Highlighted Section of Book

Course Requirements


1. Attendance                        50 POINTS

  • Attendance is required. I will distribute an attendance sheet in each class. You will be permitted two unexcused absences.
  • Any absence is unexcused if it is not legitimate and not cleared with me in advance, or not accompanied by documentation, also preferably in advance.
  • Each unexcused absence will result in deduction of one-half of a letter grade.
  • If you know in advance that you will miss a class for an unavoidable and valid reason, let me know in advance.
  • Do not come to me late in the semester with explanations for earlier absences. It is your responsibility to let me know as soon as possible about excusable absences.
  • Only after I approve your absence, I will tell you to send me a reminder to
  • If you wait till weeks later, those absences will not be excused. This policy is absolute, and it is not negotiable.


2. Participation                          200 POINTS

  • I will ask questions on the assigned readings/ films. It is your responsibility to respond critically and respectfully. Listen carefully to me and your peers. Try to back up your arguments with evidences.
  • Always expect question and remain prepared to provide answers. You can also ask questions. In fact, you will get awards for thought-provoking questions/answers.5 such awards can make you exempt from the final paper!
  • Class discussions will depend on your reading of the assigned texts and coming to class ready to talk about them. I will grade you on two things:
  1. Whether you generally ask/respond to questions
  2. The quality of your responses/questions.

3. Leading Discussion              100 POINTS

  • You and your group will lead the class in a discussion of any one assigned reading. Text presentations involve your reading the text, discussing an aspect of it that you find significant (a theme, an issue, a historical figure, etc.), and raising a question suggested by the text. Check Course Outline at pages 12-17 of this syllabus to know your turn in advance.

4. Writing on the Blog     100 POINTS

  • Bookmark and subscribe to the course blog:
  • Check for updates as we move along with the course.
  • Make one comment on each blog post. Also, reply to a comment one of your peers has written on each post. Both your consistent participation in all posts and quality of your comment will decide your grade. Check Course Outline at pages 12-17 of this syllabus for the deadlines.

5. Reflection Note + Q      300 POINTS

  • You will send a 400-word reflection note + 1question every week focusing on all activities suggested for a week in this syllabus. In total, you will send 11 notes in 11 weeks throughout the semester. Note that all notes except note 7, that is, totally 10 notes, each carrying 30 points, will be considered for 300 points. In your note, you must show that you have perceived the key arguments and all supporting details. You can show this by the following:
  1. Find the interconnections across all texts. Precisely write a thesis statement on your finding.
  2. Back up your thesis statement with the most persuasive evidence: the most helpful detail or the most powerful logic you can think of.
  3. Argue for or against the stance the authors have established with a set of key arguments. To do so, you must provide evidence that supports your stance. To find what views other thinkers are coming up with on a particular issue, it is always helpful to do some research using your library resources: peer-reviewed journal articles and books. Remember, you are checking those thinkers not for borrowing their ideas, but to come up with your own. Research is a thought-shower to bring forth an idea that intervenes. Try your best.
  4. Finally, add ONE question that may inspire new thoughts/ideas.
  5. You will send all Reflection Note + Question, simply REF-Qs from now on, to will get a submission confirmation e-mail from me within 24 hours of your initial e-mail. Ask me in class if you have not received any confirmation e-mail. Any unconfirmed e-mail will not fulfill requirements.
  6. Send your REF-Q in an MS Word file attached with your e-mail.
  7. Mention the REF-Q you are submitting and your last name as the subject line of your e-mail. For example, one student named Karl Marx submitting REF-Q for Week 1 should use the following subject line:

REF-Q: Week 1 by Marx

  • As a body of his e-mail, Karl Marx in the example above should write:

Dear Professor:

Please find my REF-Q in the attached file.

Please send me a confirmation e-mail.

Thank you

Karl Marx.

Any submission that doesn’t follow the points above will not be accepted.

6. Midterm                                  100 POINTS

  • GRADED on the basis of REF-Q: Week 7. Check Course outline at pages 12-17 of this syllabus.

7. Presentation                            50 POINTS

  • You will present the outline of your final paper. Check course outline below to find your turn. In your presentation, you will precisely share 3 things:
  1. Your thesis,
  2. Organization of your paper and
  3. Key arguments/evidences/supporting details to establish your stance
  • You will be graded on 2 things:
  1. Covering the 3 points above.
  2. Time Management. You must finish in 4-5 minutes.

8. Final Paper                             100 POINTS

  • You will write one paper. It should fill five pages and discuss an issue raised by our course materials. It will require that you consult one outside source, an article in a scholarly journal. You will submit an annotated bibliography, one page identifying and evaluating your source.  Your grade on the paper will be based on your writing and persuasiveness.

Format for written assignments:

9. Avoiding Electronic and Other Nuisance

  • Turn off your computers, cell phones, and other media devices during class.
  • Keep quiet. Raise your hand for my approval before jumping in a class discussion.
  • You will lose 100 points for each disruption listed:
  1. Doing work for another class
  2. Using your cell phone, all other devices, gadgets during class time
  3. Reading a book or other material unrelated to our work
  4. Becoming involved in gossiping or any other conversations that disrupt the teaching-learning environment in the class.

Assignments: Grades and Deadlines

Segments to be Graded Points Deadline Grade to be published on
1 Attendance 50 Every class 12/24
2 Participation(Asking Questions in class) 100 Every Class 12/24
3 Participation( Answering Questions in class) 100 Every Class 12/24
4 Leading Discussions 100 See Outline 12/24
5 Writing on Course Blog 100 See Outline 12/24
6 Midterm 100 See Outline 10/16
7 Reflection Note + Question 300 See Outline 12/24
8 Presenting Outline of final paper 50 See Outline 12/24
9 Final Paper 100 12/15 12/24
10 Total Points 1000 See Outline 12/24
11 Electronic and Other Nuisance -100 Every time 12/24

Grading Scale

951 and above A Suggests that a student’s work is outstanding to excellent; the student’s work reflects an engaged comprehension of the course content and shows thoughtful insight into the complexities of the course. Student shows an attentive engagement with the course. Student’s work is consistently well-considered and well-written.
900-950 A-
870-899 B+ Suggests that a student’s work is very good to good; the student’s work reflects a very strong, engaged, and solid understanding of course material. Occasionally, the student’s work doesn’t go the extra step in critical analysis. Student’s work is mostly well- considered and well-written.
830-869 B
800-829 B-
770-799 C+ Suggests that a student’s work is adequate; the student’s work reflects a fair, but essentially disengaged, grasp of the course material and doesn’t go very far in comprehension, or reflects a lack of understanding of the issues represented in the material. Student’s work is un- or under-considered and unclearly written. Class attendance may be a problem.
730-769 C
700-729 C-
670-699 D+ Suggests that a student’s work shows some, but very little effort; the student’s work does not reflect a comprehension of the course  material, is disengaged, or reveals a lack of reading, attention, and/or attendance.
600-669 D
0-599 F


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