Term Paper TERM PAPER SUGGESTIONS: There are three basic types of term

Term Paper
There are three basic types of term paper:
RESEARCH: Essentially, a syllogism: the author pinpoints a problem and offers a solution through a discursive argument and analysis of the available data. The scope of the problem may vary from a very broad to a minuscule one. (This is the most academic and formal style, which appeals to a more rigorous mind, usually with a previous exposure to the discipline.)
As we all know, there are more questions than answers in any serious branch of knowledge; accordingly, a paper which takes a fresh look at the data and outlines a new problem (even without offering a definite solution) is equally welcome.
ESSAY: A literary critique; a more personal look at the data from a certain point of view, – such as a cultural perspective or a value judgment; social/ educational relevance; individual experience, etc. Critical essay does not have to prove anything, but has to make its point and pass some judgment. (This type may appeal to a creative mind or an individual of highly personal involvement.)
REPORT: A review of the significant work(s) in the field. A concentrated, digestible, accurate and well-pointed review, though least creative or personal type, may be the most academic outcome. (This type of paper may appeal to a busy mind which has no time to spare for creative efforts, but is willing to learn directly from the sources available.)
There is no clear-cut distinction between the above types of papers: each type includes the elements of the others. (Both a research and an essay include a review of the data; an essay implies some research; a research incorporates the critical approach; any report of the data contains the elements of analysis and critical judgment.)
Any of the above types is welcome as a term paper style.
Formal requirements:
Paper length is expected to be, though not limited to, ~3 pages long.
At the beginning, indicate your name; course; date; paper title.
At the end, append a short bibliography of the consulted sources (3 entries minimum).
In your Bibliography (or References, or Sources):
First, list the editions (translations) of the classical authors: alphabetically, by the author’s name and work, accompanied by the name of the translator; the publisher and the year of publication.
Next, list the critical works alphabetically by the scholar’s name; the title of the book or article; the journal or publisher; the year of publication.
In larger lists of reference, the year is often brought up first (printed under the name of the author on the left side of the page). Whatever is your choice of bibliographic style, be consistent.
Throughout your paper:
Refer to the passages from classical authors by the author’s name; the title; the traditional line/ paragraph numbers given in your translation. (You may, if you choose, use the standard abbreviations adopted in classical scholarship; not required for term papers.)
If your translation does not indicate the traditional lines/ paragraphs adopted in the editions of classical authors, then refer to the book page of your translation.
Reference to the classical passages (loci classici) is given in parentheses within the text: do not make a footnote at the bottom of the page.
Refer to the scholarly works by the author’s name; the year of publication and the page quoted.
Footnotes with critical reference at the bottom of the pages are becoming optional; you may as well refer to your sources in parentheses within the major text. Let the style be your choice.
IF YOU QUOTE VERBATIM FROM A CRITICAL WORK, use the quotation mark and INDICATE YOUR SOURCE. (Web-references are getting rather common these days.) Extensive direct quotation with no recognition of the source will be deemed plagiarism.
Essential considerations:
Preface your paper with an introductory paragraph (a concise digest of your work – actually, to be written last, but first to meet the reader’s attention) – state your theme; highlight its important aspects; share preliminary results, etc. – prepare the reader to what will follow.
Conclude your paper with a paragraph of a summary (basically, repeat the same preview as a review, reminding the reader, who already knows what you have to say, of what it is you wish to be known.
Within the paper, divide your flow of though into paragraphs. (For longer papers, small section subtitles may be helpful.) Take care to provide a smooth transition between the ideas/ sections of your paper.
What will count:
Correct diction/ spelling/ syntax.
Style of presentation/ editorial quality.
Pertinence of your paper to the nature of the course.
Extent of the knowledge of the material. (You do not have to pile up irrelevant information; your grasp of the data is apparent from the way you handle your subject.)
The quality of critical argument: analysis; insight; supporting data.
Organization of the data.
Paper evaluation will equally accommodate the elements of logical argument; personal insight and organizational skills, making room the variety of individual interests and academic tastes.
Practical suggestions:
Evaluate the time you need to write a short paper, the time you are willing to spend for the task, and the time you can afford. (All those vary significantly! Often the best minds are slowest writers.)
If you are working simultaneously on a paper in a related discipline, you may combine the research and use the same data for both classes.
Chose a topic that engages/entertains you most. E.g.:
Discuss a character/type.
Discuss an episode/typical situation.
Compare the parallel elements, episodes or themes in different authors.
Discuss the author’s position on a specific issue.
Trace a theme: childhood; arts; hunt; dreams; gifts; love, etc. Discuss their functions and related metaphors.
Write a review of a book or several related articles.
Contact me with general or particular questions/suggestions.