Description: The term paper outline is an opportunity for students to structure their paper and receive direct feedback from the instructor. By doing so, students can begin drafting with confidence knowing whether their approach logically supports the thesis they have crafted.
Note: If a student completes an outline that does not match the proposed topic in the Term Paper proposal (module 5 assignment) and the student did not clarify any changes with the instructor one week prior to project due date, then the assignment may not be accepted.
· Though there is no word requirement, students should present an outline that sufficiently reflects their intended approach, including a thesis, all main points, and primary subpoints that will be used for support.
· Though not required, a reference list is highly suggested. The instructor can review the titles and authors and provide any guidance on the research prior to the final submission.
· Single sentence thesis statement. This should be clear and detailed.
· Full sentences required for every point (main and all supporting points). Topic outlines are too general and severely lack clarity.
The following were the Term Paper proposal options a student may have chosen:
1) Theoretical Shift: The different readings should reveal not only the core concepts in classical rhetoric and its theories, but it should also reflect how such theories changed between rhetoricians. This prompt does not suggest a comprehensive tracing of a complete rhetorical theory, but it does allow students to identify a key part of the theory, examine it in different iterations, and analyze how and why it shifted between theorists.
2) Culturally Informed: To suggest that classical rhetorical theory developed in a vacuum would be an utterly false narrative. Greek and Roman culture significantly influenced how rhetoricians not only understood rhetoric, but how they viewed it in connection with human existence. This prompt allows students to consider elements of the broader context and how such influences were taken up within rhetorical theory.
3) Mining the Gap: Developing questions about the readings over the course of the semester is quite common, yet when one of those questions prompts further questioning where there is no clear answer, then the student most likely has identified a gap. This prompt allows students to investigate rhetorical theory, identify an area that might be underdeveloped, discussed passively, or missing altogether and attempt to answer why the gap exists as well as the importance of addressing it.
4) Reconceptualization: Similar to “Mining the Gap,” this prompt allows for students to investigate classical rhetoric, but instead of identifying a gap in the literature, they may suggest a reconceptualization of a common term, theory, or rhetorician. This paper would take the form of an argument where the student will identify not only what needs to be redefined, but how it would look after and the impact such redefinition would have on the field.
5) Student-Defined: Technically, all of the above options are choices for students; however, if there is a topic that does not seem to fit in those categories and/or students are unsure where it would fit, they may submit a proposal and solicit feedback from the professor on whether it would work for the term paper.
Make sure you follow the approach you identified in your proposal as this will be the instructor’s view of your paper when assessing. The outline requirements are listed above. Review the Term Paper Outline Rubric before submitting.
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