international law

occasional mistake

INR3403: Research Paper Assignment


This research paper assignment is designed for you to choose a topic of international law and, using cases, treaties, and other documents, analyze how those cases/treaties/etc. have changed or impacted our understanding of your chosen topic. Your paper must be between 7- 10 pages and include one to three relevant cases/treaties/etc. that illustrate the importance of your chosen topic. The research paper assignment is worth 25% of your overall grade and consists of three parts: research topic (5%), first page and annotated bibliography (5%), and the completed paper (15%). Formatting information will be provided in a subsequent section.

If you have any questions about the assignment, please email me, set up an office hours appointment, or post to the general discussion board.

thesis statement

Research Topic: 5%

Your chosen research topic must be submitted to Canvas by January 30th at 10:00pm EST. Your research topic submission must include a paragraph describing what topic of interna- tional law you would like to explore in more detail, a thesis statement, and list one to three potential sources for your completed paper. (You may reuse these sources for your annotated bibliography.) After submission, I will approve your topic or ask you to choose another topic based on my feedback. If your topic is not approved, you will have an additional week to resubmit another topic idea.

It might be helpful to look at the textbook and/or syllabus for inspiration. You can choose a topic that we will be discussing in class, but you cannot exclusively use sources from the textbook or those cases that we will be discussing in class. Make sure your topic and thesis are specific enough that you will be able to complete the assignment within the page count. If you have questions, please contact me in a timely manner before the assignment is due, so that I have enough time to respond and provide guidance.

First Page and Annotated Bibliography: 5%

The first page of your paper and an annotated bibliography are due February 20th by 10:00pm EST. must meet the formatting standards of the completed paper and contain at least one in-text citation. should have be an intro- duction to your paper and contain your thesis statement. Introductions are your opportunity to grab the attention of your reader and explain to them why your topic is important.

The bibliography and citation style that you must use for this paper is Chicago Style. For more information on Chicago Style citations please click here. (If you are using Microsoft Word, their internal reference manager includes Chicago Style.) The annotated bibliography must contain at least five sources that meet the Chicago-Style formatting criteria. For each source, you must write a one sentence summary of the source and explain how you intend


international law

to use the source in your final paper. You are allowed to use the sources that you provided in your research topic submission.

Acceptable sources include books, academic journal articles, treaties, case documents, infor- mation from official organizations (UN, EU, NATO, etc.), and news articles (print or online) from reputable news sources. Sources that provide summaries or overviews of topics, such as Wikipedia, are not acceptable sources for this paper. Wikipedia can be a useful way to find sources, but you need to read and synthesize the materials cited yourself rather than rely on the Wikipedia editor. If you have any questions about whether something is an acceptable source of information, please do not hesitate to email me.

Final Paper: 15%

Your final paper is due March 27th by 10:00pm EST. The paper must be between 7 and 10 pages long. Cover pages and reference pages do not count towards your overall page count. A cover page is not required but it is recommended.

occasional mistake

Things to keep in mind when you are writing:

� Use quotes sparingly. Quotes should be used to add context or support your argument. Do not rely on them to make your argument for you.

� Keep your sentences short and to the point. Sentences should not be the length of paragraphs.

� Use paragraphs to make one argument. When you need to make a new argument, make a new paragraph. A single paragraph should not be the length of a page.

� Vary your sentence structure. Do not start your sentences and paragraphs the same way every time. This will make your paper more enjoyable to read and will prevent it from being repetitive.

� Use active voice in your writing. Try to avoid using the passive voice.

� Make sure you pick a tense and stick with it. Do not mix present and past tense in your papers.

� A good rule of thumb is that you should have at least as many citations as the number of pages in your paper. Do not base your entire paper on one source.

� Do not plagiarize or you will fail the assignment.

� Read your paper out loud. This is a great way to catch grammatical mistakes or missing words. It is okay to make the occasional mistake, but if mistakes become distracting to my ability to read and understand your paper, you will be marked down.


international law

Formatting Guidelines

Your paper must meet the formatting guidelines or you will lose points on the assignment. If you have any questions about the formatting, please email me or contact me for an appointment.

� Papers must be double spaced and use 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font. You are allowed to use section headings to organize your paper. Section headings should be the same size and font as the rest of the paper, but bolded.

� Page numbers must be displayed at the bottom of each page, except for on the cover page. Your name and the course number must appear either on the cover page, the first page of your paper, or as a footer on each content page.

� Margins must be one inch all the way around. All outside materials and quotes must be cited using the Chicago Manual of Style. You are allowed to cite the textbook and my lectures, including the powerpoints. Do not plagiarize others’ work.

� Citations must be in-text. Do not use footnotes or end notes to cite your sources.

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