Final Paper

Final Paper

Your final paper will be the culmination of the semester long project that presents a complete anthology or field guide. For some of you, it will be your first book. Well done! Below are steps to follow to turn your work from the semester into an edited finished product. The outline is a rough guide for the page count, but can be flexible.

Due Date: January 14th, 2022


1) Title Page (1 page)

2) Table of contents (1 page)

3) Introduction (1-3 pages)

This includes an introduction to your particular categories, literature review, and conclusion. You should introduce your topic with a research question. Some of your collections will require a bit of historical context, other not (Imagine your reader: do they need it?). When you introduce your literature review, you should guide your reader through the conversation these works are having about your particular categories. General literature reviews are not very helpful: your reviews should be related to your particular categories. Remember the upside down triangle structure: begin large and general and then slowly move to your particular contribution. The end of your literature review should reveal the necessity for your particular collection as well as your approach/theory/method. Introducing your contribution is both the conclusion to your introduction and a transition to your collection.

6) Annotated collection (10 entries; 5-10 pages)

7) Bibliography (1 page)

Page total: 10-13 pages


As you write, you would do well to imagine yourself as an “author” or "editor" who has to communicate ideas to an absent reader. This writing process requires style and rhetoric. Since you are not there to guide them, your writing should imagine your reader's needs and guide them to your particular thesis.

Visual Cues

  • Grammar and spelling: check and double check

  • Paragraphs: Limit each paragraph to one idea. More than one idea per paragraph is like a conversation with several people speaking at once.

  • Sections: Consider using sections titles from the outline above (make them unique to your anthology) to help keep focused and the reader following.

  • Transitions: these should be used between each section, paragraph, and sentence. Each idea needs a directional marker: where have you been and where are you going?

  • Images: If you are using images, be sure they are formatted in a similar manner.

  • Citations: Quotes should be properly formatted (MLA) and should be used to support a claim or introduce a new claim that you will address. A citation is an expert who supports your claim, or an expert with whom you disagree. Give this expert the context they need to be the most effective and engage the quote as a dialogue.

  • Reader questions: Imagine and address issues a reader may have. Each of your collection will have different readers: it's your role to imagine where they might have a problem and guide them to a solution. If you notice a problem in your argument or in your method, address this in your writing with support. Imagine other potential questions a reader may have and be sure you address them as well. If the questions or problems you begin to see are so broad that you cannot address them completely, you might need to reframe your original question or categorization.


Plan to finish well before the submission deadline in case something happens that is out of your control. If you follow the steps this semester, you will have an excellent final product.