Description of Assignments
Students in this class will be able to design their own system of grading and choose the nature of much of the writing to be done in class. By the end of the first section (February 2) every student should compose a short paragraph or even a list of the assignments they hope to complete and the relative lengths and grading weights of each (see the courses page for a sample.) This agreement need not be completely binding and can be changed later in the semester if the student finds compelling reasons. However, in the abscence of other conversations, I will use these agreements as guidelines for my evaluations at mid-terms and for the final grade.
The assignments in this class will take three basic forms: participation in class, organized and prepared presentations of material to classmates, and writing in a variety of formats. The class participation and in class presentation are required and will have minimum percentages (though these can be increased in consultation with me.) Almost all writing in this course will have multiple options available and in multiple formats. The base writing requirement is that you produce 7500 words over the course of the semester. You may choose when to write these words and (for the most part) what form they will take. The major forms available include section responses, opinion pieces, composed essays and at least one research paper. The research paper must be a minimum of 2500 words, although you may increase both the word count and the percentage as you see fit. The remainder of the writing can take any of the forms listed above according to student preference.
The grading, accordingly, will also be somewhat flexible. At a minimum, I will require that the research paper be 25% of the grade, in class participation a further 20%, and presentations by students 5%. The remaining 50% may be distributed according to student desires. The research paper can be made a higher percentage, especially if it becomes longer than the required 2500 words; similarly, presentations and participation may, within reason, also be a higher percentage of the grade. The percentages attached to the other 5000 words of writing are completely at the students' discretion.
Summary of Assignment Agreement Guidelines:
Class Participation 20% (min.)
In Class Presentation 5% (min.)
Research Paper (2500 word min.) 25% (min.)
5000 words of writing 50% (variable)
This writing can be divided up as you see fit including response papers, forum posts, research papers, etc.