ISG: Term Paper topics in a collaborative environment

The term paper is the heart of the course and the learning process behind it. We ask you to start organizing your thinking on this even before you come into the seminar the first time on Thursday morning. The present website is content rich and sets out a number of clues and ideas for this that you may find useful.
ISG 2015 group photo 2 - left side

And to the extent that this is agreeable to you, we would like to ask you at the very least to consider having at least some of the report dealing with ideas concerning the relationship between sustainable development and the problems, attitudes and opportunities within your own country. This however is your choice, so now let us get on with this short list, which in point of fact represent the curiosity of your professor who is curious to have the benefit of your thoughts on these topics

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Previous Term Paper Topics

ISG class 2013 - 2One of the strongest points of these ISG Master classes is that each year the students come from such a wide range of backgrounds and places. This gives us an opportunity to share ideas and views that reflect these often considerable personal and cultural  differences and as a result, greatly enrich the learning process. Here by way of example are a selection of titles and countries of author origin of some of the previous term papers submitted in past seminars.

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Quick Reports

As part of the course credit each member of the class is required to prepare and a  Quick Report  on some aspect of our topic in which you tackle a topic, author, event,  institution or school of thought, which you then summarize, analyze and present with your comments to the others for their attention and critical reactions.

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Fair Use, Copyright, Citation and Original Work

–  See also SDED Final Report Guidelines at

writing on computer - fair use

Before we get into the details, let me plead with you to be very careful as you prepare your working materials and start to  write, to be extremely careful to acknowledge your sources in the proper way. You are the author so the words must be yours. We live in an era of such enormous availability of materials on just about any subject, and all that often only one easy click away. But we also have minds. So please show me in your paper how you use your mind and acknowledge all those sources in the appropriate way

Failure to attribute your sources properly in academic work or journalism is called plagiarism, that is: appropriating ideas or words of others and presenting them as your own without attributing those words or ideas to their true source.   Today it’s a serious generational problem — always existed but today in the era of the internet and infinite information on an infinity of topics, the temptations and tools are there for all of us (this writer included).  Please do not fall into this trap of facility.

The Wikipedia article on plagiarism at does a pretty good job on the topic. It opens with this:

Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud, and offenders are subject to academic censure, up to and including expulsion. In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination of employment. Some individuals caught plagiarizing in academic or journalistic contexts claim that they plagiarized unintentionally, by failing to include quotations or give the appropriate citation. While plagiarism in scholarship and journalism has a centuries-old history, the development of the Internet, where articles appear as electronic text, has made the physical act of copying the work of others much easier.

It is important for you as an MBA student preparing an academic report to be able to reference your materials  properly. There are no absolute rules for setting out references, but certain information must be given.

You must always give a reference in the text during, or directly after, each sentence or short section in which you draw upon or summarize someone’s work or ideas. When referring to a particular source, you give:

  • Author (s) name
  • Title, date and place of publication (in brackets)
  • Page number if quoting directly or referring to a point clearly located on a particular page

To conclude: Have confidence in your ability to express yourself in your own words. Do not ever, EVER  use the words or thoughts of someone else without properly and clearly acknowledging your source.

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PS. Yes, I understand that with your work and university obligations time is short for our seminar, thus you are faced with a lot of competition for your time. So what about this as a plan if nothing better comes to mind? You prepare a first-rate cut-and-paste job which introduces the main lines of your topic, drawing on at least four separate sources, with enough of your own words as required here and there to render the whole thing readable.

And then you catch your breath and in closing give the reader three or four original pages of your original comments, observations and eventual conclusions and recommendations you might wish to share with your reader.  Lay it out properly with full attention to our detailed guidelines for presentation, and now that would be a paper that would command my full attention and respect.

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Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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