Teaching Examples

Research Project Example

For this assignment you will choose a topic covered in this course, or a related topic of your choosing and do in-depth research into the mathematics involved. You will communicate your findings in both written and oral formats. The paper and presentation should be comprehensible, compelling, and educational to a layman, such that the paper could be converted into an effective Wikipedia entry and the presentation could be performed publicly at a TED style event. The expectations for this assignment are as follows:


  • A proposal of what you intend to do for this assignment must be submitted to the LMS site for the course.
  • In this proposal you must demonstrate that you have chosen an appropriate topic and have developed a general plan of how you will approach your research.

Annotated Bibliography

  • An annotated bibliography of at least five sources must be submitted to the LMS site for the course, for which you will find reference materials and summarize them.
  • This annotated bibliography must demonstrate that you have found appropriate sources in the resource of your topic, have carefully read them, and are ready to move on to the communicative phase of your project – the final paper and presentation.


Your paper must:

  • describe the mathematics of one or more of the topics in the course or describe in-depth a topic that is of particular interest to you that relates to the course material.
  • contain footnotes from at least five sources from outside of the course reading and videos, in Chicago Manual of Style format. These sources can be papers from the primary literature, reports from reputable agencies/organizations, or online summaries of data posted on reputable sites.
  • demonstrate that the sources found were correctly interpreted and effectively synthesized with course material to produce the final paper in your own voice.
  • NOT include any verbatim quotations.
  • be 1500-2500 words of text (excluding bibliography).
  • include visuals (photos, figures, graphs or tables from your cited sources).
  • contain footnotes from at least five sources outside of course materials, in Chicago Manual of Style format.
  • make as many links to material from the course as possible.
  • You will give a 15 minute presentation of your work to the class.
  • You will be asked to take notes during your classmates’ presentations, which must be submitted via the LMS and will count towards your Class Activities grade.


Example Grading Rubric – Final Paper

Ideas and Research

Excels in responding to assignment.  Paper linked to a theme or themes from the course.  Demonstrates sophistication of thought.  Concepts are clearly communicated.  Paper recognizes some complexity in the concepts used and has a logically sound structure. Appropriately defines terms. 45 points
A solid paper, responding appropriately to the assignment.  Clearly demonstrates scientific concepts, but may have minor lapses in development.  Begins to acknowledge the complexity of the concepts employed.   Shows careful reading of sources.  Attempts to define terms, not always successfully. 30 points

Adequate but weaker and less effective, responding less well to the assignment.  Presents central idea in overly general terms. Shows basic comprehension of sources, perhaps with lapses in understanding.  If it defines terms, often uses verbatim definitions from sources.

20 points
Does not demonstrate concepts clearly or does not respond appropriately to the assignment.  Concepts used may be too vague or obvious to be developed effectively.  Paper may misunderstand sources. 10 points
Does not respond to the assignment.  Lacks demonstration of scientific concepts, and may neglect to use sources where necessary. 0 points 

First Draft

A first draft of the paper was submitted and feedback on this draft was incorporated into the final version. 10 points
A first draft of the paper was not submitted. 0 points

Sources and Bibliography

Paper includes a properly formatted bibliography with all information that would be necessary to request the referenced material from a library. References are appropriate to the topic. 10 points
Paper either includes a bibliography with some missing information or the references are not completely appropriate to the topic. 5 points
Bibliography not present or not readable. 0 points

Style and Mechanics

The paper is almost entirely free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.  Sentences are varied, yet clearly structured and carefully focused, not long and rambling.  Language and terminology are precise and appropriate for a scholarly work. 25 points
Contains several errors that temporarily confuse the reader but do not impede the overall understanding.  Sentence structure may be generally correct, but sentences may be wordy, unfocussed, repetitive, and confusing.  Uses vague wording and language inappropriate for a scholarly work. 15 points
Contains so many mechanical errors that it is impossible for the reader to follow the thinking from sentence to sentence.  Contains many awkward sentences, misuses words, employs inappropriate language. 0 points

Length (excluding bibliography)

Paper is 1500 to 2500 words. 10 points
Paper is 1000 to 1500 words or 2500 to 3000 words. 5 points
Paper is shorter than 1000 words or more than 3000 words. 0 points

Deductions for Lateness

Turned in after class, but still on the due date – 2 points
Each additional day after due date, up to 7 days late – 5 points

 Grading summary


Possible Points


Ideas and Research


First Draft


Sources and Bibliography


Style and Mechanics




Total earned points



Deductions for lateness

Total score