Assignments and Papers

Grading:

Assignment
Due Date
Percentage
Class Participation
NA
20
Entries in Database
NA
15
First Short Essay 9/7 and 9/10 10
Oral Book Presentation
Variable
10
Research Paper
11/30
30
Final Essay
12/11
15











Assignment Descriptions:
Database Entries
For the complete information on this assignment see the section and links to the database from the main courses page.

First Essay
The first short essay comes in two portions. The first version of the paper should be both submitted to the link on the courses page as well as brought to class on the first day for discussion. After the discussion, you will have the opportunity to revise and hopefully expand the essay (two to four pages in length) and the submit it again on Friday after the first week of classes for my comments and revisions. For more information on the specific questions for this essay, see the "FOR THE FIRST CLASS" link on the courses server. You will return to this paper for the final essay at the end of class.

Oral Book Presentation
Each student in class will be asked to read one scholarly text and present the ideas of that text to the class on a day where the text will be relevant to the section of the course. With such a popular topic as Jewish, Christian, Muslim Relations, there are many books that we will not be reading, so there is plenty to choose from. There will be a bibliography of secondary sources in the Zotero folder for this class that can offer some suggestions, but you can also come talk to me for recommendations and ideas. I would encourage you to choose a book quickly, especially if you are interested in Jewish history or the Crusades, so that you have time to read and present in the earlier sections of the course. People may choose to present on texts about the modern day, but this will be a bit of waiting till the last minute for the presentation.

Research Paper
The Research Paper will be a 10-15 page paper on some aspect of religious relations during the Middle Ages. The starting point for the research paper will be the course database. Having accumulated dozens of data points from all members of the class on every topic covered, this should give people an excellent starting point to address these questions. Using the keywords and tags for the entries, students should be able to gather at least a good handful of sources that address they questions that interest them and use that as a springboard for their own research. This may involve further reading of primary sources, or, if there is an abundance on the server, it may only require arranging the sources available and then reading secondary scholarly material on that topic to situate the paper within the debates of other historians. As we go through the course, we will discuss possible focuses and ideas for this essay and everyone should come and talk to me at some point about what they would like to focus on.

Final Essay
For this assignment, there are relatively few restrictions. The goal of having the research paper due before the end of the semester and leaving you a week to write your own essay is to allow you to follow your cumulative thoughts from the class where they might lead. A starting point can be the ideas you put forward in the first essay, but this is not strictly required. Generally, I want a 5-7 page paper that returns to the broadest view possible, asking what you think about religious dialogue or conflict after having taken this class. It would be a good idea to include some references to the material of the course, but you should also feel free to be speculative.

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM