Objectives

This course will take you through huge chunks of human history from the Paleolithic era through the Vietnam War and into our postmodern world. Your course project will culminate in an eight-ten page paper. Your research paper will require a minimum of five academic-scholarly sources. Both in-text citation and an end reference page as specified by the APA style sheet are required. Scrupulous documentation plus high originality, analysis, insight, and fresh applications of ideas are highly prized. Mere reporting, describing, and finding others’ ideas are discouraged, and plagiarism is grounds for failure. Your paper is to be 70-80% original and 20-30% resourced (documented via turnitin.com). Details and milestones follow.

Suggested Topics of Investigation

Here are suggested topics, which you may elect to use or not use. If you wish to work outside of these suggestions, be sure to clear your project with your professor.

  • Compare and contrast society during the early Renaissance in Europe to contemporary society
  • Compare and contrast human understanding of the nature of revenge prior to and after the creation of Hamlet
  • Analyze the themes, imagery or interpretation of The Waste Land and describe how one or more of these are found in contemporary society
  • Evaluate the work of Artemisia Gentileschi Renaissance Artist and interpret why she is considered an early feminist
  • Analyze views of women’s reproductive solutions in the 19th Century and interpret their historical and contemporary impact.
  • Distinguish the essential differences between the major thought of Plato and Aristotle and use the information to illustrate the impact of philosophy on contemporary views on a given them (life, freedom, power, equality, and more)
  • Examine views of warfare and battle throughout the ages and provide an interpretation that explains the evolution of the faceless war
  • Analyze the impact of the Industrial Age and the rise of capitalism and discuss the key features of both and their influence on contemporary society
  • Investigate the history of slavery and discuss the ways in which this history impacts contemporary society

Milestones

Proposal – Week 2 (50 points)

Create a proposal of 2 pages that references one academic scholarly source for the research project you intend to complete. This project should engage at least one academic source, should include an introduction and thesis to the best extent that you know it at this point in time, and should locate a central controversy that requires deft and subtle handling. Be sure to adhere to APA style for in-text citation and final reference page. (No cover page is needed.)

Select a project from among those suggested on the Course Project page under Course Home or discuss a special topic with your professor.

Annotated Bibliography (Five Annotations Required)- Week 4 (75 points)

Create a complete Annotated Bibliography for 5 academic scholarly sources, which include your introduction and thesis, publication details, and the annotation (see below for examples of each component). A total of 5 academic-scholarly sources are required for completion of your final research project.

Scholarship means that:

  • the author has a Ph.D. or other terminal degree,
  • the work appears in a multi-volumed, peer-reviewed journal,
  • and has ample references at the end.

Good annotations:

  • capture publication details,
  • offer a student introduction and thesis, and
  • a detailed reading of the source, covering the following:
    1. Offers the student’s introduction and thesis to the best extent s/he knows it at this point in time,
    2. Summarizes key points, and
    3. identifies key terms (using quotation marks, and citing a page in parentheses);
    4. Locates controversies or “problems” raised by the articles;
    5. States whether the student agrees or disagrees and gives reasons;
    6. Locates one or two quotations to be used in the final research project; and
    7. Evaluates the ways in which this article is important and has helped the student to focus his/her understanding.

Example Introduction/Thesis to a Student Paper:

It never ceases to amaze me that we pay so little attention to the greatest bulk of our intelligence—that is, the quality of thinking that helps us adapt, deal with stress, love, and live lives of fulfillment. Aristotle argued that educating the mind and not the heart is no education at all. For decades, educators have focused on cognitive skills because they are testable and, therefore, metrics can be applied to them. This kind of education, testing, and then metrically interpreting results has governed American education for decades. And the results have been losses of creativity, imagination, courtesy, civic interest, and the ability to invent businesses that serve people and advance us as a society. Although measurable skills are important, they are not exclusively important, and in fact lose value when separated from an education in the heart, the spirit, and the abstract qualities that make students fully human and excellent participants in a healthy society.

Example Publication Detail Capture:

Mezirow, J. (2003). Transformative learning as discourse. Journal of Transformative Education, 1(1), 58-63.

Annotation Example:

In this article, Mezirow (2003) makes a distinction between “instrumental” and “communicative” learning. “Instrumental learning” refers to those processes which measure and gage learning, such as tests, grades, comments, quizzes, attendance records and the like. “Communicative learning,” on the other hand, refers to understanding created over time between individuals in what Mezirow calls “critical-dialectical-discourse,” (p. 59) which is a fancy way of saying, important conversation between 2 or more speakers. Another key idea Mezirow discusses is “transformative learning,” (p. 61) which changes the mind, the heart, the values and beliefs of people so that they may act better in the world. Mezirow argues that “hungry, desperate, homeless, sick, destitute, and intimidated people obviously cannot participate fully and freely in discourse” (p. 59). On the one hand, he is right: there are some people who cannot fully engage because their crisis is so long and deep, they are prevented. But, I don’t think Mezirow should make the blanket assumption that everyone in unfortunate circumstances is incapable of entering the discourse meaningfully. One thing is certain: if we gave as much attention to the non-instrumental forms of intelligence–like goodness, compassion, forgiveness, wonder, self-motivation, creativity, humor, love, and other non-measured forms of intelligence in our school curriculums, we’d see better people, actors in the world, and interested investigators than we currently have graduating high school

Draft Paper – Week 6 (75 points)

A “draft” does not imply sloppy, half-baked work–not at all. A draft is the most complete and impeccable presentation you can execute at this point in time. Drafts should be 4-5 pages, use at least 3 of your 5 academic resources, and be impeccably cited and formatted. End references are required, and APA (except for the cover page–not required) should be followed.

Final Paper – Week 8 (200 points)

Your final paper should be 8-10 pages, and use 5 academic resources. It must be impeccably cited and formatted. End references are required, and APA (except for the cover page–not required) should be followed.

Guidelines

These Guidelines give you broad descriptions. Details regarding your assignments can be found in the weekly assignment tabs.

Your final project will consist of the following major milestone assignments:

  • Project Proposal
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Rough Draft
  • Final paper
  • Final Presentation

The following are guidelines to assist you in completing the course successfully.

Guidelines for the Proposal (50 points)

A proposal offers a detailed and full description of your project (as best you know it at the time of writing) in no more than 2 pages. To succeed, students will need to find at least one source of information related to their topics. Students may work with their professors to identify areas of inquiry or may accept a topic and focus from the list. Understand that you are making a best effort to describe your project early on, but allow yourself to be open to growth and change as you conduct research and focus your intentions.

Guidelines for the Annotated Bibliography (75 points)

Good annotations make for excellent papers. You are required to annotate five academic scholarly resources in Week 4. A scholarly resource is written by an academic scholar, holding a Ph.D. or other terminal degree, is published in a multi-volume, peer-reviewed journal, and has ample references of its own. Successful annotations begin with your introduction (to the best extent you know it at that point in time), capture publication details, briefly summarize a text, locate key terms, find controversies to analyze and evaluate, and assist in the creation of new knowledge.

Guidelines for the Draft (85 points)

Your draft should be a largely finished product, impeccably formatted, and nearly complete. It should have all the APA citation and referencing fully in place. In length, it should be four-to-five pages.

Guidelines for the Final Paper (200 points)

The essay must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length (not including the title or reference pages). The margins should be no more than one inch (right and left). The essay should be composed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Include a minimum of five scholarly sources. Other sources may also be used, but at least five sources must be academic and scholarly. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, websites ending with the .gov, .org, or .edu, newspapers or other media sources do not constitute scholarship. All of the sources must be documented and cited using APA format.

Guidelines for the Final Presentation (100 points)

You will use your essay to develop a 10-15 minute narrated PowerPoint Presentation that you will submit during Week 8.

Criteria

Introduction/Thesis

There is a clear and focused introduction. The thesis is clear, original, and sophisticated. The ideas embedded in the thesis are appropriate to the length of the assignment (for the proposal 2-3; draft 1, 5-7; final, 9-10). Page count excludes title and reference pages). The content provides quality (not padded, dull writing, repetitive or margin/enlarged font-cheating). Effort and sensitivity to the study is evident.

Paragraphs

Paragraphs are composed around topics, which naturally and organically emerge from a complex, focused, and sophisticated thesis. Each paragraph explores one topic and one topic only. Topics directly relate TO the thesis and are not theses in and of themselves. The paragraph completely and fully develops and explains the topic and provides details, examples, illustrations, and quotations from research as well as from the primary texts. Topics and paragraphs rise above commonplace thinking and summary. Quoted material is used powerfully to support analytical points (and not as padding). There is a graceful transition to the next paragraph. The ideas explored are significant, substantive, and instructive. Ideas/topics support the overarching thesis so that the paper is a unified whole, and not a concatenation of appended mini-essays.

Grammar/Mechanics/Style

Grammar refers to the correct usage of Standard American English. Mechanics refers to idiomatic conventions (capitalization of proper nouns, spelling, and punctuation). Style refers to persuasiveness, sophistication, wit, and transcendent quality. Sentences should be varied in length and complexity without loss of clarity or precision of meaning. Style makes a paper a pleasure to read.

Format

APA format has been observed. Headers, margins (1″ all around), alignment, double-spacing, Times New Roman font and 12 pt. font size are correct. Pagination is in the upper right of the page. Citations are scrupulously observed in-text and have a matching full reference on a reference page with hanging indents (also formatted correctly—double spaced in TNR 12 point font) Both in-text and full references are complete according to the APA style sheet.

Writing for the Humanities

Composing for the humanities is “technical” in its own way. Students are to read broadly in philosophy, art, literature, political science, and history; and are to show that they can bridge conceptually across humanistic inquiry, innovate meanings that are not apparent at the surface of texts, locate controversies and conflicts that are worthy of researched exploration, and show depth and focus of contemplative thought and character in conducting work of this kind. Progress throughout these assignments is also valued.

 

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