Digital Money: does it have a future?

Digital Money: does it have a future?


The term paper consists of a 2000 words essay on one of the following topics.


  1. A topic of your choice subject to the approval of your instructor. I strongly encourage you to choose this option. If you do choose it, you must send me aoneparagraph description of your topic. You could start researching the topic only if I approve it.
  2. Information Technologyin the Service of People with Disabilities.

Report and critically comment on computer-based technologies that assist people with disabilities.  Consider blind people, deaf people, people who use wheelchairs, people with limited use of their hands and arms, etc. Describe some of the new tools and their impact.  Discuss issues such as cost, any problems with these devices, social acceptance, etc.


  1. Big Brother and Privacy: a Critical Analysis of Edward Snowden’s and Julian

Assange’s Revelations.

The recent revelations of how state agencies in various countries spy on the citizens of those and other countries have strengthen existing fears of gross infringements of privacy rights by those who are expected to defend them. Are those fears justified? Do you approve of Snowden and Assange’s actions? Have we gained anything from those actions?


  1. Health Information on the Web.

Research, report and assess how the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) affect medical care. You might wish to examine the many Web-based health information sites and their implications in terms of benefits to the patients, reliability of the information, privacy protection, techniques that are available to rate or accredit sites, doctor-patient relations, etc.

  1. Digital Money: does it have a future?

What is money? Give a brief history of different kinds of money, including past examples of money that was not issued by governments. Money in the digital age: describe Bitcoin (and/or another digital money system). Why do people use it? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Consider privacy of transactions, volatility, inflation, use by criminals, etc. and compare to standard money.

  1. How the First Apple Macintosh Came to Be.

The first Apple Macintosh introduced in January 1984 constituted a milestone in the history of computers but how did it come to be? Whose idea was it and how did that original idea evolve? Who were the main figures who brought about the Mac and how did they work as a team? How did the public receive the first Mac? What is the historical significance of the first Mac? Are there any lessons to be learned from its development?


  1. The Free Software and Open Software movements.

What are these two movements and how did they originate? What is the difference between them? How successful have they been so far? Will these movements radically change the way software is created and distributed? Will they have any far reaching social consequences?


Please note: your research should be based only on library and internet sources. It should not involve contact, such as interviews and surveys, with people from inside or outside York University


Format Requirements


Each paper should be 2000 words-long (endnotes, bibliography and appendices, if any, are not included in this count), double-spaced, and typed using 12 p. size Times New Roman fonts. Except for the title page, all other pages should be numbered. All notes and references should appear as endnotes (as opposed to footnotes). In addition to the endnotes, you should have an Annotated Referencessection.  This section summarizes in a few lines each of the sources you have cited or referred to in your paper, and explains why they were important for your research. If you use a source that exists only on the Web, you must also explain why that particular source should be considered as reliable. For further information on annotated references or bibliographies, clickhere.


All citations and references must follow the specifications of the Chicago Manuscript

Format Stylethe details of whichare summarized in A guide to Chicago or Turabian

Documentation Style.  The guide is posted as a PDF document at


Each final paper will have a cover page, the main text consisting of introduction, body, and conclusions, endnotes, and annotated references. Appendices are optional. The endnotes and the annotated references will be printed on separate pages.


Declaring the Topic of Your Term Paper


The topic of your term paper must be declared for approval in an email addressed to the one TA for this course. His/her email will be communicated to you at the beginning of the course. The email should be sent no later than date mentioned on Moodle and should contain the word Term Paperin the subject line and your official names at the bottom of the message. In the body of the email, include the title of your paper. If you want to propose your won topic, please add a paragraph describing what you intend to write about.  Be as specific as you can. Include at least one example of the references you intend to use (e.g., a book, an article, a Web site).  The approval of your topic will be in the form of an email to you.

Please note: Papers whose topics have not been approved will not be accepted. 

Early Term Paper Draft

An early draft of the term paper is due on the date indicate on Moodle and is worth up to 4% of the final mark for the course. Late submissions will not be accepted. The early draft is 300-400 words and should include:

  1. A full introduction to the paper of no more than 150 words
  2. The main ideas/arguments which you will develop in the final draft of the paper. Each idea/argument should be only 1-3 sentences long and should be presented in the same order as that in which they will appear in the final draft.
  3. The draft should have at least two full endnotes and two full bibliographical entries in the References section. These are needed to demonstrate your understand how to use and refer to your source material. No annotations of your references are required at this stage.



Final Term Paper Draft

The final term paper is due in class on the day mentioned on Moodle.Earlier submissions will not be accepted. Late submissions will be penalized at the rate of 3% of the final mark per day. Students must keep the electronic file of the term paper and upon request be ready to send it to me or to one of the TAs. The final term paper draft is worth 20% of the final mark for the course.



Now and then, a student hands in a paper he or she did not write at all or in which large segments are copied from other sources. Please don’t do this. It is dishonest, unfair to your fellow students, and unpleasant for both you and the instructor. Instructors are under the obligation to report cases of suspected plagiarism to the appropriate university discipline office. Write in your own words. Start early; talk to the instructor if you have problems.

To prevent plagiarism – whether intentional or inadvertent — students must confirm in writing that they have taken the online Academic Integrity Tutorial

( and that as a result, they understand York University regulations regarding plagiarism. The confirmation will be made in an email addressed to one of the TAs (name and email address to be determined) by the date indicated on Moodle. In the subject line, the email should contain the word Plagiarism. In its body, the email should contain your full name and student number, and the following line.

This is to confirm that I have taken the Academic Integrity Tutorial and that I fully understand what constitute an act of plagiarism as well as York University regulations regarding academic integrity and plagiarism.


Marking Criteria

Marking criteria include: thesis or research question statement, background or history, presentation of issues and various points of view, quality of argument and analysis (principles, examples, counter examples), structure/organization, clarity of writing, sufficient references, sufficient length, originality, adherence to the Chicago style, endnotes and bibliography. You should define terms where necessary. Be sure to thoroughly read and edit your final draft before handing it in.

General Advice

Start early in case you have to change topics or find a new interviewee or activity. If you wait until late in the year, you might discover that the information on your topic and/or the person you want to interview are/is unavailable.  Investigate the topic. Use scholarly books and articles and whenever possible on-line material.

Do not just report. Discuss pros and cons. Evaluate. Use your own words. Quote where appropriate. Give citations for facts and quotes. Discuss how your topic relates to material covered in the course readings and /or in class discussions.

Note: Students who need help with improving their writing skills should contact the Writing Centre.

Use a variety of sources for information and arguments. If you use articles from the Web, give the URL and the organization sponsoring the site. There’s a lot of junk and unsupported opinion on the Web. Pay attention to quality of your sources. (If your topic is covered in the course readings do not use them as a main source. Report in more depth and/or on newer or other aspects of the topic.)


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