USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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Standards for Written Work
[click here for a quick checklist of Writing Standards]

The following is an overview of the standards which will be applied to the composition and evaluation of Papers and Reactions. These are important to bear in mind as you prepare Written Work for this class.

The Content and Format of Papers and Reactions

The Content of Papers/Reactions. All Papers must stem from QTTs (Quality Thesis Topics) in the form in which they have been expressed and approved in class and must center on material in the Chapters on this web site. Likewise, Reactions should address directly the article you read.

Stick to the Topic. In general, all Written Work in this class must address course material primarily, and other issues secondarily. Stick to the QTT you and your Pentad created (see Section 21 in The Writing Guide)! There is no need to do research outside of the materials provided for you in the class (the Chapters on line), but if you wish to, you may.

Papers versus Reactions. There is no prescribed balance of Papers, Reactions, Capstone or Group Work. Do whatever combination of Group Work and Written exercises you want in the process of accumulating the maximum of 550 points designated for this aspect of your grade.

Word Count. At the bottom of your Paper or Reaction, please include a word count. Papers which have fewer than 550 words and Reactions which have fewer than 300 words will be returned automatically for revision. The number of words in a document can be easily determined by looking under "File" and then "Properties" in the menu of any Word text (look under "Statistics") or WordPerfect text (look under "Information"). Any student who falsifies or misrepresents in any way the word count will be given no credit for that piece of Written Work with no possibility of revising it for credit.

Line-Spacing. The three lines at the top of the page (giving your name, the specific assignment and the date; see next paragraph) should be single-spaced. The rest of the paper should be double-spaced.

At the top of Papers and Reactions. [Click here to see an example of a properly formatted paper (pdf file).] At the top of the first page of all Written Work, you should include the following information, in the following order:

* On the first line, put your first and last name.

* On the second line, put (a) the Part of the class to which the Written Work pertains, (b) the type of assignment (e.g. Paper, Reaction, Capstone) and (c) the specific assignment your Written Work is addressing (i.e. the full title of the article to which you are reacting or the full QTT you are addressing). If this runs beyond the line, that is fine. Capstones need note "Capstone" only; that is, they do not need to cite a Part of the class or a specific assignment.

* On the third (or next) line, put the date on which you turned in this written work.

Then leave one line empty and begin the Paper, Reaction or Capstone.

The Schedule for Writing Papers and Reactions

Only ONE piece of Written Work per Part. A student may turn in for credit only one Paper or Reaction pertaining to any one Part of the class.

Only ONE piece of Written Work turned in at a time. A student may not turn in for credit more than one Paper or Reaction at a time, including revised work. That is, you may not turn in Written Work in any form until you have received back from me your previous Written Work and at least one class period has passed giving you the opportunity to benefit from the comments written on your previous efforts. The only exception to this is the Capstone which may be turned in before material from Part 5 has been returned. That is, you can turn in a Capstone along with ONE piece of Written Work from Part 5 (a Paper or a Reaction, but not both!).

Deadlines. Written Work must be turned in as hard copy—I will not accept any Written Work electronically!—at or before the beginning of class on the date designated as the deadline for that assignment (see Syllabus). No Written Work will be accepted for full credit once class has begun (to see class policy on late work, click here). Please do not interrupt a lecture to turn in an assignment!


The Grading of Papers and Reactions

Credit. Satisfactory Papers will receive 100 points of credit; satisfactory Reactions will receive 50 points. Unsatisfactory work will receive no credit. Partial credit will not be given on Papers or Reactions. Papers and Reactions which contain no errors of fact or style—and that means absolutely not one single error of any sort!—will receive double credit. Capstones are different inasmuch as they may not receive double credit and will be given partial credit according to word count, i.e. how many words relating to relevant topics are included (50 pts. per page, up to four pages; 200 pts. maximum). Partial credit may also be awarded to Capstones in accordance with content and style as outlined in The Writing Guide.

Grading Standards. Written Work will be deemed unsatisfactory based on inadequate style or the failure to express the data correctly or professionally, not because of the particular opinions expressed in them.

Revising Written Work. Revised Papers and Reactions must be handed in by the date noted on the original work. Please note: All revised work must be turned in with the original version of the work which was deemed unsatisfactory (the one with comments appended). To receive credit, revised work must address all the issues raised in the comments appended to the original. If not, it will be deemed unsatisfactory and no credit will be awarded. No Paper or Reaction may be submitted twice for revision. Due to time constraints, revision will be allowed only with Written Work pertaining to Parts 1-3. No revisions will be accepted with Capstones or any Written Work pertaining to Parts 4 and 5.

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