Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters

Department of Political Science and Geography



Capstone Requirements


Degree Programs


Research/Capstone Paper

(Requirement for Graduation)

Each student who majors in political science or geography must submit a research/capstone paper to the department secretary (located in BAL 700) in his/her senior year to be placed in his/her academic file folder. This paper will be used for program improvement and will in no way interfere with or delay the student's graduation once it has been submitted.

Requirements for Research/Capstone Paper

1. The student must have taken POLS/GEOG 308 before or in the same semester as the course in which the research paper is written. The research design written in 308 may not be used as the research/capstone paper. A case briefing will not qualify as the research/capstone paper either.

2. The paper must have been written in an ODU course in the student's major (political science or geography) at the 300 or 400 level (POLS/GEOG 418 and transfer courses are excluded).

3. The paper must:

’ be in 12-point type
’ be double-spaced
’ have one-inch margins
’ be a minimum of 10 pages of text
’ include a bibliography, notes, appendices, graphics as appropriate.

4. The paper should be a clean copy with no grades or comments on it. Students may or may not revise the original paper they turned in for the course.

5. The criteria that will be used to assess all papers for program improvement are outlined below.

Criteria for Assessment

Scoring System = 1-5
(1 = Poor, 2 = Below Average, 3 = Average, 4 =Above Average, 5 = Excellent)

1. Conceptual Understanding of the Subject (30%)

z literature, theories, and issues

2. Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills (30%)

z statement of objectives and argumentation
z objectivity, clarity, creativity, reasoned judgment

3. Writing Style (10%)

z mechanics, grammar, syntax
z organization (sub-headings, introduction, conclusion)

4. Presentation (10%)

z physical appearance (title page, margins, page numbers, etc.)
z utilization of graphs and tables where appropriate

5. Source Materials (20%)

z quality and quantity
z diversity
z bibliographic documentation