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Here’s what you’ll deliver: a three-page paper documenting your attempt to find and understand two “threshold concepts” that are related to your major/discipline.

Step One: Search for sources of information on threshold concepts. Find credible sources. I’ve been out searching myself and I know that there is good stuff out there.

Step Two. In your own words, describe your understanding of threshold concepts. Cite the source you found and connect the definition to something you already know. (This reminds me of the doctrines from the religion I grew up in…this reminds me of the surfer’s code…this reminds me of the battlefield rules in a video game I played for about 1000 hours last year….)

Step Three: Find two threshold concepts that apply to the discipline you are studying or plan to study. I believe there are articles and even books about threshold concepts across many disciplines.

Share these concepts and, again in your own words, connect the concepts to what you already know. For example, “I learned that the concept of opportunity cost (Smith & Jones, 1999 p.14) is often cited as a threshold concept in Economics. I also learned that even seasoned graduate students and professors in the discipline are not able to define this concept in a consistent way. Here’s how I understand the concept.”

Now, you’ll be citing some sources for this. Of course. I want you to use APA citation format. Your list of references will also be in APA format. Respect to the team at Purdue for their hard work on Citations and many other critical writing skills. I have attached their citation chart so you can get this right for our paper.

Finally, After your introduction, your understanding of threshold concepts, and then your presentation of two concepts related to your discipline, write your way to the finish line with a conclusion summarizing what you learned. Will these concepts help you as you make your way to the BA?




“Fit and Finish”

The graders will judge how tidy and readable your paper is.


Threshold Concepts

You’ll be graded on your location of a definition of Threshold Concepts from a credible source and how well you describe it in your own words. Imagine you are telling your teaching team about the terms and sharing your understanding.


Two Concepts from their major.

The graders will look to see how well you struggled to find Threshold Concepts from your discipline and then described them in your own words.



By the time you turn in this paper, you’ll have met the head of Judicial Affairs. Be sure to properly cite your sources (you can cite conversations, websites, books, articles. Just check the OWL chart to get it right.)


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