Human Rights

Dr Tom Kerns













An important note about
writing your research paper



Writing teachers tell us that it is important to know who your audience is, i.e., to have clearly in mind the people to whom you are addressing your writing. For this research paper, your audience will be your fellow students.

More importantly, as you write your paper for this course, one thing that will be important to include in your paper are connections you see between what you’re learning in your researches and what we’ve been studying in class.

In other words, this is to be a paper addressed to your fellow students here in this course. They are your audience, so it will be important to relate (at least tangentially) the ideas in your researches to any books or ideas we’ve been exploring in class, and the discussions we’ve been having in the classroom. (Without including some of these connections your paper will be considered incomplete and will probably not earn a passing grade.)

Thus, this is to be not just a generic term paper, but a research paper specifically addressed to people you now know a little bit, who have read, written about and discussed the same books you've read this quarter. So in your writing of the paper, assume the following:

i. that your readers will probably be interested in your topic,

ii. that they are intelligent readers (so you don’t need to talk down to them -- you can write a fairly scholarly paper), and

iii. that their understanding will probably be enhanced by your showing connections between what you’ve researched and what they’ve already read and discussed in class.