big research project

The purpose of Assignment 1 is to help you come up with a good topic and get started on your quarter-long research project by completing these 3 activities:

Choose a contemporary problem you’d like to address in your paper and state it using the formula (found in section I of this assignment sheet)

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Find One scholarly peer-reviewed journal article related to the contemporary problem

One course text from either the “Relationship to the Environment” course topic in Week 1 or any of the other course topics(see pdf Primal Harmony )

And write a 3-4-sentence annotation for each source that summarizes the main argument or goal of the source and describes what insight it provides about your contemporary problem.

In 50-100 words, propose the topic and explain why you think this would be a good topic to address and fulfill the requirements of the assignment for MMW 121.

(Submit your sources for Assignment 1. Save each one as a separate .PDF with a file name in this format: “Author’s last name_Title of Document” (can be a short version of the title).

In the PDF of each source, please make sure to include the following:

Title page of the source, The copyright page of the source.

Each page from the source you used, highlighting the words, ideas, and information you used from the page. DO NOT SUBMIT A WHOLE BOOK OR ARTICLE. Only submit the pages you used.)


Preventing Plagiarism

This assignment sheet includes the following:

I. Assignment Details

II. Grading Rubric

III. Submission Checklist

IV. Potential Topics for MMW 121

Please read all of the assignment sheets carefully.


I. Assignment Details

The assignment is divided into 3 parts, each of which is described below. As you complete this assignment, keep in mind that your final paper has to address the question: How can pre-modern traditions be of value in addressing problems in the present?

Part 1:

Select your topic–the contemporary problem your paper will address. The first step to writing an excellent paper is finding a good topic, one that does the following:

Interests and engages you in a deep way

Is appropriate for academic research, meaning that your question can be answered with empirical, historically-grounded evidence

Addresses a current/modern-day issue that pre-modern traditions/philosophies/ perspectives can provide insight on

Raises a significant, “level 3,” debatable issue and is not theoretical, hypothetical, “should” or “would” questions that involve speculation or forecasting (level 4). Please see the “Level 3 Questions” handout for more guidance on recasting these types of questions into level-3 questions

Can be narrowed to a thesis that can be fully, logically, and convincingly supported by research and analysis of scholarly sources and course material in 1250-1750 words (+ Works Cited)

In coming up with the topic of your paper you may find it helpful to use the list of “Potential Topics for MMW 121” found in section IV of this sheet. In stating your topic, use this formula:

(Hobby/Interest/Passion) + (Contemporary problem) + (geographical region) + (activity/event) + (person/group/society/culture) + (primary or secondary texts from the course)

Note: You may leave out or combine categories to help you focus.

Part 2 :

Find one scholarly source, a peer-reviewed journal article that is related to the topic you’ve chosen. Use the MMW 121 Library Guide to help you find your scholarly source. Then, choose one of the course texts from one of your chosen course topics (remember, for Assignment 2 (Plan for the Project) and 3 (Final Draft), you must use at least one text from the “Relationship with the Environment” course topic which i will upload on PDF). List both sources in MLA format, and write a 3-4 sentence annotation for each: Summarize the argument or goal of the source and describe what insight it provides about your contemporary problem.

Part 3 :

Write 50-100 words proposing the topic and explaining why you think this would be a good topic and fulfill the requirements of the assignment for MMW 121. In particular, how would this topic lend itself to making an argument? How will your chosen sources help you discuss how pre-modern traditions can be of value in addressing your chosen contemporary problem? What do the sources you listed in Part 2 contribute to your understanding of the topic?

***Provide PDF scans of each source you used with the part you used highlighted or underlined, as instructed in “Guidelines for MMW Papers.” See also “Scanning Sources, Marking and Compiling PDFs” guide.***(see uploaded)


II. Grading Rubric

Your assignment will be evaluated based on these criteria (rubric embedded in Canvas):

Completes all 3 assigned tasks:

Uses formula productively

Finds one relevant scholarly source

Finds one relevant course source

Shows understanding of both the potential of this topic and the requirements of the assignment

Adheres to required length and format:

Sources uploaded correctly

Clearly expresses ideas and information

Overall Grade Criteria: Advanced; meets all of the above criteria at an exceptionally high level.


III. Submission Checklist

Submit these files to Canvas: Submit all of these files for the assignment to be considered complete.

One file for Assignment 1: Saved as either a .PDF or .DOCX file with a file name in this format [your full name].A1

Multiple files (one file for each) for sources: Saved as separate .PDF files with a file name in this format: [Author’s last name]_[Title of Document] (can be a short version of the title)

Please remember, your submission is automatically submitted to TAs will check all reports.


IV. Potential Topics for MMW 121


These suggested topics are NOT narrow enough for your paper, but they can get you started in your research or help you refine a paper topic. You are not limited to the areas listed below.

Animal rights, Apartheid, Authoritarianism, CapitalismCivil rights, Cities, urbanization, Citizenship, Deforestation, Digital security, Disasters, Disease,

Ecological degradation, Economic inequality, Educational access, Environment, climate, ecology, Energy, fuel, alternatives, nuclear power, Feminism, Food safety, Food scarcity, Fundamentalism; extremism, Genocide, Gentrification, Globalization, Healthcare access, Human rights, Human trafficking, Incarceration, Indigenous rights, Inequality, Injustice,

Intellectual property rights,Labor rights,LGBTQ rights,Maternal mortality,Media, news, social,Medicine, medical practices,Migration (voluntary or forced),Military-industrial complex,Natural resources,Neo-colonialism,Policing,Political movements,Political participation,Political systems,Political violence, Pollution,

Population control,Poverty,Privacy,Racism,Refugees,Reparations,

Reproductive rights, Resourcewars, Sexism, Slavery, Suburbanization, Trade, Voting rights, Warfare, Water rights, Water safety, Welfare, Women’s health,

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