Home Schedule Policy Paper


Texts and Materials

This is a reading intensive course. Readings for each session will be made available on reserve. Two copies of each article will be available from folders in the Olin Science library. When readings are available on-line they will be linked to from the course schedule page.

Breakdown of Credit

The course grade will be computed as follows:
Midterm examination 20%
Final exam 25%
Two Papers (15 % each) 30%
Class participation 25%
  TOTAL   100%

As discussed in the final class, for most students the weightings of the midterm and final have been reversed, so that the midterm counts for 25% and the final for 20%.


Each student will write two papers. These are weighted equally. The first paper will deal with the issues and sources raised in the first part of the course. The second paper will deal primarily with the issues and sources raised in the second part of the course. Each paper will be between eight and ten pages long. Sample topics will be provided later, but students are encouraged to come up with their own essay questions.

Details to follow.

Participation & Attendance

Students are expected to fully complete assigned readings before each class and to come prepared to discuss the related questions posted on the course course web site. Analysis and discussion of the readings are very important parts of the course and will comprise a portion of the final grade. The professor will call on students who do not regularly take part in class discussion, so be prepared!

Class attendance is expected and will be recorded. More than two unexcused absences will lead to a lowering of the final grade; more than five will result in failing the course.

The participation grade is calculated as follows:

  1. 50% is for coming to class. You are allowed two absences without any explanation or makeup. Three or more uncompensated absences will result in a penalty of 10% per additional absence.

  2. 40% is for a consistent base level of input during in-class discussions -- maximum credit here will be earned with about 30 discussion contributions over the class. Prepare the discussion questions carefully, and try to say two smart, well informed things per session. If you can do this in most sessions, you will receive full marks. Contributions include useful questions as well as answers. However, make sure you are not repeating what someone else has said -- credit will not be awarded for this. Only first and second contributions to each session will be tallied, so while it is not necessary to participate in every session to receive full credit, you should aim to say something in most of them.

  3. The final 10% of the contribution can only be earned through a "quality bonus". Your contribution mark may be raised or lowered up to 10% according to quality and consistency of contributions. You do not have to hog the conversation to earn this bonus. Those whose answers suggest a lack of preparation may be penalized here.

If you feel uncomfortable speaking in class, an alternative is available. This is to submit electronically answers of about 400 words to any two of the discussion questions. Competent answers will receive two discussion credits. Exceptional answers may receive a bonus.

Thomas Haigh -- email tdhaigh@colby.edu.    Home: www.tomandmaria.com/tom. Updated 04/21/2002.