WPI Social Implications Of Computing
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--- Paper Guidelines ---
All papers due second class after assigned.

Please turn in papers on Canvas. 

It is expected papers will be submitted at least 10 minutes before the
start of class. Please talk me about options if you cannot, but still
submit what you have.

Use the paper template available in the Assignments section of this site.

Name file "FirstnameLastname-Topic.docx"

Maximum of one page may be turned in, not counting references or appendices.

If you find yourself exceeding one page, try removing any repetition and 
adjectives; we want the meat of your argument, not fluff.

Steps for writing papers:
1. Research topic, keep sources and notes
2. Decide your conclusion
3. Outline logical argument, do additional research as needed
4. Write paper including 5 high quality sources
   4.1 One per argument statement, counter point, and counter point rebuttal

	Example Paper Outline and Grading Rubric
	Name		Paper Topic
	State Conclusion                (1 pt)
	State Argument                  (3 pt)
	State Counter Point             (1 pt)
	State Rebuttal to Counter Point (1 pt)
	5 High Quality References       (1 pt)

        Turning in sincere effort	(1 pt)

A very solid argument, counter point, or rebuttal statement will be
free of logical fallacy and usually has supporting data from a high
quality source.

There is a very nice example essay in Appendix B of the text book.
For this class just one modiication is needed:
The first two paragraphs can be reduced to 0-2 sentences given the
assignment scopes the paper for you and we have a base understanding
from the text book and similar academic experience.

Common Feedback

- Quantify everything you can
   - Avoid words like many, a lot, great, big, tiny, small, huge, less, more,
     growing, faster, quicker, easier, etc.

- Make decisive conclusions
   - may, could, etc. = trivial

- Absolute statements are difficult to prove
   - Avoid: all, always, any, every, everyone, never, none, etc. unless you can show it

- Be sure to put quotes around entire quote

- Hyperbole is the best thing ever!
   - but not in these papers

- Use template, saves time, grading rubric, helpful reminders

- Read assignment, ask if unsure

- Argument should directly support conclusion

- Response should directly address counter point

- Blogs are usually not good sources for academic work

- Use and cite supporting data from high quality sources: peer reviewed, editorial process

- medium.com may appear like newspaper articles but have no peer review or editorial process,
  StackOverflow.com likewise

----- General Writing Tips -----

- Adverse and Averse
  "Adverse" means harmful, unfavorable: 
    "Adverse performance on my assignments caused me to earn a poor grade."
  "Averse" refers to feelings of dislike or opposition: 
    "I was averse to doing all the work required to earn a good grade."

- Affect and Effect as Verbs
  "Affect" means to influence: 
    "Preparing my presentation at the last minute adversely affected my grade."
  "Effect" means to accomplish something: 
    "My group effected a clear and powerful presentation."

- Affect and Effect as Nouns
  "Effect" is almost always correct: 
    "Do not forget your personal effects when leaving class."
  "Affect" refers to an emotional state, you have little reason to use it.

- Bring and Take
  You bring things "here" and you "take" them there. 
  You ask people to "bring" something to you, and you ask people to "take" 
  something to someone or somewhere else.

- Compliment and Complement
  "Compliment" means to say something nice.
  "Complement" means to add to, enhance, improve, complete, or bring close to perfection.

  "I complimented the instructor on how he used class time to effectively 
  complement the text book material."

- Criteria and Criterion
  One "criterion", two or more "criteria". 
- Discreet and Discrete
  "Discreet" means careful, cautious, showing good judgment: 
    "I made discreet suggestions on how the instructor could improve the course."
  "Discrete" means individual, separate, or distinct: 
    "I provided a list of several discrete ways the instructor could improve the course." 
- Elicit and Illicit
  "Elicit" means to draw out or coax. "Illicit" means illegal.

- Farther and Further
  "Farther" involves a physical distance: 
    "The end of the term is farther than the beginning."
  "Further" involves a figurative distance: 
    "We can take this ethical debate no further."

- Number and Amount
  Use "number" when you can count what you refer to: 
    "The number of assignments required for this class is staggering.
  "Amount" refers to a quantity of something that can't be counted: 
    "The amount of work required for this class is staggering."

- Fewer and Less
  Use "fewer" for things you can count, "fewer hours" or "fewer dollars."
  Use "less" things you can't or didn't count, "less time" or "less money."

- Imply and Infer
  The speaker or writer "implies" or suggests. 
  The listener or reader "infers" or deduces, correctly or not.

  I might imply you're going to receive a good grade. And you might infer that a
  good grade is assured even if you bomb the group project, much to your

- Insure and Ensure
  "Insure" refers to insurance. "Ensure" means to make sure.

- Irregardless and Regardless
  Just use regardless.

- Precede and Proceed
  "Precede" means to come before. "Proceed" means to begin or continue. 

- Principal and Principle
  A "principle" is a fundamental, referring to laws, rules, guidelines, ethics, etc.: 
    "Society is based on a set of shared principles."
  "Principal" means primary or of first importance, referring to the CEO, 
  president, or individual in charge of a high school: 
    "Our principal engineers really know their stuff."

  "Principal" can also refer to the most important item in a particular set:
    "Our principal assignment accounts for 40% of our grade."

  "Principal" can also refer to a sum of money.

- Slander and Libel
  Slander is spoken. Libel is written and published.
  Both are harmful and untruthful.
- It's and Its
  "It's" is the contraction of "it is".
  Try un-contracting the word, turn "it's" into "it is": 
    "It's D Term," becomes, "It is D Term."
  "Its" specifies ownership.

- They're and Their
  "They're" is the contraction for "they are".
  "Their" specifies ownership.

- Who's and Whose
  "Who's" is the contraction for "Who is".
  "Whose" specifies ownership.

- You're and Your
  "You're" is the contraction of "you are". 
  "Your" specifies ownership.

- Mr. Yankovic sums it up nicely: Word Crimes

- A very nice, though longer, perspective on writing:
  Leadership Lab: The Craft of Writing Effectively
  Larry McEnerney, 2005-09-14, UChicago Social Sciences.

Keith A. Pray
Last Modified: March 22, 2024 1:32 PM
© 2024 - 1975 Keith A. Pray.
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