Paper One in CSC 442 Section B at UIS Transcript


Today's podcast is about the Paper One assignment in CSC 442 Section B at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  For more information, visit the blog at


Well, welcome back!  This is Burks Oakley, and today is Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014.  I'm speaking to you from my rented condo in beautiful Naples, Florida.

In this podcast, I'll cover some important aspects of your first paper, which is due by noon central time on Friday, March 14th.  For the Paper One assignment, you are to write a 2000-word paper that deals with how the Internet has impacted an area of YOUR life in the past few years.  For ideas, you might want to look at the weekly topics that we are covering in CSC 442, or any of the topics included in the Pew Internet Life project.  Or you just might want to think creatively about some way that your life is impacted on a daily basis by the Internet and the World Wide Web.  The paper, then, is to focus on how personally your life is impacted by the Internet in some important way.

I want to begin by telling you some of the things that I look for in this paper.  I actually read the paper from back to front -- that is, I look at the references first.  I look at the number of references, the variety, and especially the formatting.  There's no excuse not to have proper formatting for the online references.  And, in fact, in Week 5 in the syllabus, there is a link to a great website showing how to cite references obtained from the Internet.

Of course, in the paper itself, I'll be looking for a good development of the idea, the main topic of your paper -- and that is how the Internet has impacted your life in the past few years.

And in reading through your paper, I'll be looking for good grammar, spelling, punctuation -- and good paragraph structure.  You should know that in the past, I've seen a couple papers where there's been a two page paragraph that just seemed to go on and on and on.  It didn't have any single topic, it didn't make much sense, and so I'll certainly be looking at how YOU structure your paper.

Remember that this paper is to be about how the Internet has impacted YOUR life.  It is not to be about the potential for the Internet to impact someone else.  So if the paper is about how YOU have a business selling things on eBay, it shouldn't end up giving instructions to the readers on how THEY could set-up a similar business on eBay.

You will write your paper in two phases.  In Phase One - the planning and discussion phase - you will select a topic (completely your choice), and then propose this topic to the class (and get my approval), and also locate several Internet resources that are related to this topic.  Other students then will be required to assist you by suggesting additional ideas, organizational strategies, web resources, etc.  You will not receive full credit for your paper if you do not assist at least three other students with their papers during the Phase One discussions.

Of course, as part of this process, other students will be giving YOU input during the Phase One discussions, and I'll be looking at how you integrated the comments from the other students into your paper.  And, of course, I'll go back and look at the Phase One discussions in Blackboard and see what you contributed to others.  In the past, I've had a number of cases where students wrote great papers, clearly A work, but they lost ten points out of one hundred because they didn't contribute a thing to other students in the Phase One discussions.

In Phase Two - the submission phase - you will write your paper, have it checked by a plagiarism detection website (which is called Turn-It-In), and submit your paper as an attachment to a posting in Blackboard (for evaluation and for class discussion).

You might want to find a buddy in the class and share a draft of your paper with this person, so that you can exchange comments on each other's papers.  Hopefully that will improve both of them.  In addition, I'll be glad to comment on a rough draft of your paper, if you post it well before the March 14th deadline.  And remember that I have a number of good papers, really very good papers, posted in Blackboard at the start of the Phase One discussion forum.  You might want to go back and re-read these papers as you start writing your own paper. 

The main course website has a checklist for what you have to have in this paper, as well as the grading rubric, itemizing what I'm looking for with point distributions.  Those handout scan be viewed by clicking on the "Course Website" button on the "Main Course Menu" at the left of the window when viewing our course in Blackboard.

Finally, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this assignment.


Well, that wraps up this podcast, so until next time, this is Burks, signing off.