GVPT 403 7380 Final Project

You will be required to complete a four-stage paper.

The topic of your project is to be arranged in consultation with the instructor by the second week of class. The presentation/paper must fall within the purview of this course, that is, it must be related to some aspect of the intersection of law, morality, and war. It may cover the theoretical and/or practical connections between the existence of law and the conduct of war, or look into the status of morality regarding the violence of war in international relations and politics. This is particularly poignant in the post-Hiroshima era.

Here are some ideas you may want to consider:

You may look at the legal or moral problems posed by either contemporary warfare in the nuclear age or traditional warfare. Is there a role for (U.S.) Constitutional law in war or in the resolution of disputes? Does international law play a role? When is military intervention justified in the amelioration of, or end of, conflicts? Is there a tension between those who would punish war crimes, especially since Nuremberg, and those who hope to reconcile adversaries?

Religion and ideology play a major role in the ways people see war. Eli Weisel wrote that God died in the eyes of a young boy at Auschwitz. In other words, how can we explain the existence of evil if there is divine presence in the world? What do our contemporaries think about this matter? Countries always justify their wars against enemies, but does morality have to play a role? How do our readings in this course illuminate the connections between law, morality, and war?

Final Paper

The final paper must contain eight-ten full pages of content, double-spaced, with standard 1-inch margins and 12-point standard font. You must use APA or Chicago/Turabian style for citations. All papers must use a minimum of five primary and five secondary sources. (Again, this is a minimum number of sources. Read the rubric for the final paper below and aim for the "A" requirements if you hope to achieve full credit.) You may use the sources assigned for this course, but you may not count them toward the minimum sources for your project. At least two of your secondary sources must be academic journal articles.

Your paper should have a minimum of 10 sources, five primary and five secondary sources. (If you are unfamiliar with this distinction, check out the information here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops/hypertext/ResearchW/resource.html.) Restrict your sources to newspaper articles from major national and international papers, published journals and magazine articles, academic sources, and websites from major organizations and government agencies. Course materials may be used as a reference, but it does not count toward the minimum number of sources. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are not appropriate sources for college level work. Online sources are fine, but they must be authoritative sources. Wikipedia, About.com, and other nonacademic websites are not acceptable sources. (Bear in mind that anyone can submit an article to Wikipedia.)

If you are unsure about how to determine whether an online source is a good one, the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University has an excellent resource guide: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_evalsource4.html. If you still have doubts as to whether a source is acceptable, send your instructor an e-mail.

Citations: All direct quotes from any source must be in quotation marks or indented and identified as a quotation in APA or Chicago/Turabian format. If you have questions about how to do this, consult the reference guides at UMUC's Effective Writing Center. In addition, anytime you use information from a source, even if it is not a direct quote, you must include the source.

When you use quotations in your paper, you must cite the source, using the standard APA or Turabian format. The general rule of thumb for the ratio of original writing to quotes is at least four lines of analysis for any line that you quote. For the most part, you should paraphrase your sources, instead of quoting directly. Remember, as well, that you must cite your source for any sections that are paraphrased or from which you used specific information. Generally speaking, unless the paragraph consists solely of analysis or your own opinion, you should be citing a source (or sources) at the end of the paragraph.

If you are unfamiliar with the rules on when and how to cite, consult this website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.

Plagiarism: All work submitted must be original. Your instructor may submit all stages of this assignment to Turnitin, an online plagiarism analyzer. The database includes a variety of print sources and all online sources, as well as contributions from known "paper mills" and previously submitted papers from UMUC and other universities. Review the rules concerning plagiarism and academic integrity carefully. UMUC takes academic integrity very seriously. Plagiarism carries strict penalties, and any paper that is identified as plagiarized will receive a zero for that assignment. Serious cases of plagiarism may also result in formal charges. Do not wait until after you have submitted the paper to determine what constitutes plagiarism, because at that point it will be too late.

Field of study: 


Gov 403 Research Project: Does Morality Justify War?

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