History of Latin America - Grading


PLAGIARISM POLICY. I take plagiarism very seriously. You are encouraged to discuss class material with your classmates and friends, and to consult appropriate outside sources as a way of jogging your own thoughts (i.e., scholarly works on the subject, articles from scholarly and popular journals, websites on the subject such as those provided on this class website, but NOT paper mills, Cliff notes, and other packaged study guides).

Any and all written work must reflect your own thinking on the subject, and be crafted by you. Any cheating or plagiarism will be reported to the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of your major, and may result in failure of the course. You are expected to know the standards set forth in the MU code of academic honesty, as well as the dos and don'ts of plagiarism according to these handy guides from Purdue and Duke. 

BE ESPECIALLY WARY OF THE TENDENCY TO CUT AND PASTE MATERIAL FROM THE WEB!! When in doubt, speak to Mr. Stueck or me about the appropriate ways to evaluate, use, and cite online sources. You might also consult the Chicago Manual of Style online.

I repeat: BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL NOT TO CUT AND PASTE FROM THE WEB! The same rules of plagiarism and referencing apply to electronic sources. If you are in doubt, speak with the TA or myself about it.

Computer problems will not be accepted as an excuse for late or poorly executed work. Please start early on your Discussion Boards, and keep backups of your written work at all times.

If you have special needs , athletics conflicts, etc., you must submit them to me in writing WITHIN THE FIRST THREE WEEKS OF CLASS. Issues that arise during the semester must be addressed with me as soon as humanly possible. Fair warning: I do not react well to last-minute requests and will rarely be willing to accommodate them.

In general, if you have any concerns or questions about your performance in the class, I encourage you to speak with me or the TA about them, the sooner the better.

Your Grade Will Be Calculated According to The Following:

5 Discussion Boards (50% in total, 10% each)

Small discussion groups will be assigned the first day of class. These small groups will occasionally do in-class activities together, and will also discuss weekly readings outside of class time using D2L.

Seven formal Discussion Board assignments are scheduled. The first is a trial run; I will drop the lowest grade of the remaining six at the end of the semester. Discussion is formally closed on the Sunday night after a Discussion Board is posted. I will never, under any circumstances, extend this deadline . You will be graded according to the following criteria:

-- The quality of your discussion
-- The extent to which you respond to your classmates' ideas
-- The timeliness of your contribution

Each discussion group receives a collective grade for each Discussion Board assignment. Using this collective grade as a baseline, points may then be added or deducted to individual participants' grades for exceptional, or exceptionally poor, performance. Discussion Boards are graded on a scale of 1-10, with the following conversions to a 100-point scale:

10=97, 9 =93, 8=88, 7=83, 6=76, 5=70, 4=64, 3=59, 2=50, 1=35.

Feel free to use the Discussion Boards to share ideas, ask questions of each other, and prepare for your midterm and final reports, even when no Discussion Board assignment is scheduled. Please keep in mind that I and the TA will read and occasionally participate in the Discussion Boards , so don't write anything you wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with us.

Map Quiz (10%) scheduled on January 31 at the beginning of class

Mid-Term Current Events Report (20%) and Final Current Events Report (20%).

These are formal papers reflecting ongoing research done throughout the semester. You will select a country and/or an issue to follow in current periodicals and newspapers (due Feb. 7) . The Mid-Term Current Events Report (due March 9) will explain your particular country/issue and why you chose it, and compare and contrast your sources. The Final Current Events Report (due May 4) will relate our current events topic to the historical patterns we have been discussing in class. You will receive more information about these assignments in class.

Discussion Sections (10 pts of Final Current Events Report)

Five times during the semester— Jan. 26, Feb. 16, March 9, April 20, and May 4-- Friday lecture is cancelled and you will attend Discussion Sections instead. These Discussion Sections are mandatory . Attendance and participation will be assessed by the TA, and will comprise 10 points (out of 100) of your Final Current Events Report. In other words, if you never attend Discussion Section, the absolute highest grade you are eligible to receive on your Final Current Events Report is a 90. If you receive a grade of "7" in the Discussion Section, the highest grade you can receive on the Final Current Events Report is a 97.

A Note on Class Attendance and Participation.

I do take attendance in lecture, and active participation (for instance, responding to questions by the professor) is noted. At the end of the semester I compile these attendance and participation figures while calculating final grades, and use them as 'extra credit' to bump up borderline cases (for instance, between an AB and an A, a C and a BC, or even an F and a D). This can make a real difference to you final grade!