POLI0068 Papers

Lest the IBGM students think I've forgotten them, here is a rundown on your research paper assignment, which is due by the end of business on Friday, 7 December. A hard copy should be deposited at the PPA Department office (Meng Wah, Room 622). Please take note of the late paper and plagiarims policies.

As noted in the syllabus, you are working in teams of two unless you prefer to work on your own. If you are working with a partner, the paper should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words. If you are going solo, then the length should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.

I have asked for teams or individuals to submit a paper proposal (outline format, 12 pt. font, double spaced, one-inch margins). What I would like to do is post these proposals online with links to the course blog. This will, I hope, allow you to exchange ideas among your colleagues and perhaps gain from other people's insights. The proposal should include (1) a thesis statement (a summary of the central argument of your paper) and (2) a general outline (a plan for how you will organize background information, arguments, refutation of counter-arguments, and conclusions to support your thesis), and (3) a bibliography of at least five sources.

Once you are ready with your proposal, just send it to me by e-mail and I can post it. I will then give you or your team five minutes or so to present your proposal in tutorial.

I realize that we need to get moving on the paper proposal presentations. I should have moved forward on this sooner. If anybody is prepared to make their presentation on Wednesday, 31 October, please let me know and I will schedule it. It would be great if two or three of you could do so. I would like as many of you as possible to give your presentation in tutorial on 7 November. It might be possible to do all or nearly all of them. The remainder will have to do so at a special voluntary tutorial perhaps in the afternoon of 14 November (or some other mutually arranged date and time) or in tutorial on 28 November. I would rather not have anybody wait until 28 November as that will be quite close to the due date. The main reason for the presentations is to allow for some constructive exchange of ideas that will help you with your writing.

What makes a good topic? You should select an issue relating to Hong Kong's role in the world. As with the POLI0019 editorials, the key is not to choose anything that is too broad, though with 3,000-plus words to play with, you have much more space than in an opinion piece. The paper should seek to answer a particular question or set of questions. This is a research paper so it should be organized as such, with a clear thesis, a line of argument, key points made in a systematic way, refutation of counter-arguments, and a conclusion that may suggest topics or ideas for further research. The paper should be properly annotated, i.e. sources should be noted, and include a bibliography. Please note the policy on online sources as described in the syllabus.

As always, please aim to write as best you can with correct grammar and spelling. But I am fully aware that not everybody's English is to native standard.

If you would like to discuss your topic or any other aspect of this assignment with me, please don't hesitate to arrange an appointment.