Grading and Assignments

Participation: 150 total points (15%)
Discussion Prompts: 200 points (20%)
Midterm: 250 points (25%)
Research Proposal: 350 points (35%)
Learning Reflection Paper: 50 points (5%)

Total: 1000 possible points

Points Letter Points Letter
  940-1000   A   770-799   C+
  900-939   A-   740-769   C
  870-899   B+   700-739   C-
  840-869   B   600-699   D
  800-839   B-   < 600   F

Grade components:

1) Attendance, Participation and In-Class Work: 150 points
As an upper-level course, the success of this class is dependent on your active participation. This course covers a lot of material and you are required to keep up with the readings and to come to class prepared to discuss the material for that day, as well as material covered in previous class meetings. You and your peers benefit from your active participation in this learning community. It is essential that class members attend all scheduled classes and participate in class discussions and activities. Class attendance, discussions, questions, etc., will all contribute to the assessment of your class participation. Frequent or excessive tardiness will not be tolerated and could impede your ability to complete the course. We will start class on time, so do not be late.

2) Discussion Prompts: 200 points
Throughout the semester, I will post discussion questions and prompts on our course website, for a total of 10 posts; you are required to respond to 9 of these – you get one freebie. They are evaluated credit/no credit. You must meet all requirements to get any credit. No partial credit awarded. Responses must be no less than 400 words and must be posted by 9am on Thursday the week of the discussion’s assigned readings. These are an opportunity for you to reflect on readings, connect readings to our previous discussions, apply concepts and theories to your own personal experiences and observations, and synthesize material toward your own original analyses. You are also required to comment on at least TWO of your classmates’ posts by 9am of the following Tuesday.  Further instructions are posted on the course website.
Due dates: Prompt entry, Thursday no later than 9am the week of the discussion’s assigned readings. Peer comments, Tuesday no later than 9am the week after the assigned discussion readings. Entries should be placed on the appropriate week’s Discussion Prompt page.

3) Midterm: 250 points
You will be provided with 2-3 questions at least 7 days before the essay is due. You will choose one question and write a well-organized and well-argued 5-7 page essay. These questions will ask you to analyze and synthesize class work and readings.
Due date: Thursday, March 3 no later than 11:59pm on BB.

4) Research Project & Group Presentation: 350 points
A crucial component of this class is to prepare you for conducting scholarly research. To this end, you will turn in a research paper proposal at the end of the semester. There are multiple deadlines on BB throughout the semester, divided into stages: topic and research question (50 points); annotated bibliography in 2 parts (100 points); group presentation (50 points); final proposal (150 points). The last week of class will be devoted to each student presenting on their research project to the class in their research groups. Final proposal to be due on Friday, April 29 no later than 11:59pm on BB. We’ll talk about this in class & you should closely read the Research Proposal Overview and Guidelines (a document on our website).

Policy for Late and Missing Assignments:
You are responsible for completing assignments on time. Due dates are clearly indicated throughout the syllabus. I do not accept ANY late assignments unless previous arrangements have been made. This means that if you anticipate not being able to complete your assignment on time whether it is due to a documented excuse or an unfortunate conflict, you must come to me before the assignment is due. Unless you communicate with me and get direct permission in a timely manner, you will not be eligible to turn in your assignment late even if your excuse is documented. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

Except for the discussion prompts, all other assignments are to be submitted through our course Blackboard page on MyMason (marked as BB). All grades will be posted to BB:
*Login to MyMason using your Mason email username and password.