CS 4873C Spring'21


Computing, Society, & Professionalism


Schedule and Readings


Term Paper

View the Site on GitHub blairmacintyre/cs4873-s21

Term Paper

Due April 26
Format 12 pt font, double spaced, approximately 10 pages
Grading Criteria Writing
Quality of research
Insight into the issues

(Before the term paper itself, you will be submitting and proposal and an outline)

For your term paper, you will research an issue about computing and society that you are initially undecided about. In your paper, you will take a position on that issue and support that position. Your paper should be approximately ten pages long. Don’t worry if it’s a bit longer or shorter—just make sure to cover your issue well. (Just please don’t go significantly over the suggested length.)

Try to be balanced and fair in your presentation of evidence. You don’t necessarily need to take a strong stance on the issue. If as you research you find you are really undecided, you may instead write about why there is currently not enough evidence available on your issue. You can review all the existing evidence, and in your conclusion outline what sort of empirical research would be desirable to fully understand the issue.

Quality of writing counts. Please try to make your prose clear and readable. Do not use overly formal language, but also do not use colloquialisms. Your textbooks are reasonable models for the desired writing style.

To the greatest extent possible, all statements in your paper should be supported by appropriate references. If you include personal opinion or other sources of data, mark those clearly. Your bibliography should be in APA style.

Please avoid citing the same reference over and over. Sometimes we get term papers that are essentially a summary of one source. This does not make a good paper.

Please do NOT write about sharing music and other files online, without special permission of the instructor. You may not write about privacy implications of RFID tags, because so many students have written about this in the past and there are old term papers circulating on campus. Your submitted term paper will be compared to an archive of past term papers.

Reference Format: Please use APA format for all references. APA format is described here.

Term Paper Presentation

You will be required to give a 5 minute presentation on your term paper on your last recitation day. Don’t overthink it. You should cover key points from your paper. You can pick format—you may do a powerpoint, a video, or just speak to you discussion group live. Some points you might consider including:

You will notice that the presentation is the week before the paper is due. This was done so that you have time to take any feedback you get when you present, and incorporate it into your final paper.