Grading Policy:

The bulk of your grade will be determined by two formal papers, your group research project, and various web-crossing posts that you will write.   There will also be a number of unannounced reading quizzes, which will be no problem if you have kept up with the reading. 

In the interests of fairness, you will receive an individual grade for your contribution to the group project.  There will be no overall group grade.

Since discussion will be an important part of class, it will also be an important part of your grade.  Students who contribute thoughtfully to discussion, and who listen respectfully to their classmates, will be rewarded.  Students who don't contribute, or who attempt to dominate discussions at the expense of their classmates, will not be rewarded.  Here's how to prepare for discussion:

Read the assigned material before each class.  Reading assignments are designed to be reasonable, usually around six hours of reading per week.  This should give you time to read thoughtfully, and re-read passages that seem important. Keep on top of  the reading!  If you fall behind, your grade can suffer in a variety of ways.
Print out reading assignments from the web!  It's often easer to read them this way, and having the printed text in front of you in class will make it much easier to talk about.  Also, it lets you make notes and underline passages as you read, which brings us to . . .
Take brief notes as you read.  The margin of the book works well for this.  Jot down questions or observations that occur to you as you read.  These will help you contribute to class discussion.
 If you are particularly tongue-tied, you may consider writing out a couple of discussion questions before class.

To help get the discussions started, students will be divided into five groups of "discussion instigators" at the beginning of the semester.  On a rotating basis, members of these groups will prepare a short (one or two paragraph) response to that day's reading, which raises some kind of question or discussion issue about the reading.  You will be responsible for five instigations throughout the course of the semester.  Print these out and be prepared to read them on your instigation day.

Finally, you will be responsible for postings to our threaded discussion group on Web Crossing.  Your papers and instigations must be posted there under your name.  Additionally, you must post at least 16 questions or replies throughout the semester. See the web crossing page for more information.

2 4-page papers Group Research Project Reading quizzes Summary Assignments Participation / Instigations Web Crossing Responses Total
25% 25% 10% 10% 20% 10% 100%