To encourage students to come to class prepared for discussion and maximum learning, there will be frequent quizzes on the assigned readings. Quizzes will function in the following ways:
each quiz will consist of fact-based, short-answer questions on the assigned reading for the day. If you've read the assigned text closely enough to discuss it in class, you will have no problem passing a quiz. A passing quiz contains enough detail to indicate to me that you've done the day's reading
quizzed take place the first few minutes of class. Late arrivals will not be given extra time to complete a quiz. Quizzes cannot be made up or turned in late.
each complete quiz receives 5 points.
Written assignments are due in class at the start of the period on the date indicated on the weekly schedule. Generally, I do not accept late work unless a student faces a real emergency. In the event that I accept late work, I reserve the right to reduce its grade in relation to its lateness—with the minimum penalty of one half grade for each day that the assignment is late.
The lengths listed below are expectations of how much you’ll need to write in order to complete the assignments well. I will not automatically penalize shorter papers, but it’s unlikely that you will be able to get an “A” if your papers are shorter than the suggested length.
As a safety precaution, you should always keep at least a hard copy, and better yet, a hard copy and an electronic copy, of any written work you hand in.
I expect to be reading your best work. Revise, edit, and proofread carefully before you turn in your papers. Use a standard academic format (APA or MLA) to structure the form and content of your papers. Your essay should manifest both careful thinking and good academic writing.
About every two weeks students prepare 2-3 page critical responses (for a total of five responses), due generally every other Friday at the beginning of class, in which they discuss the last two weeks’ readings, synthesize class discussions, voice questions about readings, and provide short analyses of the material. These responses need to be insightful, focused, and original. Most importantly, critical responses should show that you have read all readings carefully and that you have engaged with the ideas presented in the readings and in class.
The list below indicates what I look for in these critical responses:
the response presents an interesting idea—it doesn’t have to be original, but it should be fresh, your own, and/or compelling to you. In other words: tell me something!
run the spell-check, do a second reading, share it with a friend: make the paper readable and presentable.
the paper should present evidence of some organization; papers need not be thesis-driven; they also do not have to reach a conclusion; they should show, though, that you’re working with an idea and that you think openly about what we have read and/or discussed in class; the organization should be logical.
the idea presented in the paper is well supported. Support can be any combination of the following elements: personal experience, something you’ve read in another class, something you’ve observed/read outside of class, something that might apply to your future career, and/or something from media (TV, movies, etc).
the response needs to make some sort of connection to class readings; the connection should be apparent and clearly explained. Use specific quotes from the texts as a springboard for your own ideas.
response papers should be at least two full pages long. The final paper needs to be at least five pages.
you should be practicing correct MLA or APA citation format in your responses. So, look at a handbook and do your best to use the documentation style correctly. I will mark mistakes, but won’t count them as such; I want to make sure that you practice a documentation style and have a chance to get feedback on it.
Mid-term Take-Home Exam
Access the mid-term here.
Access the final take-home exam here.