Essay 3–The Conference Paper

You have, by now, written your proposal for the final paper.  Thus, you’ve identified a purpose and a topic.

Here’s what we’re looking for in the actual paper you write for this conference.  Keep in mind that you will not be reading this paper word-for-word when you present.

Content: Decide what your purpose is: will you be analyzing a text or texts for political, philosophical, or thematic questions?  Will you be arguing for a position or view?  Are you critiquing a philosophical or thematic position?  Be sure that this purpose is clear to the reader.  Then, make sure you support this purpose with clear, thoughtful reasoning.  Most importantly, perhaps, engage us as readers.  Keep us interested. Don’t get too abstract.  Be sure to include concrete examples or illustrative quotes, etc.  You might consider approaching this pragmatically:  what difference in our thinking are you hoping to achieve?  What makes your topic significant or interesting?

Criteria: We will be looking, first, for an engaging and insightful thesis, something that gets us thinking about the topic(s) you cover from a new angle.  This being RIT, it should, of course, be innovative.  Secondly, we are looking for clear, lively, and interesting writing. Don’t just go through the motions. Write something you’d like to read.  Thirdly, the paper should be well organized.  Don’t meander, avoid needless repetition, provide transitions and links.  Be sure to support your reading or interpretation:  consider objections and questions and try to head them off.  Be deep in your analysis as opposed to superficial or vague.  Finally, be sure to achieve clarity in your syntax and correctness in grammar.

Format: The paper should be about 7 pages long (about 1700 words or so).  One inch margins, 12 point font, double-spaced, no cover page, please.

Due Date: Tuesday, May 19


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