The assignment is to write an abstract (a 200 to 350-word summary of your paper topic and argument, including a proposed title) and identify five academic references. The professor and TA will give feedback on your abstract and references, so that you can make improvements to your paper topic and argument afterwards.
Topic - You can select any topic, as long as it is related to “global pandemics”. You can choose to focus on a specific pandemic disease (even one that we did not focus on in the class), or you can examine a few similar or different diseases as examples for your discussion of a specific topic. In order to think about various topics that you could discuss, think about the various themes that we examine and discuss in relation to each disease (e.g. globalization, modernization, inequality, etc.). For your abstract, what is important is that you make sure to clearly state what is the question you are examining in your paper, and what is the argument you plan to develop. Make sure your topic and question(s) are not too broad or vague. If you are not sure about how to formulate a question and argument for our paper, if you are not sure about how to write them as an abstract, or if you have any other questions about this assignment, come to office hours with the professor and/or the TA this week, or reach out to us over Canvas message or email to ask for support.
References - You need to cite 5 academic references (e.g. journal articles and academic book chapters) in addition to any texts you might find useful to cite from the syllabus. You can cite more references if you would like, and you can also cite additional non-academic references (journalistic sources, etc.). DO NOT cite the lectures from our class, you need to learn how to research, identify, and work with academic texts (e.g. journal articles and academic book chapters). You do NOT need to annotate the references (just listing the references you plan to use is fine) at this stage. You will be able to add and remove references later as needed, the point here is to make sure you have gotten started identifying real academic texts that can be useful for your final paper.
Reference and citation format - You can use any reference style that you like (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), as long as it is consistent. The format is not so important, what really matters is that you use proper citation practices when you write your final research paper. Please contact the writing resource center for support with ample time in advance of your submission of the final paper. Also, if you use non-English references, you need to translate them into English and include the references in the original language.
Other information and Submission - You need to include your full name, name of the class, proposed title of your final paper together with the abstract and references. You will have three times to submit your assignment before the extended due date.
Please note that all the submissions will be scanned in Turn-it-in.
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