some attention to detail, but significant room for improvement; meets minimum length requirements

D     Minimally passing: marginal evidence of attempt to address the assignment; poor organization, documentation of sources, attention to detail; less than required minimum length

F      No credit: no viable evidence of effort to undertake the assignment; inappropriate use of secondary material (failure to use quotations or cite sources, as appropriate)