GUIDE TO THE WRITING PROJECT
The writing project will be an article articulating the relevance of music to your own field, that is, the field you are majoring in here at school. Before you panic: every term I have students emailing me with comments like, “I don’t think music has any application to my major,” and every term we discover that there absolutely are applications to even the most remote majors—health, biology, education, marketing, architecture, sports medicine, intel, fire science, you-name-it. You may just have to hunt for those connections. Try brainstorming with professors in your department, look up journals in your field, or run ideas past a colleague. The idea is to take your experience in this class and merge it with your own area of expertise. I was your teacher for this whole term—now you be mine. Teach me something about your field via how it relates to mine. The new emphasis in education is on inter-disciplinary thought and research. Reach across the aisle, cross over disciplines, show me something imaginative, provocative, thoughtful. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the seeds of a journal article or dissertation here.
Discuss the relationship between music and your major field. Give thought to how music can persuade, communicate, manipulate, impact, or otherwise influence outcomes in your major area. We’re looking for specifics, that is, for substantive ways that music intersects your major so this will not be just a reflection! You’ll need to back up your ideas by citing research, studies, or data. If you have not yet chosen a major, just state this at the outset of your article, and then choose any field that interests you outside of music, as a starting point.
WHAT TO INCLUDE —AND WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE
STYLE/FORMAT: Use whatever style guide/format you’re most comfortable with, but the following are important guidelines you need to observe. Your article should be no more than 2 pages long, double-spaced—we’re looking for quality, not quantity. List your sources at the end but do not include that in your page count. When you quote a source in your article, identify/cite it immediately after the closed quote. Use your last name as the file name for uploading your article to Turnitin. Save/submit your article in either .doc or .docx format. Articles submitted in any other format—including pdf– will be rejected.
DEADLINE: Upload your article to the course website by the deadline listed in the syllabus. Absolutely no submissions will be accepted after the deadline.
SOURCES: This article will consist principally of your own thought, but backing up your ideas with references is essential. Make sure that any quotations you use don’t exceed 5% of the total content of the article—quotes are there to back up your thoughts, not to substitute for them.
TURNITIN: Do not email me your article. Upload it through Turnitin in Unit 10. Turnitin is a Plagiarism Detection service which generates a report comparing your work to a database of internet sources and identifying any instances of plagiarism. It highlights any sentences you may have copied and inserts the address of the source you took the passage from, so I can always tell at-a-glance, what’s been plagiarized. If the report reveals plagiarism of even one sentence your article will receive the grade of zero. There are no exceptions to this rule. Remember: One Sentence = Grade Zero. I never hesitate to enforce this rule because plagiarism is an insult to me and a violation of Academic Honesty. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO FORWARD THE TURNITIN REPORT TO THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION.
So, how do you ensure you’re not plagiarizing? Simple Rule-of-Two: if you didn’t write it yourself, do two things: 1. use quotes and 2. give credit. Don’t do one without the other. You need both. To recap: if you want to use someone else’s words in your article, do two things: put quotes around the entire passage and cite the source immediately after the closed quote.
One last comment: a defense such as, “oh, I just forgot to cite the source…” or, “I didn’t mean to leave out the quotation marks…” is not accepted.