Suggested Marking Scheme      (2007 / 2008)                                                                                               


Reflective journal                                                         20

Midterm test                                                                20

Major project                                                              20

Class participation  (attendance and egroup)                 10

Final exam                                                                   30



The Reflective Journal:



This is a required assignment.  Entries should be based on your reactions and responses to the readings and to the lectures.


Obviously they should be written in the first person.


Entries could include (but need not be limited to) your thinking about relationships

between this course and others you have taken

              between our course material and your other reading

              between our course material and the rest of your life


The journal entries are due (by email) on the last day of September, November, January and March and each entry should be at least 800 words long.  

Cut and paste your journal into the body of the email rather than attaching it as a file.   The subject line for each submission should be 3305 your last name and the numbers 1 thru 4 (Ex:  3305 Smith 1, 3305 Smith 2, etc.).  I get a lot of email.  If you don’t have the correct subject line, you risk having your work misplaced somewhere on my computer.  (Make sure to save a copy of your sent mail in case of a glitch between your emailbox and mine.)


While your choice of subjects can be fairly wide ranging (some samples are on the webpage), there should be a clear connection to aspects of our course material.  Please don’t merely repeat parts of my lecture back.  You might consider doing extra research into specific subjects that interest you.  While this doesn’t necessarily require formal documentation, please do identify the sources you are consulting.


Try to be clear and concise – it will not help your cause if you ramble and repeat.  Think about what you are going to write and then put it down simply in ordinary words.  While I will not be marking for grammar or punctuation, I do expect clarity and conciseness.  As a matter of courtesy, you should proofread and edit before sending.


If I can’t make out your meaning for any reason, your mark will suffer.  If I get really annoyed, I will return your journal for a re-write.


The Major Assignment – Options and due dates


(Option 1) The Research Journal


This is one option for the major assignment.  I expect to see your research journal at least three times (by email unless some other arrangement has been agreed to).  The due dates for this are


Jan. 17

Feb. 14

Mar. 13


These three journal entries should each be at least 2,000 words (and possibly a bit more).    The subject line must read: 3305 Research yourname (1, 2 or 3)


Your research journal should reflect all the work you would do if you were writing an essay.  This includes (but may not be limited to)


  • the decision making process resulting in an interesting and doable topic
  • the development of a working bibliography
  • the research process itself
  • the books you are finding
  • how they are useful (or how not)
  • the notes you are making (these need to be kept and handed in at the end)
  • your reflections on the research -- how your view of the subject is expanding and changing -- what you think about what you are finding
  • discussion about the problems you are having and the solutions you are finding

While I will not be as strict about grammar and style as I would be in an essay, I do expect complete sentences, thoughtful paragraphs and appropriate organization.  Do not ramble and repeat.   While you never have to formally write up the topic you are researching, you must research it as thoroughly as though you were going to write it.  You must develop a viewpoint, and discuss your findings and conclusions.


Please do not choose this option if your only motivation is not writing the final essay. The research journal must reflect your thoughtful involvement with both the material and the process.   It is not easier than an essay.  But, for the right student, it might be more interesting.


All your research materials, including all your notes and a formal MLA bibliography, must be handed in on the 16th of March.   You will not receive a mark without this material.




(Option 2)   The Oral Presentation:


This is one option for the major assignment.   It includes a 30 minute presentation to the class in the second term.


The oral presentation must be based on a list of topics handed out in December.  It must reflect significant library research (not merely internet browsing) -- unless something else has been discussed with me well in advance.


I expect to see a prospectus outlining your topic, your approach and a working bibliography by the 17th of January.   Presentation dates will be assigned shortly after.  Missing your presentation date will result in a 10 mark reduction in your grade  (that is, a 78 will become a 68).


Where two or more people are working on the same topic, you may elect to present together – you can take a few extra minutes then.   (Please observe the time limits – test yourself with a tape recorder or something.)  I can help you with reproduction of handouts etc. if you provide them at least one week prior to your presentation. 


All your research materials, including all your notes and a formal MLA bibliography, must be handed in at the time of your presentation.  You will not receive a mark without this material.


(Option 3)     The Essay:


This is one option for the major assignment.  The term paper must be typed and formatted according to MLA style.  It must be based on significant library research and include both secondary and primary sources (where appropriate).  Be warned that your mark will reflect not only the content, but also the grammar and rhetoric.   ( Heed Ben Jonson's words:   Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, whose words do jarre; nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is preposterous.  (Discoveries 1641))   The paper should be approximately 3000 good words long.


Two people may work together on a single essay, but, for obvious reasons, should consider carefully. 


Essays are due on March 6th  both in hard copy and by email. All research materials, including note cards, are due with the essay.   You will not receive a mark without this material. 


Note that late papers will receive a 10 mark penalty and may be graded only.



(Option 4)      The Web Page:


This is one option for the major assignment.    Create a web page for your fellow students on any aspect of our course topics.  I expect to see a prospectus outlining your topic, your approach and a working bibliography by the 17th of January.   This is only the third year I have offered this option so it is still a learning experience for everyone concerned, but you can imagine that it will require a lot of creativity, computer savvy and research time.   It will not be sufficient to collect and organize links (although clearly this might be a significant aspect). For the right person, it could be a welcome break from writing yet another academic essay.   Two people may work together on this project but, for obvious reasons, should consider carefully.  This option also involves a ten minute in-class presentation highlighting the features and content of your page.  The due date for this project is March 6th and the same kind of late penalties will be applied as outlined for other projects.  Here, as for the other options, research materials must be handed in at the time of the class presentation.  You will not receive a mark without this.



For any of these choices…..


General Note: 

Your research for any of these choices should be heavily weighted in favour of library materials.   While I am not entirely opposed to internet sources (there are some excellent ones), I have found that students are often not very discriminating about the sites they consult.    University and museum sites are generally reliable, but amateur enthusiast sites vary widely.    I will not accept work based entirely on internet sources.


I repeat:

Whichever option you choose, you must submit a formal bibliography, your research materials, including all notes you took from library books or online journals.   This is a third-year course.  Please don’t tell me that you never take notes or that you work only with books laid out on your desk.  A stack of printed out web pages is not sufficient either.  You should be working harder than that.  You will not receive a mark without this material.   



Academic honesty is discussed in the Nipissing calendar.   The penalties are severe and are not entirely in my hands.  Plagiarism (or cheating of any other kind) will be dealt with severely at the class level and at the administrative level.   Please think again!



The Group Mailing List


Participation here is required.  This mailing list will offer updates, questions and answers, and discussion relating to the course material.  Once you sign up, you will receive all postings to the group in your inbox on a regular basis.  You can join by clicking on the link offered on the class webpage.  Follow the instructions there.   Please enter your first and last name as I have to approve you as a member of the class.


This electronic group mail will make it easier for us to keep in touch.  I can answer questions which you can then refer to for future reference.  I can post useful web addresses which you can check out in your spare time.  We can point each other to online resources and transmit class information.  Lastly, you can communicate with each other about class matters that may be of interest to many of you.  And all this in your pajamas at 2 A.M.   Details forthcoming…



A few extra words to the wise:


I am not entirely unsympathetic to your problems:  the hectic schedules you have – the time constraints you sometimes face – the jobs and families that require at least minimal attention.


So, while there is a 10 per cent penalty for late work, you may choose to exercise this option.  I require neither advance warning nor explanation (except in the case of a scheduled presentation, of course).   Just make your work more than 10 per cent better in that extra week and you can still win.


Note, however, that I will not accept anything after that week late except under the most dire (and provable) circumstances -- God should protect you from anything serious enough to be a legitimate excuse for work being more than one week late.


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