Conference Paper and Presentation guidelines
After completing your abstract and annotated bibliography due 2/13 (see separate guidelines
document for details), you will be completing a conference paper due on 2/27. You will also briefly
present on your paper in class on 3/2 or 3/7 (details below).
Submit to Canvas under Assignments. Please submit in .doc/.docx, .rtf, or plain text format. Due
before 11:59pm on 2/27.
Your conference-style (research) paper should ideally be based on your submitted abstract and it
must elaborate on a specific, controversial issue of your choice that deals with science and/or
technology today. You must choose a different topic/theme and use mostly different sources from
your Critical Reading Assignment (one overlapping is okay as long as the content/writing is new).
Note that you can alter or change your previously indicated topic if necessary. If you change your
topic or choose to go in a different direction than your abstract indicated, please note this in your
submission (i.e. in the submission comment box on Canvas).
Consider an issue of â€˜todayâ€™ as referring to something you could easily hear a news story about
this week. The issue could be one that has been around for e.g. 10+ years, but regardless of when
debates around it began, it needs to be clearly relevant in the contemporary.
The length requirement is 2,000 words +/-10%, not including works cited, footnotes, or titles. You
will lose partial points for writing less than 1,800 words or more than 2,200 words. You are
welcome to use quotes from relevant sources throughout the paper, but you should generally avoid
long block quotes of more than 75 words.
The paper must have an original title. Writing style and topic are up to you, as long as the guidelines
are followed. You are not expected to do any original research for the paper, though primary data
can be included (i.e. an informal interview you conducted or personal expertise, if you wish).
Remember the paper must not be an opinion piece or personal essay. You are welcome to use firstperson (â€˜Iâ€™ statements) if you like, but keep in mind that when you make a statement like â€œIt is
clear thatâ€ or â€œI believe that,â€ always ask: have I backed this statement up with evidence?
Just as with the annotated bibliography, you should use at least one source from the course, but
only up to 3 of the 5 minimum required sources should come from the course. You will need to
find the rest through independent research. These do not necessarily need to be the same ones from
the annotated bibliography.
Please make sure at least 3 of your 5 sources are academic sources (books or journal articles). You
are welcome to also cite news/online articles, including but not limited to the ones we read in class,
but be careful in selecting these based on quality. Generally, avoid citing lectures/slides themselves
but feel free to cite quotes from other authors discussed in class.
In looking for sources, check out the recommended readings and links in the slides, as well as the
UCI library catalog (in addition to Google Books/Scholar). Adhere to all posted guidelines around
citations (and remember: never cite or plagiarize from Wikipedia â€“ if you use Wikipedia for helpful
background info, check out the sources it cites and refer to those instead for more info).
The style of your citations is up to you (e.g. MLA, Chicago, Harvard), but they should be
consistent, and you should generally use page numbers (or â€˜n.p.â€™ for no page) if you use direct
quotes within the text.
In the Works Cited, you should normally include the author(s), date, title, publication the text can
be found in (e.g. the name of a book the chapter is in, the name and issue of the journal an article
is in, the name and issue of the newspaper an article is in), the total pages of the cited text (if
applicable), and the publisher and location (if a book). Most styles require you to include a link
for web sources, if you use a news article or journal article that can be found online.
Please use full citations like the examples below.
Example of an in-text citation:
Matzingerâ€™s (1994) danger model of the immune system refutes â€œthe belief that the immune
systems primary driving force is the need to discriminate between self and non-selfâ€ (p.
Example of full citation of a journal article:
Crenshaw, KimberlÃ© (1989). â€œDemarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black
Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist
Politics.â€ University of Chicago Legal Forum 1:8. 139â€“167.
Example of full citation of a chapter in a book:
Heggie, Vanessa (2014). â€œSubjective Sex: Science, Medicine and Sex Tests in Sports.â€
Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender and Sexuality. Ed. Jennifer Hargreaves and Eric
Anderson. 339â€“347. London: Routledge.
You will have 5 minutes to present a brief overview of your paper in class on your assigned day
(3/2 or 3/7, to be determined during week 6-7). You wonâ€™t be able to use Powerpoint or other
screen-shared tools, but you are welcome to read off of notes.
Treat the presentation as if it were at an academic conference on science, technology, and
controversy, where you would have a limited amount of time to talk about a longer piece of
You will have to unmute for the presentation, but video is not required. In accordance with
privacy regulations protecting students who do not wish to have their image or voice captured,
the presentation will not be recorded.
Think of the 5 minutes as an informal overview of the paper itself and what you discovered
while writing it: tell the class what your paper is about, the key argument(s) you made, why the
topic is important, and any lingering thoughts you have on the topic, including but not limited to
future directions in the field and related areas of unaddressed research.
The presentation is required, however you will only be graded on whether you met the above
requirements. All presentations given will receive a passing grade. Presentations not given will
receive a 0.
The categories below outline the expectations of papers within the specified grade ranges. Your
adherence to the guidelines set out for the assignments (provided on Canvas) will also be
factored into your grade. You may lose points for issues with citations, length, and scope.
29â€“30 points (A+): An excellent, original paper which is clear and insightful, showing a deep
understanding of the prompt, topic chosen, and evidence introduced, with very few if any
27â€“28.5 points (A- to A): A very good paper which demonstrates an understanding of an original
topic choice and evidence introduced to discuss it. This response likely needed to go just a little
further to demonstrate its points, or contains a minor factual error or two, or lapse in clarity.
24â€“26.5 points (B- to B+): An above-average paper which shows an understanding of the
assignment, chosen topic, and the concepts written about and has significant potential. This
response may lack the nuance required of an A-level response and likely contains a few minor
factual errors or unclear statements.
21â€“23.5 points (C- to C+): A satisfactory paper which reflects a general understanding of its
themes and evidence but does not quite show a true grasp of the concepts at hand. This response
may contain two or more explanatory errors, and/or has some strong analytical moments
accompanied by unclear tangents.
18â€“20.5 points (D- to D+): A paper which partly or mostly addresses the chosen topic and meets
the assignment requirement, but lacks clarity and/or relies on illogical arguments or opinion. It is
either entirely vague or contains several explanatory errors which affect readability.
15â€“17.5 points (F): A failing paper. This research and/or writing is extremely minimal, does not
address the topic at hand whatsoever, or attempts to address it but completely misses the mark.
0: Not submitted or plagiarized.
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