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Guidelines for Position Paper Abstract

The topic of the final
position paper is entirely your choice. Choose a Science, Technology and
Society related topic that you are interested in. Primary reasons for choosing
a topic should be:

  1. you are interested in it,
  2. you have found a significant amount of information on
    this topic
  3. it is a recent topic (last 5 years), and
  4. it has been approved by the instructor.

It is likely that you
will get carried away with the vast number of interesting issues that you might
lose focus. To avoid this, give a summary of the topic of interest and submit
it in the Dropbox provided in Week 4
. The draft should be minimum one page
(1″ margin, 12 pt Times font) submitted during the fourth week along with
at least four references.

for the Position Paper

Please see the
for an overview of position papers.

A first draft of your
paper is due Midnight Sunday of Week 6.
The final report will be due Midnight Sunday of Week 8. It is
important to remain focused on the topic of interest. You will be allowed to
change the topic only once and not later than five weeks into the course. The
final report should be on the abstract you submitted during the fourth week. It
should be

  • 10 pages long (not including the title page, abstract
    and reference page),
  • 1″ margin all around,
  • 12 pt times font and
  • double spaced.

Please scan your paper
through a plagiarism checker to ensure unintentional plagiarism isn’t present.


References should be
given at the end of the report and you should indicate in the report what
information came from which source. A good rule of thumb is approximately
2-4 references per page. References can be:

  • web sites,
  • textbook (only one),
  • magazines (peer reviewed),
  • newspapers, and
  • personal contacts, i.e. someone who has a first hand
    experience with some information. (only one personal contact

References should be
given in the following format:

  • Use either MLA or APA format.
  • Web sites:
    only .edu, .gov, .org or .net websites should be used. Websites with
    .com can be used sparingly if references for information are given on the
    site. It should be indicated in your reference when the website was
    last updated. Please check the link before submitting. Credit
    will not be given for any web site that the instructor cannot
    verify. Do not use any website that can be edited by anyone
    e.g. Wikipedia or a blog which is personal web site
  • Personal reference: i.e. if you have spoken to your
    friend who works in a science of technolog industry, then give the friends
    name, place of work, date when you communicated.
  • Book: the title of the book, author, year published and
  • Pdf files: please give the page numbers you are
    referring to in the pdf files.

Position Paper Rubric

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Does Not Meet Expectations

Points Earned




Factual Information

All information

Most information

Little or no
information correct

Paper Length

Paper is 9 to 10 pages
in length

Paper is 7 to 8 pages
in length

Paper is less than 7
pages in length

Number and Variety of

Total number ofsources averages more than 2 per page. Excellent
variety of sources; excellent use of relevant materials

Adequate number of
sources(1.75 – 1.99/page); adequate use of relevant materials

Inadequate number of
sources(less than 1.74/ page); inadequate use of relevant materials


# of citations/para-graph averages 4 or more

# of citations/para-graph averages2-3.99

discussion/detail. # of citations/para-graph averages 0-1.99

Depth of Insight/Analysis

Impressive depth of

Adequate depth of


Form and Style

Effective introduction

Adequate introduction

Weak or missing


Effective conclusion

Adequate conclusion

Weak or missing


Clear organization

Adequate organization

Confusing or weak


Smooth transitions

Adequate transitions

Awkward or missing

Spelling and Grammar

No grammar errors; no
spelling mistakes

1-3 Grammar errors;
1-3spelling errors

4 or more grammar
errors; 4 or more spelling mistakes

References in
Footnotes and Bibliography

credits references

References generally
correct, few errors.

Incorrectly credits
references or credits missing

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