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  1. #1
    Youngin biker ckellingc's Avatar
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    Prof threw me a curveball... term paper help

    So I am doing a term paper on cycling in my home town. I interviewed 5 people to meet the 5 different sources requirement and began writing. Today in class he said (and I quote), "Oh, I forgot to tell your class. I'd rather you didn't use interviews. You can, but I don't want to have to dock you if you do it wrong."

    So here I stand (well... sit) before you. I need to know of some books and internet websites that could aid me in this. I was thinking of the Lance Armstrong bio, which I have floating around here somewhere, but otherwise, I'm stuck. Any and all help is appreciated.

    And if you want to personally help, you can answer this question for my conclusion: What advice would you give to up-and-coming cyclists?

    Many thanks!
    Chris, the desparate college student

  2. #2
    Villainous huerro's Avatar
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    what is your home town and what kind of paper are you writing?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like the real purpose of the term paper is to help you learn to use the library's data search resources. Why don't you do that?

  4. #4
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could post the exact requirements for the term paper?

    What does the professor mean by "I don't want to have to dock you if you do it wrong." How can you do an interview incorrectly? For what reason would he be 'docking' you?

    This is vague to say the least.

    If you've got the Lance biography, and you've got a response on the internet, and you've got one interview, then you've got three different sources right there. Where else does he expect you to go? Can you double up on certain sources--two internet responses and two books, plus one interview?

    East Hill
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  5. #5
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    What does the professor mean by "I don't want to have to dock you if you do it wrong." How can you do an interview incorrectly? For what reason would he be 'docking' you?
    Since his assignment is pretty simple, I'm assuming its a lower level English class. In that case, using an interview to enhance a paper (and not detract from it) is quite difficult. There are many ethical and grammatical rules, and fitting a quote in the paper that actually accentuates a point isn't an elementary thing.

    95%+ of the people here couldn't do it.

  6. #6
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Hard to give concrete advice without knowing the concrete instructions that were given at the start of the assignment, but here are a couple of ideas:

    Source 1. Word search "cycling" on your local newspapers web site and see what that throws up.

    Source 2. Do the same for the city web site

    Source 3: Check out a few (reputable) health web sites for facts and figures about the health benefits/risks of riding a bike

    Source 4: Find a bike shop and see if they have any bike maps or other literature

    And then he can't possibly dock points for using one of the interviews as Source 5.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  7. #7
    Me Likey Bikey neurocycler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun
    Since his assignment is pretty simple, I'm assuming its a lower level English class. In that case, using an interview to enhance a paper (and not detract from it) is quite difficult. There are many ethical and grammatical rules, and fitting a quote in the paper that actually accentuates a point isn't an elementary thing.

    95%+ of the people here couldn't do it.
    I agree, sounds like a pretty basic paper. I assume by "sources" your prof means references, which for a lower level English paper shouldn't be difficult to find. However, if you're looking for something a little more scientific I recommend using PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?DB=pubmed) to search for references for your paper. Admittedly this may be a bit much for the type of paper I assume you are writing.
    "Suffering you need; literature is baloney."
    - Tim Krabbé

  8. #8
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Hmmm, yes, I am now wondering if the OP is looking for 'sources', or for 'references'. There's quite a bit of difference between the two.

    Perhaps the OP will respond and let us know?

    East Hill
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  9. #9
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckellingc
    desparate
    And make sure you spellcheck it before handing it in too.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  10. #10
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    And make sure you spellcheck it before handing it in too.
    I didn't want to point that out . This would be for a lower level English class, correct?

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    ckellingc, no offense, but you sound confused about what this assignment is asking for. Talk to the professor and make sure the sources you've gathered here (or types of sources, even, like biography, etc.) are appropriate, so there are no surprises. That's insurance towards a good grade. Good luck!

  12. #12
    crushing all limitations
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    could be two issues here: could lose points not having GOOD sources...interviewing your roommate who happens to own a bicycle is not a good source, whereas scoring a personal interview with Lance, should earn bonus points. On the other hand, I once took a "communcication sciences" course where half of the term paper grade was formatting and the other half was content. MLA, APA, etc have very specific rules for EVERYTHING (you need a 200+ page book to figure it out) and interviews are particularly difficult to document properly. Since you start with 100% for the formatting section and lose X points for every error, it was better to choose the simplest format possible.

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