Group project

  • Group research paper and presentation. Deadlines listed below.
    40 points.

  • Students will work in groups of 3 or 4. Each group is be responsible for producing a research paper of at least 30 or 40 pages (depending on group size) and a class presentation of about 30 minutes. The group paper will have a single thesis statement, defended with appropriate logic and evidence. Some parts of the paper will be written collaboratively, and some parts by students individually. The project will be completed in several stages, with the following deadlines:

      • Groups and topics by the end of class on October 4.
      • Group meetings with me the week of October 25. Must have an outline of basic factual information about the question prior to the meeting.
      • Group thesis and bibliography by the end of Friday, November 2 Wednesday, November 14, emailed to me. The thesis statement should be no more than 1 paragraph and each group member must list at least 4 sources.
      • Presentations completed in class on either November 15, November 29, or December 6, on a schedule to be determined in late October.
      • Paper due December 9 December 14.


    The project may be on any topic relevant to the course provided that it is sufficiently narrow and well-defined. Here are some suggestions:
      • U.S. military bases as political issues within South Korea and Japan
      • North Korea and the Six-Party Talks
      • Mongolia and the economic and political effects of commodity exports
      • Political corruption and reforms in Taiwan
      • The environmental movement in China
      • Territorial disputes between South Korea and Japan
      • The future of nuclear energy in Japan
      • South Korea’s and North Korea’s strategies for reunification


    Paper format:
      • Introduction and statement of thesis (1 paragraph), basic background information (1-3 paragraphs), and overview of paper sections (1 paragraph). All group members are jointly responsible.
      • Each group member writes a section of the paper on one aspect of the topic. Each section is at least 10 pages (about 4500 words), and refers to at least 5 scholarly sources, at least one of which must be a book. Each section also includes at least one primary source. Depending on the topic, it may be necessary to use news articles as well; these do not count toward the 5 or 1 sources. Students are individually responsible for their own sections.
      • Conclusion, with a restatement of thesis and summary of evidence. All group members are jointly responsible.
      • Bibliography. You may use any generally-approved format, as long as it is consistent. When in doubt, use Chicago style. All group members are jointly responsible.

    Presentation format:
      • 20-30 minutes.
      • Each group member must contribute at least something to the discussion. 
      • There must be at least one formal question and answer period. 

        Presentation about presentations


    Grades and rubric (40 points total):
      • 10 points for the quality of individual contributions to the paper. Individual students may receive different scores from other group members. 
        • 5 points for clarity of writing.
        • 5 points for use of appropriate evidence.
      • 20 points for the overall quality of the evidence and analysis in the project. All group members will receive the same score.
        • 5 points for the relationship between all aspects of the paper and the thesis. Is the paper a coherent argument in support of the thesis? Do parts of the paper go off on tangents?
        • 5 points for coverage of important concepts and ideas. Are there key ideas, central to the logic of the argument, that did not get covered in the paper?
        • 5 points for introductory section. Must have a clear thesis and be well-written.
        • 5 points for bibliography and conclusion. Must be well-written and properly formatted.
      • 10 points for the quality and organization of the in-class presentation. All group members will receive the same score.
        • 5 points for organization and clarity.
        • 5 points for engagement.