USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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Written Work

Students may earn credit by writing Papers, Reactions and a Capstone Paper in response to lectures, readings and discussions. Guidelines for Written Work in this class are outlined in A Guide to Writing in History and Classics, available on the web. All Written Work must have its author's name (i.e. your name), the Part of the class to which the Written Work pertains, whether it is a Paper, Reaction or Capstone, the QTT or name of the article on ERes, and the date on which the Written Work was turned in at the top (for further clarification about formatting Papers, click here).

A. Papers (5 X 100 pts. each)

These are compositions of 550 or more words, written in a standard format (see #18, "Neatness," in A Guide to Writing in History and Classics). Papers should consist of a thoughtful analysis of issues as articulated during In-Class Discussions and recorded on In-Class Discussion Forms. PLEASE NOTE: Paper topics must be tied to the Quality Thesis Topics as approved and recorded on the In-Class Discussion Form. An approved In-Class Discussion Form (i.e. a form bearing my or one of my GA's notations of approval) MUST be attached to any Paper turned in for credit, including revisions. Papers must focus on issues relating to the Chapters on line, because the point here is for students to discover and refine their own voices as formal writers and to review in a professional manner the materials and issues presented in class. A word count adding up to 550 or more words must be included at the bottom of the Paper (see Standards for Written Work). Papers must use the notation system (T, A, B, C, ...) outlined in the Writing Workshop (see Writing Guide, Sample Paper).

B. Reactions (5 X 50 pts. each)

These are compositions of 300 or more words, written in response to one of the articles available in Canvas associated with the Part of the course most recently covered in class. That is, students must choose one of the articles available for the Part of the course we are working on at present. Students may not use articles from previous Parts or Parts we have not as yet begun studying. Reactions must address directly the issue(s) raised in the article under review and should center around whether or not the writer of the Reaction agrees with the views espoused therein. A word count must be included at the bottom of the Reaction (see Standards for Written Work). Reactions do NOT use the notation system deployed in Papers.

C. Due Dates for Papers and Reactions

Deadlines for turning in Written Work based on a Part of the class are listed in the Syllabus. Ordinarily they come one week after the In-Class Discussion which pertains to that Paper/Reaction, but please be aware that the scheduling of holidays and breaks may interrupt our normal mode of operation so it's important to pay close attention to the Syllabus throughout the term. Please note that it's not necessary to turn in a Paper or Reaction for every Part of the class, but you are advised not to put off completing Papers and Reactions until late in the term!

D. Capstone (200 pts. maximum)

This assignment is due at the time of the Final Exam and will earn a student a maximum of 50 points per 300 words (about a page), up to 1200 words or four pages (200 pts. maximum). Ill-conceived Capstones exhibiting flaws of style or fact will receive partial credit. No Capstones turned in late will be accepted for credit. A word count must be included at the bottom of the Capstone (see Standards for Written Work). Because the Capstone is not argumentative in nature, you do NOT need to use the structure (T, A, B, C, etc.) employed in Papers.

The purpose of writing a Capstone is for students to assimilate the wide range of data covered in the class and express it in a way meaningful to their larger understanding of historical processes and methodology. In addressing course materials comprehensively, the Capstone should also entail an attempt to create a theme which threads together the most significant data in the class as the student sees it and thus must bring to bear items of information from each Part of the class, preferably every Section too. Undue focus on any particular Section or Part or on material not directly related to course content will result in a reduction of credit. So, in order to document the breadth of material you've used in your Capstone, please note which Sections of the class you've drawn any fact from by putting after that fact a notation in parentheses identifying the Section from which the fact was taken. For instance, if you cite data about Joan of Arc, please include the notation "(9)" after the fact. This indicates that you've used a fact from Section 9 where Joan of Arc is discussed.

All in all, the Capstone is a chance to "package" course content for yourself and make it meaningful to you in the long term. What stands out to you as significant about the things you've learned in this course? What do you hope that you'll remember? Without being informal, express your own view of what stands out in your mind as important in the parts of history we have studied this term. As always, try to use as few first-person forms as possible (I, me, we, us, our, etc.) — and no second-person forms at all (you, your)! Perhaps someday when you're throwing out your old coursework as you graduate from college, you'll come across this paper and re-read it and be reminded of something that helps you see your future better by embracing this moment in your own personal "remembered history."

E. Writing Style and Revision

In writing for this class, students must attend to the fundamental rules of grammar and style as outlined in A Guide to Writing in History and Classics. Papers and Reactions which egregiously disregard the elementary etiquette of scholarly composition and professional presentation will be marked as unsatisfactory and returned for no credit. However, students have the opportunity to revise any such Papers and Reactions by addressing all comments attached. A corrected version of the Paper or Reaction must be turned in by the date noted on the original (one week after it is returned in class) and the original must accompany the revised version. If in its revised form the Paper or Reaction shows sufficient improvement, it will be awarded full credit; if not, it will earn no credit and cannot be revised and turned in a second time. Revision of Capstones or any Written Work pertaining to Parts 4 and 5 of the class is not possible.

F. Writing Workshop

Early in the term (see Syllabus), we will conduct an in-class workshop reviewing The Guide to Writing in History and Classics and highlighting the important features of writing style detailed there. You are advised to read The Guide to Writing in History and Classics before attending this workshop. This will be your best opportunity to clarify the aspects of writing style on which your work will be graded in this class and to ask any questions you have concerning how to meet the standards outlined in the guide.

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