net neutrality, government shutdown of the Internet, cryptography, the last mile, projection of text onto the inside of contact lenses, data compression schemes, Internet of Things (IoT), networking on the manufacturing floor, and cryptanalysis.

Project Topic and Paper Guidelines
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Project paper topic and table of contents are due 11:00 PM Wednesday February 7th
.
Submit your topic and table of contents via this assignment drop box. Submissions may be
directly entered into D2L, an attached Word document, or an attached Open Office file.
The topic of your project paper is to be a topic of your choosing, and is related to data
communications. The majority of your paper must present information beyond what is
discussed in class or in the textbook. The goal is for you to have the opportunity to choose a
technical topic, learn about it, and report what you learn. If you are currently working in the
field of data communications, then you may want to write on a topic that will be useful in your
current work environment.
Some example topics from previous works include; net neutrality, government shutdown
of the Internet, cryptography, the last mile, projection of text onto the inside of contact lenses,
data compression schemes, Internet of Things (IoT), networking on the manufacturing floor, and
cryptanalysis. You are not limited to these topics.
Submit a minimum of a seven-line item table of contents for your project paper. This
table of contents is worth ten (10) grade points. If you decide to change your topic after this
date, feel free to do so without penalty, just remember the term project paper is due no later
than 11:00 PM Wednesday, March 7th
.
Your project paper should be no less than 2000 words and no more than 3000 words, as
calculated by Microsoft Word excluding title page, table of contents, index (if any),
bibliography, quotes and cited sources. Please use either double line spacing or one and a half
line spacing, and no less than eleven point font.
If you find you have not coved your topic in 3000 words, then narrow your scope. On the
other hand, if you are not able to write 2000 words on your topic, then broaden your topic. Term
papers submitted with less than 2000 words will be penalized one point for each percentage point
under 2000 words. Correspondingly, papers over 3000 words will be penalized one point for
each percentage point over 3000 words.
Each line item of your table of contents is to be a sub-heading in the body of your
project paper. Project papers submitted without a table of contents and matching subheadings
will automatically be penalized 25 grade points. Feel free to alter your table of
contents in the final project paper.
Use at least three sources exclusive of the chapter notes and textbook. It is okay to use the
chapter notes and textbook as a source, but they will not be considered as one of the three required
sources. Most of you will use the Web and trade magazines as sources, but results from an
interview with a real live person involved in the discipline are very desirable and qualifies as a
source. Three sources are rarely sufficient for a reasonable paper, though, so expect to use
many more. Qualify your sources. Wikipedia is OK as a source, but find corroborating sources.
PCC subscribes to a number of on-line magazines and books, so consider using them. The
magazines on line will be a real time saver. Especially consider Master file, which is also found
Project Topic and Paper Guidelines
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starting from the PCC library site listed above and selecting Databases A-Z. Use your G number
to access these services. When using the textbook or chapter notes, be sure to also include them in
your bibliography.
Use the MLA style for citing your sources. Number your sources and indicate within the text
where you are using those sources. Put your sources at the end of the paper. Make your
method of citing sources clear. www.google.com is not a source, it’s a search engine.
www.wikipedia.com is not a source, it’s a database. You can specify pages in Wikipedia as a
source. http://www.wimaxforum.org/ is not a source; it’s a portal page to a web site. There
may be a page on that web site that you can use as your source. Your source must be specific
to the document you are referencing. Use the MLA format as a guide. This is not a writing
class, so you will not be graded on the accuracy of the MLA format, but your source reference
must be clear.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a grade of zero (0) on the term paper. In
addition to the outright copying of prepared text, plagiarism includes the act of copying and
pasting small snippets of text without citing the source. The project paper must be a written
expression in your own words that accurately represents your own thoughtful understanding,
opinions, and recommendations of the subject material. Remember, using another’s words to
discuss your topic does not relate your understanding, opinion, or recommendation of the
subject material.
Sometimes students will use a strategy of accurately quoting and citing sources to an
extent where their paper becomes a series of multiple and often large quotes tied together
with a simple transition sentence or two between the quotes. Technically this is not plagiarism
but neither is it a term project paper. Your paper must reflect your understanding, analysis,
and/or recommendation of the subject material. Use cited quotations to substantiate your
thoughts, but do not make cited quotations the bulk of your paper.
Tom