24.900 | Spring 2022 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Linguistics

Final Assignment

Due: last day of class

For this assignment, you will revise one of the three papers that you wrote during the  semester. The revisions should focus on improving the content, argumentation, organization and style of the original paper. Your revised paper will be graded based on the quality of the final paper and the extent of the revisions. 

Your revisions may involve reconsidering and refining the claims of the paper. Perhaps further reflection might reveal a different or better way to capture data that you presented. Good revisions should also improve the flow of the argument: clearly present the thesis up front, provide well organized data and explain how they support the claims, include transitions that explain how one point leads to the next, and so on. Finally, revisions  strengthen the argument by ensuring that the data that you have selected truly supports the claims of the paper, and is not open to alternative interpretations. (Or, if alternative interpretations exist, explain why we should favor your interpretation.) In some cases, improving the argumentation might involve adding additional data that more directly supports your thesis; however, in just as many cases, it will involve removing material   
that is superfluous or only weakly makes the point. The main focus should be on improving the writing, and not on expanding the paper with substantial amounts of new data. 

Some points to keep in mind: 

  • Feedback from your TA and from the Writing Advisors for this class will help you identify aspects of the paper that would benefit most from revision. We highly recommend consulting with them. 
  • Many of you will be revising papers that were already very good to start with. Still, every paper has room for improvement! If you feel that your argument was already clearly organized, you may wish to devote some thought to possible alternative analyses/interpretations. Frequently, giving serious sympathetic consideration to an opposing interpretation will reveal places where you could bolster your argument. It may also provide additional discussion points about predictions that would distinguish the theories, which merit further investigation. 
  • You do not need to adhere to the original page limit, if your revisions require adding additional data, arguments, or discussion points. Please be judicious with extra pages, though! Additional material should still be concise and to the point.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2022
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments
Problem Sets