Course Requirements and Grade Distribution
1. General in-class participation [20% of the grade]. Participating in class is a must. This is a significant portion of your grade (basically two letter grades!) so it’s imperative that you contribute to class discussions. I appreciate any well-intentioned participation in class discussions but I am more happy when you say something that shows me that you’ve carefully read the assigned readings for that day. I will carefully note through the semester those students who are actively engaging with the assigned readings.
2. Attendance [5% of the grade]. I will take attendance every class day at the beginning of class. No more than one unexcused absence and two excused absences will be allowed. For excused absences, I will need official written documentation.
3. Book Review [10% of the grade]. This will be a 3-page book review of Michael Gordin’s Red Cloud at Dawn that’s due on September 18.
4. Five Reading Responses [5 X 5% = 25% of the grade]. These will be short 2-page papers you will have to write in response to a specific question based on the assigned readings or a film. I will post the question(s) on the course website a week ahead of the due date, and students will bring in their written responses to class to facilitate discussion. (This means I will call on specific students to share their responses with the class). I will accept only typed responses, i.e., no handwritten responses. I will not accept late responses.
5. Final Paper [40% of the course grade]. The goal here is to produce a substantive research paper on a specific aspect of the history of science and technology in the Cold War. In this paper, students will use primary and secondary sources to explore a particular theme addressed during the in-class discussion or a specific topic raised in one of the class readings. Throughout the semester, students will work through a number of stages before writing the final paper.
a. I will hand out a list of acceptable topics and a more detailed prompt for the paper on October 2.
b. Students will submit a two-paragraph abstract for the paper on October 23 (5 points out of a total 40) with a list of primary and secondary sources. The abstract should: state the theme of the paper; articulate the thesis/argument of the paper; refer to the importance of the topic to understand the history of science and technology during the Cold War.
c. Discussion of Paper (5 points out of a total 40): on the last two days of class, November 20 and December 4, each student will use one or two images to have a 15-minute discussion/presentation on their final paper project.
d. Students will submit the final paper on December 15 (Monday). Only paper copies will be accepted!
I will grade your actual paper (30 points out of a total of 40) based on the following criteria: depth of research, strength and logic of argument; use of evidence; quality of writing; and correctness of citations.
I will not accept late papers!!
The structural requirements for the paper are the following:
1. Length: approximately 15 pages long (c. 3,750 words)
2. Font & spacing: 12-pt Times Roman font, double-spaced; all block quotes need to be single-spaced.
3. Citations: use either MLA in-text citations or footnotes according to the Chicago Manual of Style. If you are using footnotes, they need to be in 10-pt font and single-spaced. Please be consistent about the system you are using and do not mix them up.
4. The paper needs a full bibliography at the end (also as per the Chicago Manual of Style.