Currency and Culture (research paper)

This is the second of two research assignments on currency and culture. You will probably extend the work you did for your oral presentation, though, with approval, you may also switch topics.

For this paper, you will select a specific group of people with a common currency, who shares a set of traits such as shared beliefs, historical time, governmental structure and/or geography. You will construct a thesis paper which explores how the currency affects and is influenced by the people's culture. This will require you to elaborate on the research you did for your oral presentation, and, in addition, do more research on the culture itself.

This paper should be based on solid facts drawn from your own research, so be sure to read Lunsford's discussion of a research paper in chapters 10-13, including 12g and 13c on citing sources. Choose the quantity and quality of your sources carefully. If you include too few good sources, you'll be uninformed; if you choose too many, you risk writing a paper consisting mostly of other people's ideas rather than your own ideas. Unless your topic is unusual, your sources should mostly include published sources, and not merely unpublished web sources.

You should formulate your paper around a single, interesting, focused thesis, which you will support using hard evidence. An interesting thesis usually will connect two ideas that aren't usually connected. Less commonly, a thesis is interesting simply because it's controversial. While your thesis should easily be discerned after one reading of your paper, I ask that you identify your thesis statement with a highlighter.

Your paper should be about 1200-2100 words (4-7 pages). The research paper constitutes 35% of your course grade, 10% for the first draft, 25% for the final draft. Both will be graded according to the same criteria listed below.

Citations and bibligraphy

Any statement you make which isn't common knowledge or which isn't argued within your paper should include a citation (see Lunsford). Common knowledge is any knowledge which you might expect a typical member of your audience (in this case, a classmate) to have.

In your bibliography, in addition to Lunsford's guidelines, add one sentence to each reference which explains to the reader why the source is (or isn't) reputable.

Be sure to document (i.e., provide citations for) any evidence you provide. Beware of making assertions based on hearsay rather than research. In addition, be sure to document information about your chosen culture as well as information about their currency.

Grading guidelines

You will be assessed primarily on your ability to argue a clear and appropriate thesis that focuses on the relationship between a people and their currency. For this particular paper, I will use the following grading guidelines. (These guidelines are taken nearly verbatim from Lewis Hyde.)

Don't forget...