Evaluation, Expectations, and Other Assignment Notes

Readings overview:  Our readings will include two plays, a novel, a non-fiction book, an opera libretto and a book on conflict management.   Students are expected to do independent reading and research as well.  Each week we will assign significant passages from the readings, which will coincide with online seminars and other online assignments.


In-class and online seminars: It is expected that you will have thoroughly and thoughtfully read and/or viewed the selections for seminar.  You should be prepared to identify key themes supported by specific passages in the reading/viewing selections.  There will be online seminars during the second, fourth and seventh week of the quarter.  The topics will come from the central themes for each quarter.  Each student will be assigned to a regular group (roughly 6-8 students) that will participate in online seminars.


Online seminar week requirements:


  • By Tuesday at midnight, each seminar member will respond to the seminar topic. The response   should reflect critical thinking about the text assigned.  Your response   must be supported by specific citations from the texts.
  • By Wednesday at midnight, each seminar member is required to submit at least one response to every other seminar member’s initial entry—again using the assigned texts to support your critical thinking.
  • By Thursday at midnight, each seminar member is required to post a summation on the topic assigned that reflects thoughtful participation in the online seminar.  Students are welcome to offer additional comments as discussions evolve but you need to have completed the online seminar by Thursday at midnight.


Entries posted after the midnight deadline for each online seminar due date will not receive credit. 

The goal of online seminars is to develop a critical stance on the assigned topics and texts and to deepen your analysis with each student response to your postings.  We are not looking for picky responses to the technicalities of writing or for simple comments like “that’s a really cool idea.”  However, form and content are inseparable in writing, and it is appropriate to comment on aspects of the writing that interfere with (or enhance) your understanding.  All topics will require specific citations from the assigned readings to substantiate your critical comments.


Learning Synthesis:  Upon completion of the online seminar, you will write a one-page paper synthesizing your learning from the online seminar.  It will be turned in as per the instructions on the calendar.  On the opposite side of your synthesis paper you will propose an original (meaning different) seminar topic supported by an excerpt/quote from the text.


Study Questions:  Complete study questions as assigned to prepare for online seminar.  Responses to study questions are to be filed in your portfolio.


Term paper:  an academic research paper focusing on a historical or recent conflict.  You will research the nature and outcome of the conflict as well as an analysis of how the conflict would have differed if the parties were intent on resolving the conflict.  Your analysis will need to be carefully researched.  A detailed outline and a bibliography will be required prior to turning in your term paper.


Presentation:  Prepare a five-minute presentation for seminar on the final weekend of class.  This will be a synthesis of the research and writing in your term paper.


Portfolio: a compilation of work completed during the quarter.  It will be turned on the final day of class and returned during your evaluation conference.  The portfolio (with labeled sections) will contain:


  1. Syllabus and covenant at the front
  2. Relevant notes (dated and organized chronologically—week by week)
    1. Lecture and reading notes
    2. Responses to study questions
    3. Online seminar postings
    4. Learning Synthesis and seminar topic papers
    5. In-class handouts
  3. All readings downloaded from the website with margin notes and/or highlighted passages of importance
  4. Seminar and workshop writings completed in the classroom
  5. Term Paper outline & bibliography and final paper
  6. Presentation outline and/or notes
  7. Self-evaluation


Play Attendance: the class will attend a performance of Red at the Seattle Rep on Saturday, February 25, 2012


Screenings at home:  You will be required to screen one or two films at home.  You will need to rent these films on your own.

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