The instructions are divided into two sections, shown below.
A. PRIMARY DOCUMENTS:
Preparing for the documents: Read the section below, entitled “Handling primary documents” and “Videos used in college history courses.” Next, select documents that will form much of your paper.(See below for maximum and minimum numbers concerning documents.)Third, read the introductions to the primary documents you selected. Finally, read the questions in Strayerthat appear before each of your chosen primary documents. Once you have done this, you are now fully prepared to tackle each piece.
Working with the documents:Go over each document twice. The first time, read it quickly for general impressions. The second reading should focus on specific details of relevance to your writing and your analysis of the piece. Important: Don’t be alarmed or frustrated if you encounter passages that seem hard to follow, or by unfamiliar terminology. Remember, these documents were not written for us of the present. But by keeping the document criteria in mind and questions posed by Strayer, you can bring clarity to this material. In line with the spirit of this assignment, I will not require you to answer every one of the questions associated with that document. The best work, however, will incorporate comments and observations based on some of Strayer’s questions. All in all, the best paper will answer some of the questions, blending these into your personal impressions and observations of that piece. Although you are encouraged during class to brainstorm and review documents with your classmates, the paper you write must be distinctly your own. Submitted work that appears nearly identical to that of another student will be set aside and checked for academic dishonesty.
B. VIDEOS (GENERALLY) SHOWN IN CLASS:
Part of your journal assignment will also consist of responses to some of the videos presented in class. To handle this successfully, please do the following:
Preparing for the videos: First, refer to the section on “Handling primary documents.” Videos often share similar issues found in written materials. Second, examine any of the questions that, together with the video link, sometimes form some of my PowerPoint presentations. Third, be sure to refer to the How to Study History in College document (in Course Guides) for criteria to keep in mind when viewing the videos.
Working with the videos:
In order to save time in the end, you are strongly encouraged to take notes while viewing them in class. Doing this will insure that you have strong material you can use when crafting your paper. Second, browse through the weekly folders. Look for content that you have never seen or already viewed. Third, rescreen a video that you already saw, or view one that is entirely new to you. As with the documents, devote the first viewing to general impressions and subsequent viewings with locating details.
C. TECHNICAL AND FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ASSIGNMENT
A completed assignment will consist of four sections: (1.) an introduction, (2.) your handling of selected primary documents (summation and your insightful comments); (3.) your handling of selected videos (summation and your insightful comments); and (4.) your overall thoughts on your experiences with videos and documents as primary sources. Begin your journal by furnishing an introduction of a few paragraphs, which will preview for the reader the content you will cover. Your journal will cover some of the types of issues that might be found in the Handling Primary Documents” section, but more loosely structured and with a casual style. For stylistic reasons and due to the nature of this assignment, you are strongly encouraged to write with self-references (“I,” “we,” or “us”) throughout. Experiment to find the balance of summation, observation and analysis that works best for you. Both primary documents and videos must find a place in your journal. If you focus more on videos, there’ll need to be at least two documents and if documents, at least two videos, in your work. In any case, you will need to write about six items altogether. For writing standards, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition or the Steve Volk Footnote/Endnote guide (based on the 15th edition, and found in Course Guides folder.)
Here are the technical requirements for this assignment. Your paper should be (on average) about nine or ten pages long, double-spaced, with twelve-point font and one-inch margins. Be sure to paginate (number each page), and write both the class designation and the section number on the front page (History 110A, and your section number). An optional title page will not be included in the total number of pages. (A nine page paper is not a title page and eight pages of content, for instance.) To indicate a new section, the title of a section should appear above the beginning of that section. Avoid large amounts of blank space between sections, as this is bad formatting! Although you will not need footnotes or endnotes, you will need to include a list of sources (bibliography) at the end of your final section. I am somewhat flexible as to the exact page count. But avoid extremes. A paper that is four pages will be far too brief, but one of eighteen pages will need to be trimmed. Please contact me before the very last minute if you face any problems regarding this assignment.
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