Your project is to be based on either on a book or a topic. Here is a list of example books. They are just examples. I will refrain from giving a list of suggested topics so that you can better let your mind wander. Topics only need to have nonvoid intersection with ethics-and-technology. Don’t select an overly overly broad topic. I suggest to discuss your book or topic with me early on. In recent terms, I have seen more books being selected than topics. This is somewhat unfortunate, as I think topic-based projects tend to be a bit more interesting.
There are two pieces to your project: a paper and a presentation.
The paper should be 2000-3000 words (about 8-12 pages), excluding references. Please indicate the word count and group number (eg, group 103) at the beginning of the paper. Number all pages. The paper should be written with an intended audience of me and your classmates. Write something that you yourself would want to be given to read. And, in fact, you will be reading one another’s papers, which must be sent to so that I can drop them to the web. If you don’t want your last name on this (publicly available) document, for reasons of personal privacy, please reduce it to a single letter.
Your paper should be carefully written, and will be graded for writing quality. Give full references in the bibliography (author, title, journal, publisher, pages, date; a URL alone does not a reference make). Include all necessary citations and footnotes. Prominently include the project number on the first page. Order authors alphabetically by last name. Follow standard stylistic conventions (any fixed set of conventions you select). If you don’t know standard conventions, check with a source like Strunk (The Elements of Style). Use justified text (no ragged-right margins). Use a pleasant-to-read font — no Arial or any other sans serif font. Do not write stuff off the top of your head, so to speak—you need to do some genuine research here. Do not include gratuitous references to materials covered in class. Think, organize, think, and organize. Write and rewrite.
The paper is a research paper—research in the sense of learning some of the scholarship for some particular area, not research in the sense of doing creative scholarship of your own. Make sure your sources represent actual scholarship, not random web pages, blogs, or the like. While it might not sound nice to say, the truth is that I am not terribly interested in reading page after page of your own ideas on some topic—I want to learn what those who have spent years of effort on the issue have come to understand. Yes, you are quite welcome to include your personal opinion, but please make sure it is clearly distinguishable from the opinions of authors you are citing.
Write in a clear, direct style. I have a strong aversion to incoherent student prose.
Both Milestone 2 and your final paper must be turned in, as pdf, as an assignment on Canvas. You upload one copy per group. I will take care of distributing your final paper to the rest of the class (also on Canvas). Name the file as p followed by the number assigned to you on the list of student projects followed by .pdf; for example, p106.pdf. If you write the paper in Word or LaTeX or whatever, you are responsible for getting it converted to pdf.
Paper due dates are as follows:
Presentation will occur during the last two class meetings and during the scheduled final-exam slot (except for a single presentation on Monday for one of the sections).
Presentations should have content somewhat different from what’s in your paper; the audience will have read your paper and they won’t want to listen to the exact same stuff again. Besides, what works well in a talk is usually quite different from that what works well in a paper.
If you are a non-native speaker of English, you are strongly encouraged to parter with a native speaker of English. This is not to imply that native speakers of English necessarily write better than non-native speakers of English. They don’t. But the rule may reduce the number of projects written in ungrammatical English. In the past, such projects often get the lowest grades and are the most painful to read.
They’ll be two milestones preceding giving your presentation and paper:
No-double-use policy: Your project should be something “new” for you. In particular, you may not select a project topic that largely intersects with a project you already used for another course in the past, or that you will use for another course this term. Both partners are considered to be in violation of the policy if either is.
New-for-you policy: Relatedly, you may not choose a book that you already read, even for fun, before this class. Please find something new. If you loved some book you read before and that you think is on-topic, you might try reading another book by the same author.
Plagiarism: You may not use, modify, or refer to any related presentation or paper from a former student or professional service. Any material used that is not your own work should be properly credited to its source.