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History 104 D

Essay and Discussion Guidelines

This document outlines the expectations for essay and discussion assignments.

Essay Questions
Each week you will receive an essay question(s) to answer. The questions will be based on a combination of lectures, textbook assignments, and primary readings. . Requirements: Youmustanswereachoftheassignedques4onsinaseparateparagraphinaminimum of250wordsandamaximumof350words.(Theexactwordcountislessimportant thanasolid,completeparagraph.Inotherwords,dontpadthewordcount.) TheessaysshouldbewriFenincompletesentencesinprocientEnglish. Essaysshouldhaveathesisandmakeanargument.Ifthesetermsareuncleartoyou, pleasefollowsthelinksintheintroductoryunittotheOnlineWri4ngLabfora thoroughexplana4on. Theessaysmustaddresstheques4onsasked.Inotherwords,focusontheissuesin theques4on,ratherthanmakingupyourownques4on. Theessaysshouldbebasedoncoursemateriallectures,textbook,and/orprimary documents.Youmayonlyuseoutsidematerialinaddi4onto(notinsteadof)course material.Forexample:Usinginforma4onfromwikipediaandsimilarsourcesisa (poor)subs4tu4onforcoursematerial.Workthroughthesourcesinstead.Incontrast, Addinganinsightfromarelevantbookyoureadinanotherhistoryclasstosupplement thesourcesmayshedaddi4onallightonthesubject. Whileyoushouldavoidusinginternetsourcesandotheroutsidesources,ifyou douse,besuretomakeacita8onwhereyougotyourinforma8on.Besureto usequota8onmarkswhereyouhavequotedthemdirectly.Failuretodoso cons8tutesplagiarismbecauseitistheuseofanothersworkwithoutproper a@ribu8on. Besuretousequota4onmarkswhenyoudirectlyquotematerialfromthetextbook, primarysources,orothersources.Ifyoudonotusequota4onmarks,willagyour essayasplagiarized. Whenaques4onaskstoexplainhowareadingdenesatermsoridea,donot subs4tuteadic4onarydeni4on.Deni4onschangeover4me,andtheques4onis

History 104: Essay and Discussion Guidelines

Spring 2011

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World

askingforapar4culardeni4oninapar4cularcontext,ratherthanforageneral dic4onarydeni4on. YoushouldwriteyouressaysinaWordProcessingdocument.(IfyouaFempttowrite youressaywithinBlackboard,yourisklosingwhatyouvewriFeniftheprogram4mes youout.) NotethatessaysareduebySundayeveningat11:59pm. Submitting your Essays: When you have completed your essays must be submitted to two places: Essay Assignment - First you must submit the Word document to Essay Assignment. Your essay should include no identifying information in the text of the essay so that it can be submitted to SafeAssign to check for plagiarism. Discussion Board. You must also place your essay into the units discussion board for other students to read and comment on. You must cut and paste your essay in the discussion board. Be sure to include the question you answering for fellow students. Please consult ESSAY SUBMISSION TUTORIAL for how to submit your essays to both of these locations.

Discussions
Each unit (except Unit 15) will include a discussion. You will be randomly placed in a discussion group. Each member of the group will have different questions to answer. The purpose of discussion is to allow you to discuss what you are learning with fellow students. Participation in discussion groups will account for 20% of your nal course grade. The discussion grade will be based on the quantity and quality of your posts. Each student is graded individually, not on the output of the group. Thus while being in a weak group might be frustrating and less than ideal, it should not negatively impact your grade.

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World

Spring 2011

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World

For each unit, I will post an opening question(s) on Wednesday of each week. General guidelines: Inaddi4ontoyouressaypost,youmustpostaminimumofveaddi4onalresponses byTuesdayat11:59.Thesepostsshouldbeaminimumof23sentencesinlengthor approximately7080words. Theseaddi4onalpostsshouldbeaFempttomimicareal4mediscussioninwhichyou engagedwitheachothersideas.Youarenotrequiredtopostoneresponsetoeach essaybutcanfocusontheissueyoundmostimportantandinteres4ng.Dontview thepostasacri4queofwri4ngoroverallqualityofthepost.(Putanotherway,well dothegrading).Insteaddiscusstheideasofthesourcesandofeachanother. Postsshouldbeonpointandfocusonthecontentofthetopicsandreadings.Partof thereasonforthisexercisetoprac4cereadingtextscloselyandmakinglarger interpreta4onsfromthosesources.Thus: Postsshouldprovideanalysis(aninterpreta4onevidence,anexplana4onits meaningand/oritsbroadersignicance)ratherthanjustyouropinionsor feelingsaboutthereading.Opiniono`enresultsnavelgazingthattellsus moreaboutyouthanabouttheevidencewhereasanalysisfocusesonthe historicalactorsandevents.Wecanscru4nizeanalysisonthebasisofuse evidenceandlogicofargument,whereaswecanonlyagreeordisagreewith someonesopinion. Exampleofanaly1caldiscussionofcontent: You make some strong
statements regarding how hostile some of the Chinese astronomers were towards Schall and other Jesuits. I agree with your statements, but wonder what you think the cause of these hostilities and false accusations were. I would argue that the Chinese astronomers attacked Schall and other Jesuits, because they had taken their places in high areas of authority. Spence states that in 1629, Hsu Kuang-chI proved successfully that Western methods of astronomical calculation were superior to those of the Chinese and Mohammedan astronomers presently employed by the court (pg. 38).

Exampleofopinionthatisnotananalysisofcontent: Everyone should


be able to believe in what they want and be able to express their

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World

Spring 2011

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World

beliefs freely. If everyone believed in the same things, this world would be so boring.

Postsshoulds4cktothematerialandthehistoricalperiod.Dontuse thehistoricalsolelyasaspringboardtodiscussthepresentoryourself. Currentanalogiesshouldbemadeonlya`eryouspend4mediscussing whatthesourcessayandwhattheytellusaboutthathistoricalperiod. Exampleofhowpresentanalogyisuseful:I would completely


agree with you about the reason for the Chinese hostility toward the Jesuit astronomers. The Jesuit astronomers truly did know more and were proving better theories and did deserve the higher positions they earned in the Chinese courts. This really threatened the Chinese astronomers. When reading this reading, I tried to use an example from time today to familiarize myself with their feelings. I think of it as if someone from another country were to come out of nowhere and be elected a high position in the White House and our government. Our people were be in an outrage and uproar and try and do everything in our power to get them out of that position. I imagine that is how the Chinese astronomers were feeling, which is understandable.

Postsshouldshowevidencethatyouvereadthesourcescloselyand areabletoputtheminthecontextoflecturesandtextbookreadings. Beconcrete.


Good rule of thumb: if you could have written the same post without reading, it isnt concrete enough.

Excep4onaldiscussionpar4cipa4ons(basedonquan4tyandqualityofposts)canearn extracredit. DiscussionE4queFe: Postsmustberespecdul(novulgarity,nopersonalinsults,nonamecallingetc.) tobothfellowstudentsandtheauthorsandsubjectsofthereadings.Being respecduldoesnotrequireyoutoagreewiththeviewsoftheprimarysources oryourfellowstudents,nordoesitmeanyoumustcensureyourideas.Infact, agooddiscussionwilllikelyproducedisagreements,some4mesvehement ones.Ques4oningsomeonesideasorevidenceisappropriate.AFacking someonespersonisnot. Thise4queFehasatleasttwogrounds:1)Thepointofdiscussionistohelpyou learntoar4culategoodargumentsbasedonsolidevidence.Insultsandvitriol
History 104: Introduction to the Modern World 4

Spring 2011

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World

donotequaltrenchantanalysis.ForexampletocomparesomeonetoHitleris lazyanddoesntmovethediscussionforwardunlessyouremakingaconcrete compara4veanalysis.Thusinsteadofusinginsultsorbuzzwords,explainwhat youmean.2)Thepurposeofauniversityistopromotecivildialogue,evenon dicultissues.Youareen4tledtoyouropinions,includingcontroversialones, butyoushouldar4culatethemincivilandrespecdulways.Toqualifyas analysis,youropinionsneedtobebackedupbysolidevidenceandreasoned argument. Useofprofanityandpersonalinsultswillresultin0pointsforthatunit discussion.Repeatedfailuretodiscussrespecdullywillresultinbanishment fromthediscussionboardandasubsequentlossofdiscussionpoints.

History 104: Introduction to the Modern World