Term Paper

Hello all,

In preparation, I recommend you view the LM1 subment item “Definitions, Publications & Resources” for Term Paper ideas.

Topic Selection

First, when choosing a topic I would like it to be something that not only interests you but also assists you professionally or assists with the selection of your further academic study.  Note the Term Paper must be approved thus please email me with the topic for approval.  Please email me at j.looby@hvcc.edu with your name and proposed subject in subject line with the following format:  [ Last Name – CISS 100 Paper – Subject].

I recommend you peruse ciss100.com for ideas but some quick suggestions for topics include: new developments in technology and computer hardware (New chips, flash memory, networking, RFID, etc.), new developments in computer software (Open source, etc.), new developments in the Internet (IPV6, IoE, etc.), new developments in the Web (SOA, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, new applications), security/privacy/protection (Forensics, etc.), an in-depth company profile however this should focus on innovation or organizational culture, new developments in the interrelation/interaction of IT, Business and Society.

Note that it is not uncommon to choose a broad topic and narrow it down or take a different related path during your research and literature review. Lastly, remember Information Design and include your name and term paper topic in the email subject line.  If you are searching for ideas I recommend you peruse the ciss100.com content and emergent topics.

Assignment Specifications

The Term Paper assignment is to write a 5 – 7 page APA formatted paper, double spaced, 12 pt. font, based on research you do on a topic of your choice that either is NOT covered as part of this course, or a topic that extends well beyond the scope of discussion in this course. Note that the 5 – 7 pages do not include the required Cover Page and Bibliography.  The Cover Page is described below.  The Term Paper should reference the MIS Supplement’s content (located in the Lecture Modules) wherever possible however note that formal in-text citations and references to the MIS Supplements are not required as we will treat this as common knowledge.

You will submit this paper via email to me.  Please name your file with your first initial, last name and title of the term paper. Note the paper will be evaluated using Turn it In software to check for plagiarized content.

A Jing recording of your paper is not necessary.

You are required to submit an APA Abstract to the FP DB.


The papers will be graded based on 3 categories (detailed below)

1. Grammar/spelling/organization

2. Research, knowledge acquisition and application (includes referencing MIS Supplements)

3. APA Format


Grammar and spelling are factors in grading citing that proper English is an important part of the IT world, and as such, grammar/spelling will be taken into consideration.  Formatting and spelling should never be missed and note that a Spell Checker will not correct misused words.  Please use a thesaurus to replace words repetitively used words to make you papers more interesting while expanding your vocabulary.  Maintain correct tense throughout paragraph and each paragraph must have an explicit direction and context.  Example:

Do not begin a paragraph with “This theory…”

Begin the paragraph with “Quantum Theory…”

Please use the following correctly:

i.e.  in other words

e.g.  for example


It is expected you use at LEAST five credible reference sources (these may be reputable Internet websites) noted in an attached bibliography. More sources are acceptable provided they are properly noted in the bibliography.  People are NOT a valid source of information: this research must be done using written mediums. For a valid bibliography format, search the internet and choose any one of several. Quotations from sources are permissible as long as they are properly denoted in the paper and relevant to the topic.

References serve 2 purposes, (1) they prevent plagiarism but more importantly they (2) serve as an empirical foundation preserving and extending a discipline’s body of knowledge.  With this basis you may state, “an author found or has shown or asserts or concludes” … or based on this evidence “one could assert or conclude”, etc.

PLEASE NOTE that plagiarism will NOT be tolerated and will result in an automatic failure of this assignment, in addition to whatever penalties Hudson Valley Community College institutes for all parties involved.

Content advice and criteria:

The written word is often your first impression and thus is one of your credentials.  (Consider that the Internet has flattened the world with email, outsourcing and project management).  Of course your papers must be grammatically correct however you are free to write a descriptive information paper, an opinionated paper or a combination of these two.  Whichever direction you take with your papers, you are now scientists thus:

Do not write anything that can’t be proved

Be aware of and minimize what may be misconstrue

Be specific and concise while minimizing superfluous words (e.g. that, ever)

If it is your opinion state this i.e. preface your supposition with  “It is my opinion, etc.”

If it is consensus state this

Avoid sweeping generalizations

Cite everything if there is any doubt of its veracity or origin

Computer Science is rooted in the Mathematical Sciences thus please be aware of the following Mathematical Quantifiers and choose your vocabulary carefully and appropriately:

For All

There Exists

APA Format

First, the Purdue OWL APA resource is here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

In a nutshell I require a Title/Cover Page, Main Body and References (not annotated bibliography).

The Cover Page should have your name, the title of the paper and the date.

An Abstract is not necessary and I would recommend against it as it must adhere to strict guidelines (e.g. word count length and formatting). An Abstract is necessary for publishing and long papers however I would prefer not to deduct points for something such as an Abstract that is optional (since these papers are not very long and they will not be published).

A Table of Contents is also not necessary as the paper’s length is not overwhelming and again, I do not want to deduct points for an optional item.

In terms of headings, I believe level one or level two headings should be sufficient.

Standard APA is double spaced text, 12 point font with 1 inch margins.  I prefer a Sans Serif Font (e.g. Times New Roman or Arial) since this is in concert with our goal of accessibility (i.e. rendered correctly on all devices).

Page numbers and the paper’s title should be included right justified in the page headers.

Please do not trust Microsoft Word’s or any other APA formatting tool as they are error prone and you are responsible for formatting content not Microsoft.

Please use in text citations liberally as any fact you state that is not general knowledge must be cited.  In essence you cannot have too many citations but you can have too few.  Properly citing references preserves the academic integrity of the discipline as it not only gives due credit to the researcher but also provides a basis for your correlations and opinions.  If you are stating your opinion (and please note this is entirely acceptable), you may qualify your statement by prefacing it with: “I conclude”, or “I assert” or “I believe” or “it is my opinion”, etc.


Sample reference section APA citations can be found in my ciss100.com content.

Thank you,

Prof James Looby

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