- You should keep a journal on a regular basis throughout the
course. You will write about
two one entry per week (total
of 8), with each entry averaging about 450 words in length. That is
about 3/4 page, single-spaced, in 12 point font. Include the
word count at the end of each entry!
- Each entry will be based on your thoughts about newspaper or magazine
articles you read during that week, or readings, lectures and
films for this course. Occasionally, web sites, books for another
course, conversations or personal experiences may be appropriate. You
should relate the article or experience to the course. For articles
you should include a clipping, copy, or printout; for course materials
just hand write the reference.
There should be a rough balance of entries about articles and on course
For the entries on course materials, feel free to exercise criticism,
ask questions, and raise important issues, especially if you are uncomfortable
doing so in class. You will be graded on the seriousness of your questions
and ideas, not on whether you agree with me.
Tip: Jot ideas down during lecture or whenever, and develop them later.
- In a large bluebook, use the first right-hand
page to keep a handwritten running table of contents with the entry
number (1-8), the source and date, and a short descriptive title. Example:
1. LA Times, Sept. 21, 2005, "Nazi Hunter Loyal to the Dead / Simon
2. LA Times, Sept. 18, 2005, "Katrina's Aftermath: The Race Factor"
3. Oct. 4, 2005, Maus and the "Gray Zone" Grid [from lecture]
- In the rest of the bluebook, glue, tape or staple the article (or
photocopy) on the left hand page, and attach your typed
entry facing it on the right hand page. Write the
entry number in the upper right hand corner. (For course materials
no photocopies are necessary.)
Please single space so that each journal entry fits on one page. Each
entry should begin with the date and a short headline indicating
the source and topic of your entry.
- In each entry you should first briefly summarize the
relevant information in the article (or whatever), for about ¼ of the
entry. The main portion should be your thoughts and analysis
of the article, relating it to the course topic. Include the word
count at the end of each entry.
You should not write vague opinions or make unsubstantiated claims.
Rather, you should explain your opinion, giving clear reasons
and pertinent evidence.
(If you are unclear on this, see the examples on the course web
- Journals will be collected several times over the course of
Collection dates will be announced in advance. I expect 1-2 entries
- The journals will be graded as follows: each entry can receive
up to 4 points for a total of 32.
The grading scale will be check-, check, check+, or +; no entry: 0 points;
late entry: -1 point per day.
PROJECTS (back to top)
- Project ideas. A good way to find a topic is to look
though the course readings and web site. When you find something that
piques your interest, look for a book or books about it. If you have
trouble finding a topic, or books about that topic, please be in touch
Each project idea should be listed with some of the elements of the
proposal (see §10, below).
A list of project ideas is due in class on October 11
(beginning of week 3).
- Groups. I would like you to work in groups of 3-4 students.
I will facilitate the formation of groups, based on the lists of project
- Proposal. Due at the latest on Nov.
1 (beginning of week 6).
The purpose of the proposal is to outline your final project. It should
have three main elements:
- a descriptive title that indicates the topic and main question
- a description and explanation of your topic, including
questions that you will explore.
- full reference or bibliographic information on 2-4 books
and web sites that you think are relevant, including library call
number, or URL and site author and publication information.
- Proposal grading. The proposal will be marked check -, check,
A check- must be resubmitted until the project is approved.
- Project Draft. By the end of week 7 (Nov. 10) each group
should submit a draft version of ALL parts of their final project. Each
project should include most of the following (see also §15):
a) narrative introduction, with thesis statement(s), and description
of rest of project;
b) main discussion, including assessment of differing positions;
c) annotated bibliography and linkography;
d) copies/printouts of relevant images, with captions and sources
(URLs or books);
e) "authors" page with a narrative about the research process and
a paragraph about each author.
- Individual contributions. It should be clear who made or contributed
to each part of the project. Your name should appear on a page you alone
created, each bibliography and linkography annota -tion should be initialed,
and collaborative texts co-signed (e.g. "written by x and y, edited
Half of each student's grade will be based on your contribution, half
on the overall project.
- Final version. Due Nov. 17. It must be submitted with
the draft version.
- Grading. When I grade, I look for five things.
First, a thesis statement tells me the purpose
of the project, what it is trying to explain or argue.
Second, an argument supporting that thesis.
Third, concrete evidence—specific examples—used
to support the argument.
Texts and annotations with any two of these three is a "C;"
all three elements earn a "B."
Fourth, I look counterevidence or comparisons—whether
you assess your evidence relative to other works. If the first three
elements are present, this brings a contribution into the "A"
Finally, I look to see whether the texts are carefully
written and proofread, and have clear organization. This can lift
a project up a grade; numerous errors and typos can drop it down.
- Due dates. Topic ideas Oct. 11 (beginning of
week 3); proposals Nov. 1 at the latest;
project drafts Nov. 10 (end of week 7); final version Nov.
17 (end of week 8).
Late submissions will be penalized one point per day, beginning at 9:30am.
The actual due dates were changed because of circumstances beyond the
professor's control: topic ideas 10/20 and again 10/25; complete drafts
11/17 or 11/22; final version 12/1.
- Web option. Final projects achieving a B+ or better may be
published on the course web site,
and their authors may elect to take an oral final exam. In this case
projects should also be submitted by e-mail (or on a disk or CD). They
can be in word-processor format or in html. I will work with qualifying
groups to publish the projects on the web. Latest due date: Nov.
- Plagiarism—presenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately
failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw (including
materials found on the web)—is a serious academic offense. Offenses
will be reported to university authorities for disciplinary action.