CSCE 181: Introduction to Computing
Spring 2010
Long Report

The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice with writing a longer paper, where issues of organization will come up more than in the short reports.

Choose one of the following topics from the following list. The topics are divided, somewhat arbitrarily, into two types: a survey vs. a more focused exploration of a question. You may wish to fine tune one of the general and broad topics given below. If you prefer a different topic, it must be approved by Dr. Welch.

Survey topics: The challenge here will be to scope your topic appropriately for a 5-7 page paper.

Answering a question topic: How does ______ work? Schedule: Note: If Draft #1 or #2 is sufficiently good, then you can stop there.

Formatting your drafts:

What to turn in: How your paper will be graded: Each of the following will be assessed:
  1. Topic and initial references turned in (1 to 5 points).
  2. Drafts turned in (1 to 5 points).
  3. Quality of final version (1 to 25 points, see below).
Aspect 1 point 2-3 points 4-5 points
Content/Scope Student fails to demonstrate any effort toward researching a question. Student displays an effort toward academic research; may stray from focus of thesis or fail to reach the necessary 5-7 page length. Student reaches beyond the obvious facts and shows a familiarity with the topic chosen; stays on topic and stays within requested length of paper.
Organization There is no evidence of paragraph structure; student does not present ideas in a logical manner. Evidence of paragraphs and organization of ideas is present; there may be some instances where the reader recognizes an illogical flow of sentences or tangential remarks. Overall, formatting rules are followed. Organization of the paper is present. The reader is able to clearly follow the writer's logic and paragraphs are strategically placed in the paper. Formatting rules are followed.
Style/Tone (cf. Zobel, Chs 2-3) Student does not incorporate appropriate style into the paper; frequent use of run-on sentences or paragraphs, or incoherent sentences occur. Student displays ideas in a logical manner. Word choice is primarily clear and direct. Few violations of standards for tone. Student conveys ideas concisely and accurately. Word choice is clear and direct. Student displays mastery of variation and parallelism in sentence structure. Tone is appropriate for the genre.
Grammar and Punctuation Errors occur frequently and mar the reader's comprehension. The writer has not proofread effectively. Punctuation and grammar errors may occur but are few; while they occasionally distract the reader and cause less fluency, they do not detract from comprehension. Punctuation and grammar are appropriate to the audience and genre. They conform to the conventions for edited American English. Errors may occur but are few and do no markedly distract the reader.
References Student uses inadequate sources or fails to cite outside sources. Student uses appropriate, academic sources, but does not cite correctly. Student uses appropriate sources and correct citation style.