following elements combine to yield your course grade:
Class Participation 20%
Research Project 50%
Project-related Assignments 30%
you wish to do well in this course you will have to engage in active learning;
class participation is a must! In my eyes, class participation
implies something very specific: you come to class having read the material
assigned for that particular class meeting armed with relevant questions and
comments, and; you respond (constructively, I might add), to questions I or
your peers raise. Be warned; I will shutdown any conversations that are
irrelevant to the subject under discussion.
The Research Project will be a structured,
journalistic venture of sorts about a city, town, village, or other form of
municipal organization; special districts (fire, school, etc.) do not qualify.
The basic premise is simple: pick a municipality and document its political
history. This historical documentation will be dynamic. That is, while your
project will start with an overview of the early history of the municipality,
(i.e., for example, who settled it, incorporation and governing body details,
and so forth), you will update this history along the lines of, and in step
with, the subjects we cover in this course. Thus, for example, how the city
responded to reformism pressures, the changing economic climate in the nation
over the past 100 years, immigration, civil rights, and a host of issues related
to public services (financing, contracting out, and the like) and policies
(education, health, public housing, growth versus anti-growth, and so forth).
The final product, due at
May 5, 2005
will be structured as follows:
text will be at most 25 pages in length, font-size 12, double-spaced with
one-inch margins top, right, bottom and left.
separate title page
pages for references
here for Final Paper Guidelines
I encourage you to use graphical tools (tables, charts, etc.) to
illustrate some particularly important and interesting aspect of your project,
but it will not count against your grade if you choose not to do so.
At key intervals during our progress through the material to be
covered this semester I will ask you to submit brief (1 - 2 page)
Project-related Assignments that will map particular themes to your
chosen municipality’s experiences. This will serve two purposes: (1) force you
to keep plodding along on your project, and (2) demonstrate your ability to
apply seemingly abstract or far removed concepts encountered in the literature
to your own city’s experience. Due dates and times for these assignments will be
announced when I schedule these assignments.
Spelling errors and especially egregious grammatical errors in
your written submissions will cost you. Word processing software currently in
vogue has spelling and grammar utilities; use them. Do not plagiarize; it is
painfully easy to detect and earns a failing grade, perhaps even a summary
appearance before the student conduct board.
I assume you will not miss class without giving me prior notice (in person, via
email, or by phone) of both the cause and date(s) of your absence(s). Save for
excused absences, there are no make-up assignments. Late submissions earn no
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