SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
Global Studies Program - GLBL 498
CAPSTONE SEMINAR COURSE SYLLABUS
Spring 2012


Course Details: 4 Semester Units
Monday & Wednesday 12-1:50pm
Stev. 3036

Instructor: Tom Shaw, Ph.D.

 

Carson Hall 54
(707) 664-3181
tomashaw@verizon.net (best way to contact me)
Ofc Hrs Weds, 2-3:30pm

I. Course Rationale and Objectives


The Global Studies major helps students develop an understanding of the causes and consequences of problems that impact people around the globe. Majors are exposed to theories, analyses, and action agendas borrowing from a variety of academic disciplines as they explore how people confront and meet the challenges of important global issues.

In the final year of their studies, students in the Global Studies program are required to present a research paper which demonstrates the analytic skills, knowledge and attitudes they have acquired in the course of their education. The thesis paper therefore represents a "capstone” or crowning achievement in their undergraduate studies. The paper must look critically at a global issue and present an original analysis that results from the student’s careful review of information and data culled from their research.

In the paper, the student analyzes the conditions and contributing factors leading to a particular global issue that is of genuine interest to the student. H/She discusses how and why the issue persists, as well as what might help resolve it. Frequently the student presents an analysis in the form of evidence to support an argument. For the proposal to be accepted, the research must cover at least three academic disciplines from the student’s undergraduate coursework. The final paper should be betweem 14 and 16 pages of exposition and analysis, with extra pages possibly devoted to tables and graphs, pictures, a cover page and a bibliography.

The Capstone Seminar has several pedagogical objectives:

1. To give students an opportunity to work together and support each other in their progress towards a final capstone achievement.
2. To enable students to draw on, and synthesize, the different elements of their interdisciplinary undergraduate education.
3. To enable students to feel confident in expressing their own original arguments and analyses.
4. To deepen and strengthen students' expertise in a particular region and global issue.
5. To sharpen students' critical thinking abilities.

The course is designed to maximize opportunities for students to help each other, and to navigate challenges along the way towards a finished paper. For example, throughout the course students are expected to coach their peers as they develop an initial topic, identify relevant resources, organize and structure their argument, develop evidence that supports their argument, identify useful visual aids (pictures and graphs), build an engaging narrative and draw conclusions.

Students are expected to come to class already familiar with the styles of argument and analysis in various academic disciplines. Also, they should already be proficient in their academic writing.

This course gives students an opportunity to share with their peers in a collegial learning environment. Indeed grading on "participation" in the class will account for how active a student has been in mentoring others in the class. Collegial learning is good preparation for participation in policy development in an organizational setting, as well as for postgraduate study.


II. Course Format


The course will operate in a seminar format, with opportunities to work both in small groups and as a class as a whole. Active and regular participation in the Seminar is an inherent part of the Capstone Seminar experience.

Grade points will be deducted for students who miss more that two classes during the semester.

Grading for the course is as follows:

1. Attendance --- 5% of grade

No penalty for 2 absences. Minus 3% for 3 absences. Minus 5% for 4 or more

2. Meeting deadlines in a timely fashion -- 20% of grade

 

What

When
Due

Grade % deduction

statement of the problem, initial 1/25 .5
2nd reader form 2/6 1
statement of the problem, revised 2/8 .5
structure of argument 2/15 1
capstone proposal 2/22 1
1st draft to instructor (evidence/case studies) 3/7 2
1st draft to 2nd reader 3/21 2
counterexamples/evidence 4/2 1
Annotated outline-3 parts 4/9 1
2nd draft to 2nd reader 4/11 2
last draft to instructor 4/18 3
final papers to instructor and 2nd readers 5/2 5
TOTAL   20

4. Participation -- 5% of grade

Participation includes more than just attending class regularly, but also helping others develop their ideas, structure their arguments, and organize their papers.

3. Final Paper -- 70% of grade

Criteria used to evaluate papers will be discussed in class, and shared with outside readers of students’ papers. The scores of the two readers (instructor and 2nd reader) are averaged. Final grades are based on a maximum possible 1000 points (800 for the paper + 200 for the end-of-semester oral presentation to students and others who may be invited.

The final paper should be no less than 12 pgs. and no more than 16 pgs in length, and formatted using MLA.  Cover page, bibliography, and separate appendices for charts or graphs (optional) are not numbered.  The font should be 12pt. with 1 inch margins on all sides.

Breakdown of grades:

Satisfactory Performance:
925 -1000 = A
900 -924 = A -
875 -899 = B +
775 -799 = C +
825 -874 = B
725 -774 = C
800 -824 = B -
700 -724 = C
Unsatisfactory Performance:
675-699 = C-
625-674 = D+
600 -624 = D
0 - 599 = F

A final paper/presentation score of less than 700 points will result in unsatisfactory completion of the Capstone Seminar requirement for the purpose of graduation.

III. Course Materials

The following reading will be used for various course assignments: “Writing Empirical Research Reports: A Basic Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences” by Fred Pyrczak and Randall R. Bruce. 6th Edition. Published by Pyrczak Publishing.

The following publications are recommended:

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: 6th Edition
University of Chicago Press, 1996 (or more current edition)

Argument and Evidence: Critical Analysis for the Social Sciences by Peter Phelan

Read how to make an argument in a research paper -- here


IV. Individual Assistance


Individual meetings with the instructor will be scheduled at certain critical points in the development of the student’s research. Appointments should be scheduled a week in advance.


V. Course Meeting Schedule and Planned Topics

 

DATES

TOPICS

ASSIGNMENTS

Weds, Jan. 18 Course, expectations, deadlines  

Mon, Jan 23

Discuss what it means to have an argument, do an analysis.
Students reflect on interests and education to date
read making an argument here
Wed, Jan 25 Peer review "statement of the problem"

Bring "statement of the problem" to class
See sample statement here.

Mon, Jan 30 Peer review "statement of the problem"  
Wed, Feb 1 Structure of Final Paper
Further peer review of students' Intros
Identify second reader
Mon, Feb 6 Searching databases: library visit Due: Second reader agrees and signs
Wed, Feb 8 Peer review of how you plan to analyze the problem Due: "Intros" (SOPs) -- 1-2 paragraphs.  Explain not only WHAT, but also HOW you plan to do your analysis.
Mon, Feb 13 Peer review of how you plan to analyze the problem  
Wed, Feb 15 Discuss Capstone Thesis Proposal Due: How you plan to analyze the problem -- 1-2 pages
Mon, Feb 20 How to make an argument in a research paper
Evidence of good arguments/bad arguments
Due: (re)read making an argument, and focus on evidence.
 Wed, Feb 22 Using case studies Due: Capstone Thesis Proposal -- all sections
Mon, Feb 27 How to paraphrase  
Wed, Feb 29 Proper use of quotes
Explaining facts, pictures, graphs, tables, stats
 
Mon, Mar 5 E-portfolio review  
Wed, Mar 7 E-portfolio review Due: first draft to instructor: 4-5 pgs. includes: a) Statement of the Problem, b) Plan for Analysis, and c) annotated outline of Evidence/Cases
Mon, Mar 12 Individual meetings with instructor  
Wed, Mar 14 Individual meetings with instructor  
Mon, Mar 19 Pruning: writing only that which supports your analysis  
Wed, Mar 21 Writing tutorial Due: 1st draft to 2nd reader -- min 5 pgs
Mon, Mar 26 SPRING BREAK  
Wed, Mar 28 SPRING BREAK  
Mon, Apr 2 Using counter examples to support your argument  
Wed, Apr 4 Peer review of counter points Due: Description of counter-examples/evidence
Mon, Apr 9 Giving a talk  
Wed, Apr 11 Student's "dry run" presentations in class Drafts (2nd) to 2nd readers due: min 8 pgs
Mon, Apr 16 Writing tutorial  
Wed, Apr 18 Writing tutorial Drafts to instructor due: min 10 pgs
Mon, Apr 23 Individual meetings with instructor  
Wed, Apr 25 Individual meetings with instructor  
Mon, Apr 30 Trial presentations in class  
Wed, May 2

Trial presentations in class

Final papers due to instructor and 2nd reader:

Thurs, May 10

Fri, May 11

11-1pm (to 1:15 on Friday)