GGRA03 Cities and Environments Assignment 3

By April 10, 2018Academic Papers




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GGRA03 Cities and Environments

Spring Term 2018

ASSIGNMENT 3: News Media Research Paper (20%)



This is your final written assignment for this class (hooray!), and it should build right from the news article critique you wrote about in Assignment 2. Your goal is to now do some research on the topic of your chosen news article from A2, and now to write an informed and well-researched paper on this topic based on what you have learned by finding and reading THREE peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject.   


SKILL BUILDING GOALS Synthesizing information from different sources, critical analysis and referencing skills.


Detailed instructions:


In a paper of about 1500 words (100 over or under is fine but try to keep within these limits), write a clearly written, well-structured and well-argued research paper on your news article topic. The paper must have:


1.     A clear, concise introduction (one page or so) introducing your topic to the reader, and a clear thesis statement (“In this paper I argue that ……”) and a short explanation of what you will cover in the paper.


2.     A proper references section, as well as grammar and in text citations:  You should aim to search for and use at least FOUR references in total, with at least THREE of these being academic sources that will help you write your research paper. The library will provide you with guidance on this which can be found on our blackboard page under the Assignment 3 tab. Your fourth reference can be the news article that you read for Assignment 2. In addition to academic sources you can use additional journal articles and/or policy reports to further illustrate your points if you wish to, but you are not required to.


3.     A structured main section of discussion and analysis (3-4 pages or so): this is the main section of your paper in which you make your key argument and main points, and back them up using the sources you have found and read. Feel free to use subheadings if it helps you distinguish your points from each other and/or makes your arguments clearer. You are not required to engage directly with the news article if you don’t wish to here, but if you want to feel free to mention it if you are making arguments that contradict or deepen the insights in the news article. Any information (course readings, supporting evidence, statistics, illustrations) that are not your own MUST be referenced accordingly. Make sure to read your source materials carefully and do not forget to define, with references, any key terms used in your paper that might be taken from the readings (i.e. ‘defensive architecture’, the ‘gig economy’ etc…). Meanwhile, avoid blanket “common sense” claims or polemical arguments (e.g. “Greed will always be a part human nature, and this is what prevents climate change from being addressed”) – they are not legitimate (or scholarly) arguments. Please also avoid using claims based solely on ‘your opinion’ unless they are carefully informed by your readings and research. The point here is to read scholarly work and apply that to the topic of your news article. Use the readings to back up your claims, and make your arguments specific, focused, and thoughtful.


4.     A clear conclusion (another 1-2 pages or so): you can briefly summarize your main points from the rest of the paper. But in addition, I want you to spend the bulk of your conclusion writing about how your understanding of this topic has changed since Assignment 2, now that you have had the chance to read journal articles related to this topic. i.e.: what more do you know now about this topic that you didn’t before, and why is it important? Are you better able to identify what the news article doesn’t explore or address now that you have read scholarly work about it, and if so what is it? What are the differences between a news article and a sustained, in-depth research paper using multiple peer-reviewed sources in your view? In other words, I want you to reflect on what it takes to be informed and to know something about a subject – please reflect on these or related questions and give me your thoughts.   


 Additional instructions:

– NO title page required

– name, student number, course code, tutorial group & TA’s name in assignment header

– Page numbers (preferably at bottom of page)

– Double spaced

– Standard 1” margins

– 12 pt (Times New Roman, Garamond) OR 10 pt (Arial) font

– Total word count at the end of the paper, excluding references.


Referencing Instructions:

– Use APA format for citations and bibliographies. Please see the following website for information on this referencing style:

– Note that plagiarism (passing off somebody else’s ideas, written or otherwise, as your own) is a serious offense and it will be reported to the Dean’s office.  




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