USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2016
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
Index of Chapters
Course Description

Written Work


Students may earn credit by writing Papers or Reactions 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 or Reaction, the QTT or name of the article being used as the basis of the Reaction, and the date on which the Written Work was turned in at the top (for further clarification about formatting Papers, click here).

A. Papers (4 X 150 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 an In-Class Discussion Form. PLEASE NOTE: Paper topics must be tied to the Quality Thesis Topics (QTT's) as approved and recorded on the In-Class Discussion Form. An approved In-Class Discussion Form (i.e. a form bearing my or a GA's notation 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. Due Dates for Papers

Deadlines for turning in Papers based on each Part of the class are listed in the Syllabus. Ordinarily they come one week after the In-Class Discussion which pertains to that Paper, 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 also 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 Written and Group Work until late in the term!

C. 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. These articles are found under "Files" in folders labeled "Part 2," "Part 3," "Part 4" and "Part 5." Students may choose one of the articles available in each of these folders as the basis for writing a Reaction. 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 assertions and views espoused therein. A word count must be included at the bottom of the Reaction (see Standards for Written Work). Reactions also do not require the creation of a QTT or the five-paragraph notation system with markers (T, A, B, C, ...).

D. Due Dates for Reactions

There are no deadlines for turning in Reactions. One Reaction based on one of the articles pertaining to each of the last four Parts of the class (Parts 2-5) may be turned in at any time up to the class period scheduled for the Final Exam (see Syllabus). No students may write two Reactions for any Part of the class. Thus, there is a total of four opportunities to write Reactions, which is the maximum number of Reactions any student may write.

E. Grading Written Work

The writing for this class will be evaluated on the basis of the following three criteria:

Format. You must format your Written Work properly. Click here to see directions for proper formatting. This includes word count, line spacing, headings and all stipulations cited on this web site and in Section 18 of the Writing Guide ("Neatness").

Style. You must follow the rules of formal style as outlined in Sections 1-20 of the Writing Guide.

Content. Your Papers and Reactions must address issues pertinent to the class and the specific content of any particular assignment. Papers must follow the outline created during Group Work and recorded on the approved In-Class Discussion Form attached to the Paper.

Papers. Grades on Papers will be based on the three criteria cited above: format, style and content. Any Paper which deviates significantly from the rules and guidelines for any of these criteria will lose one-third of the possible credit for that assignment (50 pts. per component). That is, if a Paper contains a serious number of lapses in style but follows the rules for format and content, it will receive 100 out of 150 possible points. If its style and content were both deficient but its format were satisfactory, it will receive 50 points. There will be no proportional credit in this categories. In other words, a Paper will receive full credit or no credit for each component. So the only possible grades on Papers are 150, 100, 50 or 0 points.

Reactions. Grades on Reactions will be based on only two components: format/style and content. Any Reaction which falls short in either component will lose half credit (25 pts. per component). As with Papers, there will be no proportional credit. The only possible grades on Reactions are 50, 25 or 0 points.

Remember that you have multiple opportunities to reach the 550-point maximum in this part of your grade so, if you do not win all the points available on any particular Written or Group Work exercise, you will have quite a few more chances to gain those points. Still, you should not put off turning in any of these assignments! With hard work and careful attention to the rules and guidelines you can collect all the points needed here before the end of the term and will not have to worry about this portion of your grade henceforth.

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.

Index of Chapters
Course Description