Your final research paper assignment is to write 7-9 pages on any topic in the field of legal analysis or conflict resolution. Your research paper could discuss a topic that we’ve covered this semester that you’d like to delve into more deeply (e.g., the effect of gender on negotiation performance) or a topic that we haven’t discussed this semester (e.g., recent U.S. Supreme Court cases related to arbitration). The purpose of this assignment is for you to find a topic that you’re genuinely interested in learning more about, and then locating source materials – books, articles, newspaper pieces, etc. – so that you can truly gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
Papers must be Times, size 12, normal (1’’) margins. Absolutely no late papers will be accepted or graded. If you do not submit your final paper by this deadline, you will automatically receive a ZERO for this assignment. Do not submit papers with typos, emoticons, or incorrect grammar. Write a paper that’s interesting and engaging – that teaches the reader something about dispute resolution. As a reminder, this counts for 30% of your final grade.
You will be evaluated based on the depth of your research; the quality of your writing and presentation; and your mastery of the topic. Include a bibliography showing what you have read and cited. Quote directly from sources, where appropriate. See if you can identify the most important thinkers/scholars/writers in your particular area. Generally speaking, almost any area has four or five academic “leaders” who have written extensively on the subject.
What is a “good topic”? You’ll know it when you see it. An interesting research topic might be, for example, “The Use of Arbitration in Baseball.” A “bad topic” is often a subject that is either too broad (e.g., “Negotiation”) or too narrow (e.g., “The Negotiation of the Lease Between Party A and Party B in November 1999”). You want to ensure that there will be enough scholarly material to draw upon. Feel free to ask me whether your topic sounds like a “good” one.
Some potential resources for topics:
– Our reading! Look at the footnotes, citations, and arguments of the authors. – The Baruch College Library. – Harvard’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Research Page: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/c.php?g=310591&p=2078474 – The American Bar Association Journal’s dispute resolution topic page: http://www.abajournal.com/topic/alternative+dispute+resolution
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