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Spring Research Paper: Sustainability


  • To apply the knowledge about how societies can be more sustainable.  
  • Write a highly structure research paper.
  • To understand the relationship between designers and Sustainable design.
  • How Sustainable design is good for business and for society as a whole.

Topic:  Any aspect of Sustainability

Relationship to University Studies Goals

  • Critical thinking skills will be used to analyze, understand, and evaluate the role of designers at different points in history, including:
    • The responsibilities of designers to the society/culture in which they live.
    • The effect of society on designers (e.g. training, education, financial support, religion)
    • The design process(es) and team process(es) used.
  • Communication skills will be used to present your ideas in a clear, logical, and convincing fashion.  Arguments will be well structured, and research will be used to support your arguments.  APA formatting will be used as a standard.
  • Diversity issues such as class, social mobility, and social justice will be explored by looking at the designer’s role in society.  For example, who is designing, and for whom are the designs created?
  • What are a designer’s social responsibilities and how have those changed?  How do the actual societal expectations compare to the ideal or to a designer’s actions?

Type of paper:  Persuasive.  Your paper should argue a thesis and be 10-12 pages. See OWL resource below for information.  “a series of generalizations or propositions, supported by evidence or reasoning and connected in a logical manner, that lead to a justified conclusion. You must sustain your argument by giving evidence and reasons.”  (quoted from this web site, which you should read) You need a conclusion which is supported in your paper.

Thesis:    The thesis should be one or two sentences that explain the purpose of the paper.  The paper will be arguing a point, and the thesis statement is the point that you are trying to prove.  You are trying to persuade someone that your idea or explanation is right, and it should be a statement where a reasonable person might take another viewpoint.  It will be at the end of the introductory paragraph when you write your paper.  It should be narrow enough that you can adequately cover the topic.  It should also pass the “so what” test.  It should make people interested in reading the paper. 



àAnnotated Bibliographies

citation machine:  helpful, but be sure to double check.

Paper Format:  This paper should be highly structured for this paper you cannot be too structured.   We’ll still follow the general OWL guidelines.  We’ll talk more about writing introductions, body paragraphs and conclusions.  For example, each paragraph must have a topic sentence which can be identified.  Each paragraph should stick to that topic. 

Resources:  Writing a Research Paper, The First Draft (OWL)

General:  10 – 12 pages.  APA format.  At least 20 sources, and at least three of those should be scholarly sources (books or peer-reviewed journal articles).  The internet is allowed.  They must still be scholarly sources, though, not “”!  Some use of sources such as quality newspapers and magazines is allowed and expected.

Subtopics:  The above topic is obviously too broad for a single paper.  I want you to narrow the focus to a topic that interests you. 

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