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Research Paper, Winter 2019

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Focal Point LSP 112 (Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City)



This paper is designed to increase your knowledge of Jerusalem through the careful and self-directed study of a single site, monument, object, or personage. If done successfully,the argument of your paper will draw upon facts learned and critical skills developed in this class. The assignment, thereby, has the benefit of simultaneously deepening and strengthening your understanding of this place through the format of a traditional research paper.

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In this paper you have the option of focusing on either a site within Jerusalem, a monument builtor an object produced within Jerusalem, or a personage who significantly affected the city of Jerusalem. Your paper should include an overview of the scholarship related to your chosen site, monument, object, or personage, with the intent of articulating the major problems (or issues) associated with our understanding of it and of asserting your position related to its meaning or perceived value. Your paper should also include a clear description of your chosen site, monument, object, or personage and an analysis that refers to historical context, primary sources, additional (appropriate and illuminating) cultural material, and relevant course content. Possible paper topics are listed at the end of this document; a PowerPoint with related images is available on D2L under “Content.”


Practical Requirements

The paper should be about 5 pages, single-spaced (in a normal 12-pt. font and with regular margins) with appropriate labeledfigures (i.e. maps, plans, drawings, pictures, etc.) attached at the end (please do not embed this content within the body of your text); it should be based on 8-10 sources and your use of these sources should be reflected in footnotes and a bibliography (footnotes and bibliography should be formatted according to Turabian style, information about which is available on D2L). Keep in mind that you have valuable resources in the primary texts, articles, and book chapters we have read for this course. In addition, it is expected thatyou will come in to talk to me about the direction and progress of your research at least once during the quarter. You should do this by February 12.


Paper Draft

You must submit your paper draftby4:19 on February 19(place in D2L Submission folder). This version of the paper should conform to the requirements of the final paper in terms of form and content. You should think of this as the final version of your paper. After all, the closer your paper is to a “final version,” the more valuable comments on that paper can be and the more you will learn about writing in the process. The grade for the draft is based on the grading rubric detailed below.



March 7 and 9 are devoted to paper presentations. These presentations should be about 5-7 minutes long (2 points) and based on about 2 (double-spaced) pages of text. During your presentation you should clearly introduce your topic, describing it (8 points), situating it within the appropriate historical context and within the larger tradition to which it belongs (5 points), and indicating its importance in terms of understanding Jerusalem (5 points). The benefit of this step is two-fold. On the one hand, the rest of the class learns something new or additional about a site, monument, object, or personage. On the other hand, time constraints and an audience force you to clarify your ideas about your topic through the careful selection of content and its strategic presentation.


Final Paper

The final paper should respond to comments received on the “draft.” It is due by 11:59pm on March 19(place in D2L Submission folder).


Grading Rubric (for Draft and Final Paper)

15Clarity and strength of thesis statement, and its relevance to the course

20 Organization of paper (which includes the logic with which a discussion unfolds and the use of transitions and summaries to indicate that logic to a reader)

15 Writing (which includes using proper grammar, appropriate word choice, and the cleanliness of the text)

10 Assessment of previous scholarship

10 Discussion of historical context

10 Productive employment of related cultural material (from class)

10 Use and appropriateness of 8-10 primary and secondary texts (not web content) in the analysis and argument of the paper (the paper must draw upon at least one primary text)

5 Accuracy of citations in footnotes (which, of course, means that footnotes must be present)

5 Accuracy of citations in bibliography (which, of course, means that a bibliography must be present)


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