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   ASLU:  "Extra-credit Research Paper"

Instructions:  Extra-Credit Micro-Research Paper on an ASL or Deaf Culture Topic:

Rule 1:  Do NOT recycle a previously written paper from any other class.  I may post your paper at or show to my colleagues in the Deaf Studies Program. If you have recycled a paper it will be considered cheating and will impact standing in the class and your grade accordingly.

How to get the full 25 points:

Write a brief research paper (about 2 pages, see the guidelines below), add a link to at the bottom of your paper and post your paper to either Facebook or some other online location.  Take a screenshot of the post and print out that screenshot and clearly print your name, the class, and the words "extra credit" on it and hand it in by the last day of class.  Don't just email me a link to your Facebook page.  Inputting scores is faster and more efficient if I just have a stack of papers with student names on them.  Then after you have printed off a page showing that you posted the article, go ahead and paste your article into an email and send it to me.  Do NOT worry about line spacing, margins, etc.  Focus on using real sources and references and writing a good article. I don't care about the "look" of your article. I care if it has real references, is interesting, and is free from spelling or grammar errors.

Preferred topic?  Choose YOUR favorite hobby, topic, or passion and, "How do Deaf people do this?" "What Deaf people are doing this?"  "How could more Deaf people do this?" "Where are Deaf people doing this?" "Why are Deaf people doing this?" etc.

The fact is I've ALREADY read waaaaaay too many papers about Thomas Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc, Helen Keller, etc.  I absolutely don't want a paper about cochlear implants or "FIXING" Deaf people.  I want something FRESH, new, and personally relevant to YOU.  If you like "scuba" diving, then research how Deaf people go scuba diving.  If you like "cooking" then research Deaf Chef's and/or restaurants.  If you invest 3 hours looking for connections between your hobby and "Deaf people" and can find very little if anything, then type THAT up and consider WHY that is the case and type your thoughts on the matter.  Include your sources and call that your paper.  As long as I see "real" effort -- I'll grant you some extra credit points.



How to write an extra-credit research paper for this course that gets an full credit:

Checklist:  "Is my paper ready to submit?"

  Is my topic an ASL or Deaf Culture topic?
(Please do NOT submit a paper on "Fixing Deaf People Via Cochlear Implants" or a paper on famous people who are physically "deaf" but never had anything to do with American Sign Language or the Deaf community.)  Read that again folks: I'm asking you to NOT do Cochlear Implants as a topic.*

Did I do a research paper rather than a "book report?"  (Research papers utilize multiple, credible references, not just one book.)

  Did I document where I got my information?  Did I cite at least 3 enduring, traceable sources of information in my references? (Since your paper might be posted to or ASLU do NOT use as your "source."  Also, opinion blogs don't count.  Find REAL books or journal articles either online or hard copy with authors and publication dates, etc. that can be traced.  You can use online NEWS articles about CURRENT events if you would like. You can use large, well-established, credible-looking websites that are associated with an organization, agency, or association.)

Even if I have changed "every word" in the sentence-- if I've borrowed someone else's idea--did I provide a reference?

Did I use parenthetical expressions (citations) at the end of ideas that I've gotten from other people? Do these citations correspond to full references at the end of the paper?  Citations in the body of my paper use an opening parenthesis, author's last name, comma, year of publication and a closing parenthesis.  For example (Vicars, 2001).

  Is my paper 500 words or more?

At the end of my research paper have I provided a list of references that include the author's last name and first initial, the publication date, the name of the article, book, or journal, the publisher and the place of publication?

If I have quoted directly out of a book or article did I make sure to cite the exact page number in my reference entry at the end of my research paper?

Any time I used another author's ideas word for word--did I put those words in quote marks?
  Did I limit the length of direct quotes from other sources in my paper?

  Have I
used online references only if I've been able to ascertain the actual author's name, date of publication, title of the document, and name of the publisher? Have I provided at least three references that are relatively enduring? (That can be easily located later by readers of my paper.)

  Have I spell checked and grammar checked my paper?

  Have I asked a friend or colleague to read my paper and give me feedback?

  Do I know when this
paper is due? Am I submitting it on time?

Did I post my paper to an online location such as my Facebook page, take a screenshot, and print it off?

  Did I paste my paper into an email and send it to the instructor with a subject line like the following?: "Last name, First name, ASL 4, Extra-Credit."

  When I posted my paper to an online location did I include a link to

I know that this paper might be posted / published by Lifeprint and I give them permission.

Tips:   If writing about Deaf and hard of hearing people it is okay and your are even encouraged to use the full phrase "Deaf and hard of hearing people" at least once during your paper or article near the beginning -- but afterward for efficiency sake just use the term "Deaf." After you've used the full phrase you can reduce redundancy by realizing you do not need to add the "hard of hearing" phrase each time. You can instead just use the word "Deaf." If referring to culturally Deaf people you should capitalize the word Deaf, (even though capitalization of "Deaf" is not yet standard in the mainstream media). Reduce and to the maximum extent eliminate the use of the phrase "hearing impaired." (Most culturally Deaf people shun that phrase.  If directly quoting a source then yes you need to use the words that the source used. But if writing your own words then you should use the terminology preferred by the Deaf community.)


Student Research Paper Rubric:


Needs improvement



500 words or more

Fewer than 500 words.

 500 words that for the most part make sense and sort of flow well.

500 or more words that make sense and flow well.

3 or more citations in the body of the article.

No mention in your article of where you got your ideas from.

Less than 3 citations included or incorrect format.

3 or more citations, in correct format.

3 or more references at the bottom that go with the citations.

No reference list at the bottom of your article telling people how to find the material from which you got your ideas.

Less than 3 references included, incorrect format,  or can't backtrack to the actual information.

3 or more complete and traceable references to credible sources.

Included a link to

No link.

The words but not clickable.

A clickable link:

Emailed the research article including sources to the instructor.

Did not email the article.

Attached the article to an email.

Pasted the article into an email and sent it to the instructor.


Instructions for how to write a paper that gets you an "F" for the course:

1.  Browse the internet and cut and paste until you have 500 words worth of plagiarized information. 
2.  Change a word here and  there. Rearrange the information a bit so it looks like you are writing it.
3.  Format it really nice.
4.  Put your name on it and send it in. 
Note: the way to avoid plagiarization is to document your sources and give credit (via citing) where it is due.

Instructions on how to write a "lousy" paper that won't get many points:

1. Pick an ASL topic that looks easy.
2. Get a few lame references from some blog off the net that are hard to trace.
3. Write 500 words the night before it is due.

Acceptable references at ASL University:

In the body of your document just use the last name of the author and the year, for example, (Vicars, 2001). Then at the end of your document you put the word "references"  followed by a list of the books and articles which influenced your writing. 

If reference is a book:
Author's last name, first initial. (year). Title of book--underline it. Place of publication: Name of publisher. 
Vicars, W. (1998). Sign Me Up! Salt Lake City, Utah: Lifeprint Institute.

If reference is a Journal:
Author's last name, first name. (year). Title of journal article only capitalize the first letter. Name of journal underline it. Volume number, starting page number-ending page number.
Below is a "made up" example, but make sure to use REAL journals in your paper:
Smith, John. (1999). Teaching ASL online. Journal of ASL. 7, 139-156.

If you find an online source that specifies the actual author's name, date of publication, title of the document, and name of the publisher--(good luck)--I'll accept the reference.  Note, this must be from an original source document on the web, do not quote someone else's research paper.

If reference is a web page:
Author's last name, first name. (Year, Mo. day). Title of the article or web page goes here, underline it and only capitalize the first letter and words that are always capitalized.  Title of the journal, general website, or book goes here. Name of the publisher or the sponsoring organization goes here. Retrieved day, Mo. Year: <full web address>.
Vicars, William. (2001, Jan. 4). Nonlinguistic communication. Lifeprint Library. ASL University. Retrieved 12, Feb. 2001: <>.

Hawk, Lori. (2007, Aug. 22). Hearts and Hands: ASL Poetry. Lifeprint Library. ASL University. Retrieved 06, Sept. 2007:



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