Spring 2005

Northern Illinois University

Christopher Jones

Section 1: T, TH 11:00 AM -12:15 PM (DU 252)

Section 2: T, TH 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM (DU 459)


Contact Information for Dr. Jones

Office: ZU 315

Phone: 753-7039

E-mail: cmjones@niu.edu

Office Hours: T, TH 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM or by appointment


Course Assistant: Kashfi Anwar

Office: DU 476

Phone: 753-1818

E-mail: kashfianwar@yahoo.com

Office Hours: W 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM or by appointment


This survey course in contemporary U.S. national security policy has two basic objectives. Its primary goal is to provide a solid and fairly broad introduction to the concepts, issues, and debates related to this important area of public policy. The first portion of the course will address essential background information, such as national interests, national capabilities, America’s global standing, the impact of September 11, 2001, and national strategy and force structure.

The second and larger portion of the course will focus on a range of real and potential threats to U.S. national security. Terrorism, of course, will be a key focus. We will discuss it as a general issue as well as explore variants, such as the threat of biological agents and cyberterrorism. Other topics will include nuclear proliferation, arms sales, drug trafficking, ethnic and religious conflict, energy dependency, key geopolitical concerns (e.g., China, Russia, Western Europe, and the Middle East). We will give special attention to Iraq.

As we examine these many challenges, we will stop to consider several responses. For example, we will discuss and analyze arms control, national missile defense, the best options for addressing terrorism, whether to contain or engage a rising China, the revolution in military affairs, collective defense, and international collective security.

Given the time constraints of this course, our treatment of national security policy must be selective. There are clearly additional subjects that could be included in each part of the course. The choice of topics is designed to demonstrate the diverse nature of security policy as well as identify many of the leading issues that challenge U.S. policy-makers today. In particular, the course draws a clear distinction between foreign policy and security policy, placing emphasis on real threats to the safety and survival of the United States. Furthermore, military history, weapons systems, intelligence, the mechanics of national security decision-making, and certain regions (e.g., Southeast Asia, Latin America, etc.) are featured in other university courses and, therefore, will not be our focus. This class is concerned with substantive policy issues and responses.

The second course objective is to have some fun putting ourselves in the shoes of national security policy-makers without sharing their ulcers, perhaps with the added benefit of preparing just a bit for a career in public service. We will accomplish this goal in a number of ways. For instance, lecture material will often raise questions where students will be asked to consider which policy direction is most beneficial to the United States now or in the future. There will also be a number of class periods where we will probe a particular issue in depth and actively discuss, as a group, the merits of various U.S. policy options. In addition, everyone should stay on top of breaking national security events and decisions by regularly monitoring a newspaper of record and referencing relevant information at appropriate junctures in class. Last, each member of the class will assume the role of a national security practitioner and write a paper dealing with a futu! ! re security crisis or challenge.



This is a fairly challenging 300-level course designed primarily for POLS majors and minors with a strong interest in international politics. Students should hold a junior or senior class standing. This is a prerequisite. It is strongly recommended POLS 181, POLS 285 or an introductory international relations course at another institution be completed before enrolling in this course. Non-majors and POLS majors who have not completed this coursework are welcome, but should considered themselves warned about these recommendations. Everyone enrolled in the class should have a serious interest in contemporary national security policy and a willingness to work hard.

Good security policy students keep up with current events. Staying informed allows one to make better sense of the instructor's examples and other students' comments as well as participate in class. Monitoring the news will also help students draw linkages between the course material and the "real world." News articles will provide examples that can be referenced on examinations to highlight class concepts or in a paper to make a reasoned argument. The two best sources for news developments related to U.S. national security policy are the following.

Washington Post (Click on http://www.washingtonpost.com (Click on "Nation," "World" and "Politics." Under "Nation" click on "National Security.

New York Times (Click on "Nation," "International" and "Washington")




Unless the syllabus indicates it is a "debate and discussion" day, each class period will have a lecture component. However, students are welcome and encouraged to interrupt me to ask questions or make comments about the material. Also members of the class should be prepared to answer the many questions that I will regularly pose concerning a particular day's material, a past class, a current event, or the assigned readings (which are to be completed before class). Regular and thoughtful participation will be rewarded.

For class meetings devoted to the discussion and debate of U.S. policy options, everyone’s active and thoughtful participation is absolutely essential and expected. During these sessions I will guide the class discussion and highlight key concepts and points when appropriate, but the vast majority of our time will be spent discussing and dissecting U.S. national security policy as a group. A good portion of the class participation grade (discussed below) will be dependent on students’ performance during these sessions. At times, these class periods may involve group work and exercises.

To ensure the quality of these class periods, everyone is expected to do three things. First, all assigned readings on the issue under discussion should be read carefully before class. Second, there will be relevant reading material from the previous class or two that should be reviewed. Copies of these readings should be brought to class as reference material for discussion and group exercises. Third, some time should be spent prior to class considering any questions or instructions that the instructor may have highlighted at the previous meeting.



There are two required textbooks available for purchase at the university bookstore. I have made a conscious effort to keep the material as affordable and update-to-date as possible. Therefore, the books are recently published paperback editions. To be successful in this course, I strongly encourage students to have personal copies of each of the following books:

  1. Glenn P. Hastedt, ed., Annual Editions: American Foreign Policy 05/06 (Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 2005).
  2. Donald M. Snow. 2004. National Security for a New Era: Globalization and Geopolitics (New York: Longman).

For those students faced with limited budgets, I have placed one hard copy of each book on two-hour reserve in the library. Please return these materials in a timely fashion so that everyone is guaranteed reasonable access.



The first requirement is written examinations. The midterm exam is scheduled for Thursday, March 3 and will be worth 25 percent of the course grade. The final exam will be administered on Tuesday, May 10 during the university’s examination period and be worth 30 percent of the final course grade. Both examinations must be completed to pass the course. Each test will be composed of a variety of written identification and short answer questions. Prior to each exam, I will outline the specific exam format, discuss my grading standards, and distribute a study guide.

The second course requirement is participation. Components of this grade include (a) regular and thoughtful participation in class lectures and discussions, (b) regular attendance (no more than three absences), (c) regular and thoughtful engagement on class days designated as "discussion and debate." Failure to fulfill any one these expectations satisfactorily or any additional assignment will significantly reduce the participation grade, which is worth 15 percent of the final course grade.

In general, relevant in-class participation (a and c) will be evaluated according to the following scale (with plus and minus grades being possible):

A = regular and thoughtful participation

B = occasional and thoughtful participation

C = regular attendance, but little or no participation

D = less than regular attendance

F = little or no attendance

Attendance is generally taken each class session. At the end of the semester, the total number of class meetings is divided into the number of times a student was present. The resulting percentage is then converted to a letter grade. Missing class no more than two or three times will result in an "A" range grade for this portion of the participation grade. Please note that a half letter grade deduction will be taken from the overall course participation grade (not just the attendance grade) for each class missed after the fifth absence.

The third course requirement is a short quiz on Chapter 3 of Snow's National Security for a New Era on "The American Experience." The chapter provides important information that each student should be exposed to, but it is a subject that does not necessarily warrant an entire class period. Thus one way to ensure that everyone gives its attention is to have a straightforward, short answer quiz of about 10 questions. The quiz will be designed to test one's basic knowledge of the chapter's central concepts. It will be held on Tuesday, March 29 and be worth five percent of the course. Please note that there will be no make up quizzes unless there are serious and legitimate extenuating circumstances.

One task many national security policy practitioners, particularly midlevel bureaucrats, confront is the need to look at current realities and trends, think in worst case scenarios, and forecast the "next" major national security challenge or crisis. The fourth course requirement is a seven-page paper that identifies a possible future national security challenge or crisis. "Future" is not defined in days or months, but rather by a five, 10, 15, 20, or even 25-year period. Besides fully explaining why this challenge or crisis is likely to emerge and what U.S. interests it affects, the paper should present a persuasive and well-supported argument for why it merits U.S. attention, resources, and/or policy adjustments today. It should also conclude with some suggestions for actions that the United States could pursue today to avoid the threat or lessen the severity of its consequences.

Unlike the exams, one is not required to complete the paper to pass the course, but failure to submit it will result in a grade of zero percent. To complete this assignment, which is due Thursday, April 14 at the beginning of class and is worth 25 percent of the final course grade, students should follow the detailed directions provided at the end of this syllabus and the guidelines offered on the first day of class.

The midterm examination, final examination, and quiz will be scored on a 0 to 100 percent scale and assigned a corresponding letter grade (with plus and minus designations included when appropriate). For the paper and participation, letter grades will be awarded. In computing the final course grade, these two components will count as follows: A = 95, A- = 91, B+ = 88, B = 85, B- =81, C+ = 78, C = 75, C- = 71, D+ = 68, D = 65, D- = 61, and F = 0.



Midterm Examination = 25 percent

Final Examination = 30 percent

Participation = 15 percent

Paper = 25 percent

Quiz = 5 percent



  1. Makeup Exams: Makeup exams will only be given in extraordinary circumstances. If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor as soon as possible and before the scheduled exam. To keep the process fair for everyone in the course, students may be asked to support requests for makeup exams with documentation. A missed examination without prior notification and a documented excuse will result in a zero and a course grade of "F" as opposed to an incomplete.
  2. Students with Disabilities: Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have an impact on their coursework must register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building (753-1303). CAAR will assist students in making appropriate instructional and/or examination accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.
  3. Late Assignments: An assignment submitted after the due date will be penalized by a deduction of ten points or one letter grade per day. Since students will have had several weeks to complete their work, this standard will be waived only in extraordinary circumstances.
  4. Submitting Written Work: Assignments should be handed-in to me, the course assistant, or given to a department secretary to be time-stamped. Assignments placed under my office door or sent with a friend tend to disappear at times. If a student selects one of these modes of delivery, he or she does so at their own risk.
  5. Extra Credit: Extra credit assignments will not be given on an individual basis to raise final course grades. Like makeup exams, such projects raise serious questions of equity. In the event such a project is made available every member of the class will be given the opportunity to complete it.
  6. Handouts: Handouts are a privilege for those students who attend class on a regular basis. No student is entitled to supplemental materials simply because they are registered for the course.
  7. Classroom Decorum: Students are to arrive at class on time, remain for the entire scheduled class session, and be attentive to the class proceedings. Two unexcused tardy arrivals or early departures are equivalent to a class absence. Cell phones, pagers, or any electronic devices that make noise must be turned off during class unless the instructor has been notified and granted an exception beforehand based on a special circumstance (e.g., sick family member, pregnant wife, special childcare situation, etc.). No one should talk while someone else is talking; this includes comments meant for a classmate rather than the entire group. What may seem like a whisper or a harmless remark to one person can be a distraction to someone else, particularly in a small room. Overall, classroom dialogue and behavior should always be courteous, respectful of others, and consistent with the expectations set forth by the university. The instructor reserves! ! right to ask anyone to leave the classroom for discourteous or inappropriate behavior.
  8. Incomplete Requests: Such petitions will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances. The instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation to verify the problem preventing completion of the course by the normal deadlines. If the student does not present documentation from a university office or official, the matter will be left to the instructor’s discretion.
  9. Academic Dishonesty: Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states: "students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university." The above statement encompasses the purchase or use of papers that were written by others. Please note that I retain copies of papers written in previous years. In short, students are advised to do their own work and learn the rules for proper quoting, paraphrasing, and footnoting.
  10. Class Participation: I recognize class discussion comes more easily for some people than for others. By temperament or habit, some individuals are "talkers" while others are "listeners." Learning to be both is an important subsidiary goal of this course. Comments that are not relevant to the ongoing discussion and off the point will not be rewarded. Remarks that are disruptive to the discussion, insensitive to others, or attempt to dominate the discussion will not be tolerated. I strongly prefer students to participate on a voluntary basis. If you are particularly apprehensive about talking in class, or feel closed out of the discussion for another reason, please speak with me. There are some things I can suggest that may be helpful. Remember: communication skills and self-confidence are extremely important assets in the professional world. Thus it is better to develop these things in the collegial environment of this class rather than under mor! ! e difficult circumstances later in life.
  11. Unannounced Quizzes: The instructor reserves the right to conduct pop quizzes, if it becomes grossly apparent through class discussions that students are not completing the assigned readings on a regular basis. If such quizzes are administered, they will be averaged and used to raise or lower a student’s final course grade by a half a letter grade. Whether a particular student’s grade is adjusted positively or negatively will be dependent on a class average. It will not be done capriciously.
  12. Undergraduate Writing Awards: The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
  13. Department of Political Science Web Site: Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu



Midterm Exam: March 3

Quiz on Snow, Chapter 3: March 29

Paper Due: April 14

Final Exam: May 10



* Reading assignments are to be completed by the appropriate date before arriving at class.



Course Introduction

Subject matter

Discussion of requirements, expectations, and policies

Explanation of assignments

What is National Security Policy?

Annual Editions, Chapter 29 (strongly recommended, but not required)




January 20

Defining America’s National Interests

Snow, Chapter 2 (pp. 48-69 only)


January 25

National Capabilities: The Tools of Security

Snow, pp. 174-179

Annual Editions, Article 28


January 27

America’s Global Standing

Annual Editions, Articles 4 and 5


February 1

Discussion & Debate: America Hegemony

Annual Editions, Article 2


February 3

National Strategy in the Post-9/11 Era

National Security Strategy of the United States of America

PDF version (Need Acrobat Reader):http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html

Text version: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0920-05.htm


February 8

National Grand Strategy & Force Structure: A Mismatch between Means & Ends?

Snow, Chapter 8 (pp. 227-239 only)




February 10

Nuclear Proliferation and Challenges to Arms Control

Annual Editions, Article 37

Annual Editions, Article 11 (recommended, but not required)


February 15

Nuclear Proliferation and National Missile Defense

Snow, Chapter 8 (pp. 214-227 only)


February 17

Discussion & Debate: National Missile Defense

Annual Editions, Article 32


February 22

Terrorism: America's New Global War

Snow, Chapter 10 (pp. 282-295 only)


February 24

New Variants of Terror: Biological Terror

We will discuss bioterrorism broadly in class. The reading deals with a narrower variant, agroterrorism. Please read the first seven pages (CRS1-CRS7) of the following government report. If it interests you, read feel free to read more.

Congressional Research Service, "Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness,"



March 1

New Variants of Terror: Cyberterrorism

Read the foreword and summary of recommendations of

"Cybercrime…Cyberterrorism…Cyberwarfare" http://www.csis.org/pubs/cyberfor.html

In class there will a very good in-class video presentation on cyberterrorism and its implications for U.S. national security.


March 3

Midterm Examination

This date was selected so that there is a graded assessment prior to the university’s withdrawal deadline (March 11).


March 8

Discussion & Debate: How Should America Respond to Terrorism?

Annual Editions, Articles 22, 23 and 30


March 10

U.S. Arms Sales: Beneficial or Detrimental to National Security?

Read Chapter 2 (Point/Counterpoint) and Chapter 5 (K Street Crowd) of Lumpe and Donarski’s on-line book, The Arms Trade Revealed



Spring Break: March 14 - March 18


March 22

Drug Trafficking

Annual Editions, Article 6

Snow, Chapter 10 (pp. 295-299)


March 24

China: The World's Next Superpower?

Annual Editions, Article 10

Snow, "Amplification 12.1" on p. 336


March 29

Open Date

If we are behind, we will use this date to catch up. If we are on schedule, we will discuss

Russia and read Annual Editions, Article 7.

Quiz on Snow, Chapter 3 today.


March 31

NATO and Regional Collective Defense

NATO grew out of the cold war and now must adapt to its absence. Read Snow, Chapter 4 to understand the organization's origins and new challenges.


April 5

NATO's Transformation

Annual Editions, Article 9


April 7

Ethnic and Religious Conflict: An Old Problem in a New Era

Snow, Chapter 10 (pp. 272-282 only)

Annual Editions, Article 36 (strong recommended but not required)


April 12

Deciding When and How to Intervene

Snow, Chapter 11


April 14

America’s Energy Security: Maintaining Access to the World’s Oil Supply

Annual Editions, Article 27

Papers are due to today at the beginning of class.


April 19

U.S. Interests and the Middle East

Annual Editions, Article 34


April 21

Iraq: How Did We Get There?

Annual Editions, Article 33

Annual Editions, Article 35 (recommended but not required)


April 26

Discussion & Debate: Current U.S. Policy in Iraq

Annual Editions, Article 31


April 28

Iraq, the Revolution in Military Affairs, and the Changing Face of War

Snow, Chapter 9


May 3

Course Conclusion

Snow, Chapter 13


May 5

Review for Final Examination

No readings

May 10

Final Examination:

Section 1: 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM in DU 252

Section 2: 2:00 PM-3:15 PM in DU 459



Consult the three pages of web site listings on pages xv-xvii of Annual Editions: American Foreign Policy 05/06 (one of the two required texts for the course). Some of the best sites are on these pages and are not repeated below. However, these additional web sites may prove useful.

Almanac of Policy Issues - Foreign Affairs and National Security


Brookings Institution: Foreign Policy Studies


Center for Defense Information


Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute for International Studies


Commonwealth Institute


Congressional Research Service Reports - Military and National Security


Foreign Policy Association


Foreign Policy In Focus


Links to International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy


National Security Archive, The George Washington University (Historical Documents)


Target Iraq, GlobalSecurity.org


University of Michigan Documents Center


U.S. Congress, House, Armed Services Committee


U.S. Congress, House, International Relations Committee


U.S. Congress, Senate, Armed Services Committee


U.S. Congress, Senate, Foreign Relations Committee


U.S. Department of Homeland Security


U.S. Institute for Peace


Where To Find Military Information


World Policies




Do your own work: Please do not make the mistake of using or borrowing some or all of a student's paper from last year. Papers from last year are on file and are based on a different assignment. Nonetheless, the course assistant will be checking work submitted this year against work that was submitted last year. Also do not waste your time or money buying a paper from a web site or another source. This assignment was designed especially for this particular course. To earn a good grade the guidelines (below) must be followed. A purchased paper will not meet these guidelines. The keys to success are start early, follow the directions, do careful work, and ask for help when you need it.

Goal and substance of the paper: One task many national security policy practitioners, particularly midlevel bureaucrats, confront is the need to look at current realities and trends, think in worst case scenarios, and forecast the "next" major national security challenge or crisis. You are to assume the role of a present-day U.S. national security policy maker and write a seven-page paper that identifies a future national security challenge or crisis. "Future" is not defined in days or months or by the current war on terrorism or military action in Iraq. Rather it should be tied to a five, 10, 15, 20, or even 25-year period.

Through research, writing and reasoned argumentation, the paper should accomplish three central tasks. Referencing current realities, facts and trends, the presentation should fully and logically explain why this challenge or crisis will emerge within the paper's specified time period. In addition, the paper should make clear what U.S. interests are at stake. In other words, why should the United States care? Why might this future crisis or challenge merit finite U.S. governmental attention, resources, and/or policy adjustments today? These tasks should be the central focus of the paper. Last, the paper does not have to offer a comprehensive policy response, proposal or strategy, but the conclusion should offer some suggestions on actions the United States can take before the crisis or challenge emerges that might serve to eliminate the threat or reduce the severity of its consequences.

It is each student's job to select the threat or issue. Just be sure the selection bears a clear and reasonable connection to U.S. national security policy. Use current trends coupled with creativity to arrive at a compelling topic. For instance, what if there is another catastrophic attack on U.S. soil? What if the Saudi monarchy falls to militant Islamic fundamentalists? What if China attacks Taiwan or North Korea attacks South Korea? What if a nuclear Pakistan and a nuclear India go to war over Kashmir? What if Iran becomes a nuclear weapons state? Could there be a war over a resource, such as water? What if terrorists attack the U.S. food supply? What if the United States leaves Afghanistan or Iraq in defeat? What if Iraq becomes gripped by civil war? What if European states reject NATO as their principal collective defense organization? What if China emerges as a superpower? What if U.S. hegemony ends? These are merely examples. There are many possibilities. Students are encouraged to think beyond Iraq and terrorism that dominate today's headlines. Are there issues and relationships that are being under-emphasized or neglected today that could jeopardize U.S. national security interests in the future?

National security policy by its nature is a pessimistic endeavor; and the approach discussed above is probably the most manageable direction to take. For students with a more optimistic bent, however, it is acceptable to base the paper on a future development that may have more positive impact on U.S. security interests if current facts, trends, and realities warrant such a conclusion. For instance, what if the insurgency is quelled in Iraq and democracy (in a Middle Eastern sense) takes hold? What if al-Qaeda is eliminated? What if a Palestinian state is established? What if a current state with nuclear weapons or an interest in the development follows Libya's recent example? What if China or Russia became a full-fledged democracy? Again, these are merely examples for the purpose of illustration. There are many possibilities.

Students are welcome to discuss their topics with the instructor or course assistant, and may be asked to announce their paper focus during a class session.

Format and presentation: The final paper should be properly presented and assembled. Be sure it conforms to the following guidelines:

    1. Word-processed and double-spaced on white, unlined, 8.5'' x 11'' paper with 12 pt. font
    2. Stapled in upper left-hand corner with no fancy covers or binders
    3. Title page
    4. One-inch margins on all sides
    5. Page numbers
    6. Text begins at the very top of page one
    7. Meet the page minimum of 7 pages and not exceed 10 pages

Research and Documentation: The final paper should be carefully and properly documented.

    1. Do not engage in intentional or unintentional plagiarism (see "academic dishonesty" under "course policies and loose ends" above).
    2. Use a reasonable number of complete footnotes or endnotes to indicate sources, supporting evidence, interpretations, contrary analyses or views, as well as to give credit for quotations or paraphrases
    3. Use at least five different solid sources, as reflected in the endnotes or footnotes, not merely the bibliography. (More sources are preferable.) Course textbooks may be used, but these materials do not count toward the number of required sources unless it is a chapter that was not assigned during the semester.
    4. Avoid dependency or overuse of particular sources. Diversify sources and citations throughout the entire paper.
    5. Use a widely accepted form of citation, such as MLA, APA, APSR, or the Chicago Manual of Style. The specific form is your choice.
    6. Use quality source material (e.g., books, scholarly journal articles, interviews, memoirs of decision-makers, speeches, government documents, etc.). Every paper should have some of these types of sources. The university library has a good government documents section and helpful staff on the second floor. Try to visit before 4:30 PM for the best assistance. The library also has access to a number of good databases (e.g., JSTOR, EBSCO, LexisNexis, etc.) that will allow you to search for journal articles thoroughly and efficiently. Do not be afraid to ask a librarian for assistance.
    7. Citations from newspapers and newsmagazines are acceptable, but they will not be counted toward the required number of sources. (Speak to the instructor if this is truly the only type of material that you can find on your subject.) Newspapers of record, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, or other good quality newspapers, such as the Christian Science Monitor, should be employed. Some foreign newspapers may also be acceptable.
    8. Good quality sources of information from the World Wide Web are acceptable and will count toward the source minimum, but this information is it not an excuse for doing library research. Use Internet material in moderation and be sure it is well cited so that anyone could locate the same information.

Quality Writing and Structure: The final paper should be well written in formal English.

    1. Begin with a clear and coherent thesis statement.
    2. Include a "roadmap paragraph" that explains how the paper will be organized and presented.
    3. Use subheading and subsections to organize the paper.
    4. Have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Be sure the body addresses the key features of the assignment discussed under "goal and substance of paper" (above).
    5. Use a persuasive, analytical, third person voice. Avoid the use of me, my, I, we, our, you, and your.
    6. Avoid the use of contractions in formal papers, such as it's, don't, can't and weren't. Instead use it is, do not, cannot, and were not.
    7. Avoid spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and awkward sentences. Be sure verbs agree with their subjects and pronouns agree with their antecedents. Grammatical errors include split infinitives, cliches, improper or missing capitalization, improper use of apostrophes, confusing plural and possessive forms of words, double negatives, fluctuations in verb tense, and missing or improper punctuation.
    8. Use its and it's, affect and effect, and U.S. and United States properly. On the last point, write out United States when it is a noun and U.S. when it is an adjective.
    9. Carefully proofread the final paper before submitting it.

Writing Assistance: For writing assistance, please consult with the University’s Writing Center in one of the following ways.

    1. Drop by the Stevenson Towers South, Lower Level Tower B. During the regular semester, Writing Center hours are generally Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and Monday through Wednesday evenings 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Be sure to call or check the center's web site to confirm the correct hours.
    2. Make an individual appointment by calling (815) 753-6636.
    3. Go to http://www.engl.niu.edu/writing_center/ and e-mail a draft for general feedback. There are also other online writing resources at this address.

Research and Substantive Assistance: Students are welcome to consult with the instructor as often as they wish about their paper's topic, source material, or substance. Please feel free to talk to me after class, visit office hours, ask brief questions over e-mail, or submit outlines and research design statements for feedback. The course assistant is also available to help you.

Submitting the Paper: Be sure to submit two copies of the final paper at the proper time on the posted due date. Keep a photocopy and computer disk copy of the paper. Students are responsible for supplying an additional copy should the instructor request it.

Paper Grades: The main criteria to be used in evaluating the paper will be the caliber of research, understanding of subject, quality of analysis and argumentation, quality of writing and overall presentation, degree of independent thinking, and the use of evidence and reasoning to reach meaningful conclusions. It goes without saying that the paper must fully meet the stated goal of the assignment and the guidelines (discussed above).