Final Paper Project

Final paper project – overview

by John Bandler

This page is about the semester-long final paper project, a phased process.

Over the years of teaching I implemented a phased process to aid my students with the writing process and encourage continual research, editing, and refinement. This provides opportunities for feedback during the semester, and enhances learning before the paper is submitted.

The goal is to improve:

  • Knowledge of the subject matter
  • Research skills
  • Writing and editing skills
  • Presentation skills.

Every person needs these skills, no matter what your major, interests, future job or career. That's why I incorporate a paper into every teaching semester, even though it is a lot of work for me.

Every person, no matter where they are starting from now, should seek to improve their skills. Improvement comes only with practice and effort.

Remember the goals as laid out above. Then pay attention to various assignment instructions, starting with with the most important ones. The result will be self-improvement and an excellent final presentation and paper.

Please do not forget the professional and dedicated resources at your school (Librarians, writing center, etc.) so please check with them.

Below are links with more details on each phase.

Why this phased project?

As you progress through the project and other linked pages, I hope the value of it becomes clear.

Students learn and improve themselves through continual effort, and create a better final product.

There is little learning value in writing a paper the day or week before it is due (those papers are less fun to read too).

There is opportunity for work, feedback, and improvement during the semester and well before the due date.

A phased project with mini deadlines ensures work is completed at each stage, with feedback opportunities to guide, correct, and improve.

We can't eat an elephant in one sitting, build a house in a day, nor run a marathon in an hour. That's a lot of metaphors, so let's pick the marathon analogy. Each phase represents a certain number of miles completed, and submission of the final paper is the finish line. Let's walk a little each week to get ourselves to the finish line.

You are in charge of your own learning in life. Use this project, course, and all other courses to build yourself. It would be a waste to graduate and gain a degree without the requisite learning.

The phases

Writing resources include

Research resources include

  • Start with what is already a part of this course, including assigned reading
  • Course book
  • Syllabus materials
  • This website
  • Laws, statutes, regulations, cases
  • Reliable sources
  • The school's library.

Other links

Watch me walk through these instructions in a short video

Posted 10/18/2022 based on years of teaching. Updated 2/8/2023