INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
Discussion Forum posts [top]
Full credit in the course will require writing eight posts and commenting on sixteen posts written by others (so, for each forum, you will write one post and comment on two posts by other students). When writing (and responding to) the posts, be sure to incorporate ideas from the class readings. The due dates and questions/topics for the eight forums are given in ANGEL ("Course Materials/Discussion Forums"), where they are to be submitted.
Each discussion forum post should be from 500-600 words and is worth up to 6 points; the comments should be from 100-150 words, and each is worth up to 2 points (see the rubric).
Regarding your comments: You should feel welcome to comment as often as you wish on the discussion forum posts; for any given post, I'll grade only the first two substantial comments (that appear to be 100 words or more), but shorter comments are also welcome, and can add immeasurably to the conversation.
All quizzes will be taken online, using the ANGEL courseware. There will be a quiz (10 questions, timed) after each module, so the number of the quiz (e.g., Q-01, Q-02) is also the number of the module that it covers. The quiz will be over all the assigned reading for that module (§§ from the textbook, as well as any assigned reading selections). There are practice quizzes for each of the modules as well, and I strongly encourage you to work through these. They are intended to give you a sense of the questions that will be asked in the graded quiz, although the practice quizzes will normally be shorter.
You may take these practice quizzes whenever you like, and you may review them as often as you like. The graded quizzes, however, are timed (10 minutes), you will see one question at a time, and you will not be able to review them later.
Take the graded quizzes as soon as you are ready, but no later than midnight of the day when they are assigned.
Extra Credit Journals[top]
You may write brief essays for extra credit, if you wish. These are opportunities for exploring additional texts, films, videos, podcasts, etc., as listed under “Other Resources” on the Reading and Assignment schedule. A journal can be submitted on any item marked with an [EC]; they are due within two days of the day that they appear on the schedule (at the end of the term, however, the extra credit journals will be due no later than the last class day — so plan ahead). You may submit only one journal per day (e.g., you will not be allowed to submit five journals at the very end of the term).
These should be at least 600 words (about two pages), and will be graded on their length, content, and basic mechanics (see the rubric, and see the sample journal). The content should include two parts: a brief summary of the text, film, or talk, and a rather longer discussion of what was philosophically interesting.
Please submit them to the “EC” drop box on ANGEL, with the title of the article or film in the subject line. You may write up to one journal per class day, and at the end of the semester, the very last journals are due on the last day of classes (Tuesday, July 6). Plan accordingly.
Each journal is worth up to 10 points, and up to 50 points may be accumulated. A full 50 points will add 4% to your course grade.
Writing Tips [top]
Please carefully proofread these writing submissions. You need to use complete sentences, proper punctuation, and correct spelling. Both in college and after you graduate you will be judged, in part, by how well you write. Typos, mispellings, poor grammar — in short, sloppy writing — is like so much stink coming from the bottom of your shoes. It won’t matter how nicely your hair is combed or your shirt is pressed if you can’t write a decent paragraph.
I hope it never comes to this, but my comments on your writing might make use of some of the following abbreviations:
awk: awkward. This is a sentence problem; the sentence should be re-written for greater clarity.
frag: sentence fragment. Another sentence problem; your sentence is lacking something vital. Like a subject. Or a verb. Don’t fall into the trap of writting essays that sound like advertising copy. We all can do better than that!
wc: word choice. You might find a better word to suit your sentence. Consult your dictionary for a more accurate meaning.
sp: spelling. Consult your dictionary!
?: Huh? You’ve lost your reader.
TS?: Topic sentence? This is a paragraph problem. There needs to be a topic sentence (normally, the lead sentence of the paragraph) that indicates what the paragraph is all about (what you are hoping to do in the paragaph; or it’s the claim for which the paragraph will now offer support, or an observation for which the paragraph will now offer some elaboration, etc.).
CO?: Cohere? Another paragraph problem; the sentences in this paragraph don’t fit together very well. Try re-arranging the,. Ask yourself: (a) What goal am I trying to acheive with this paragraph? and (b) Is each sentence working towards this goal?
Q?: Quotation? Quotations should be used only when a paraphrase will not do the job as effectively. Common problems include failing to properly introduce a quotation, failing to properly cite a quotation, quoting more than is helpful, and using a quotation when a paraphrase would be better.