Course Requirements and Grade Distribution
Total: 100 Points
Class Participation: 10 points
Participating in class is a must. This is a significant portion of your grade (basically one letter grade!) so it's imperative that you contribute to class discussions. This doesn't simply mean that you randomly raise your hand and say whatever that comes into your head; this requires you to READ the assigned readings--both the textbook readings and the extra readings posted on the website--and attentively listen to discussions.
Attendance: 5 points
I will take attendance once every week, either on a Tuesday or a Friday, at the beginning of class. No more than one unexcused absence and three excused absences will be allowed. For excused absences, I will need official written documentation.
Response Papers: 2 Papers X 7.5 points each = 15 points
These short papers will be about 3 pages in length (c. 750 words using 12-pt Times Roman font, double-spaced with block quotes in single space) and will ask you to analyze the assigned readings. I will hand out the prompt to each Paper about a week-and-a-half ahead of the due date. Students will bring in their responses to class to facilitate discussion and turn them in as you leave. Any footnotes need to follow the Chicago Manual of Style. I will accept only typed responses, i.e., no handwritten papers. I will also not accepted e-mailed papers!
Quizzes: 4 quizzes X 2.5 points each = 10 points
These will be unannounced in-class quizzes that will test your mastery of the assigned reading for that particular class day. These will typically be short questions about the text that you have to answer. Two of these will be before the midterm, and two after.
Midterm Exam: 20 points
The midterm will consist of a set of short and long questions covering the students' mastery of: my lectures; assigned readings; in-class discussions; movie clips shown in class; and assigned movies. You will typically have some choice, e.g., you will answer four out of five short questions, and one out of two long questions. The short questions will require brief and precise responses about one page long. The longer questions will require more sustained responses of about 4 or 5 pages in length. All responses will be hand-written in bluebooks in class.
Final Exam: 20 points
The final will be in the exact same format as the midterm but slightly longer.
Final Paper: 20 points
This assignment will build upon the skills learned while writing your Response papers and relate to the book by Jean Gimpel (The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages). The paper will be historiographical in nature in that you will have to critically compare Gimpel's book with other more recent texts on medieval technology and write a critical analysis of the state of knowledge on some particular aspect of technology in the Middle Ages. I will announce more details of the final paper about half way into the semester.
Your paper will be about 10 pages in length (c. 2,500 words, main text double-spaced in 12pt font, footnotes single-spaced in 10pt font, Times New Roman, using footnotes as per the Chicago Manual of Style). Your paper should cite at least 6 other secondary sources related to the topic at hand, and should directly reflect the substance of in-class discussions and assigned readings. I will talk a lot more about the paper as the semester progresses, and will dedicate a class session to a discussion of the paper.
I will grade your paper based on the following criteria:
1. depth of research
2. strength and logic of argument
3. use of evidence
4. quality of writing
5. correctness of citations
I will NOT accept later papers! I will also not accept e-mailed papers!