Our conversation builds from each week to the next, so it’s crucial for every member of the seminar to come to every meeting ready for a thoughtful discussion, barring rare exceptions for illness and emergency. You’ll succeed readily in this class as long as you:

  • Follow the calendar to read the assigned texts and read them well, taking notes;
  • Bring your annotated hard copies of the texts to every class;
  • Think of your thesis and exam as a year-long project that you work toward on the schedule we set;
  • Use the rhetorical moves of scholarly conversation in class and on the blog; listen well, think hard, and be a good colleague all the time;
  • Come to me with any questions whenever they arise, either in class or in my office hours.

More specifically, your success in this class depends upon the quality and consistency of your work. In the spring semester, that is measured in your:

  • Notes  + report on notes                                            25%
  • Thesis draft                                                                   10%
  • Thesis                                                                             40%
  • Honors conference presentation                              10%
  • Group work, participation, and collegiality*.         15%

*These are abstract words that can mean a lot of different things. In the context of our seminar, they mean:

  • The feedback you share with your classmates on their drafts, in class and outside of class, in writing and in discussion;
  • The resources you share with other students who can use them, too;
  • Your weekly participation in class and on the blog, outside of the notes you write.

Note also that you’ll also receive grades on your thesis and exam from the Honors Committee, which determines whether you receive: Honors, High Honors, or No Honors. That determination is completely separate from your course grade.

Here’s what the grade breakdown looked like in the fall.

Weekly reading, writing, and discussion

  • Blogging                                                             30%
  • In-class writing and participation                10%

Cumulative progress toward the thesis

  • Annotation with keyterm (October 16):       15%
  • Proposal draft (November 13)                          5% (Pass/Fail))
  • Proposal revision (November 20)                  10%
  • Thesis presentation (December 11)                 5%
  • Annotated bibliography (December 18)        10%
  • Three pages of your thesis (December 18)    15%

Late papers: Late assignments drop 1/3 of a letter grade per calendar day late. The exception to that rule are the blog posts on the reading and the presentations, which may not be submitted late (see “assignments” for more detail). 

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