Work Fall 2009

ARCHIVED, from Fall 2009


Coursework will be weighted as follows:
1.  Classroom Engagement: 15 pts.
2. Group Presentation: 15 pts.
3. Research Paper: 40 pts.
4. Take-home midterm:  15
5. Exam:  15 pts.
Total: 100 pts

The Grading Scale
I will be using the following grading scale in this course:

98-100 A+
94-97 A
90-93 A-
87-89 B+
84-86 B
80-83 B-
77-79 C+
74-76 C
70 – 73 C-
69/below D
59/below F

Note on Late Assignments:
Late assignments will be graded down 5 points for each day late, to a maximum of 50% off the credit for the assignment. No matter how late an assignment is, it will always be worth submitting (you can always get up to 50% credit).

1. Classroom Engagement: Participation and Attendance (15%)

This course requires not only attendance but also active participation. This entails doing the readings before class, thinking critically about them and the topics we are discussing. Active participation can significantly help your grade in the course, non-participation can significantly lower your grade, and non-attendance WILL significantly lower your grade.

Attendance and active participation

  1. You must attend class. Think of it as if you are a pilot learning to fly. You have to put in a number of hours in the cockpit to qualify.
  2. You must be active in class. This can take a variety of forms, including: speaking in class, asking questions, emailing me questions, and participating on the course blog.
  3. You can miss two classes without any serious consequence. If you miss more than 5 classes you will receive no participation credit.

Online News and Readings Blog

This is part of your participation grade. There will be sign-ups on the second day class meets.

All posts are due 5 pm the DAY PRIOR to class.

Online News Blog

  1. You will “blog” news on international relations to the class twice during the semester.
  2. The length of each post should be a minimum of 100 words. There is no maximum.
  3. Include links (or website addresses) for the news stories.

Reading Blog

  1. You will “blog” a reaction to one reading this term.
  2. The length of the post should be a minimum of 300 words.
  3. Concentrate on providing content that will help your colleagues prepare for exams and apply the reading to the course in general. Do not merely summarize the reading.
  4. Include at least two discussion questions.

Posts are graded on the following scale: 0 = no effort, or minimal, 1 = average, 2 = great job.

Study Cycle Presentations (15%)

See Instructions on Separate Page

Research or Policy Paper (40%)

See Instructions on Separate Page


Midterm 1Take-Home (15%). Covers material from the first half of the course.

Midterm 2 – In-Class (15%). Covers material from the second half of the course, though it may draw on some concepts from the first half.

There will NOT be a final exam for the course. (I didn’t want you to have to stay and take an exam starting at 7 pm December 22nd!) There will be a study guide for the second midterm. The purpose will be for you to synthesize what you have learned in the course.

Note that each of the exams is worth the same as the group presentations and less than the research paper.