The term paper requirements include:
a) Select a topic.
By Week 6, hand in a piece of paper with at least one sentence on it that names your topic. Since most of the lectures will not have been given by then, this may necessitate that you talk to at least one of the instructors about a topic.
b) Begin to write.
In preparation for the final paper, write a short (few pages) critique/proposal/squib/data analysis/theory proposal/alternative on some topic in the acquisition literature, related to the topic you'll be doing a paper on, suggesting the kind of thing you're looking for, alternative explanations, new data analysis on some language, theoretical proposal, etc. One way to start might be to take a paper (from the reading list or some other paper) and suggest why it doesn't seem to work, or extensions it suggests, etc. The idea is that this is beginning work/results toward your paper. We are happy to give you help with this. This is due in Week 12.
c) Submit a final paper, due last day of class.
We will help with topics and ways of writing papers. The paper can be based on new data or, more likely, new analyses of existing data. Connecting acquisition proposals with theoretical linguistic ideas is a very good way of generating ideas for a paper. If you'd like to work on natural production data yourself, there is data from many languages on the CHILDES system. We'll discuss this system sometime in the first half of the semester. We expect to discuss paper topics with each student.