ASSIGNMENT SHEET FOR FINAL PAPER (COURSE ANALYSIS)
CLASSICS 320 - Women in Classical Antiquity
This paper will be due Tuesday, May 18, by 3:00 P.M. Please deliver it to my mailbox in Jimenez 4220, or to me in person in my office between 2:00 and 3:00. (Please don't leave it under my door.) Unless you have a bona fide emergency, I will not be able to accept any papers after May 18. I will return them at the time scheduled for the final exam: 1:30 P.M. Thursday, Dec. 19.
The purpose of this assignment is to help you (and me) to put the course as a whole into perspective to see how the various parts fit together, and to assess your own experience of the semester's work.
The assignment has three parts. Part 2 should follow Part 1, but Part 3 may be inserted wherever you think it fits best.
1) Using the syllabus, your class notes, and the assignment sheets for papers and group discussions, identify the major themes or issues we have dealt with in the course. Trace each major issue through the course: in which lectures, readings and discussions was it most prominent? Did it look different at different points in the semester? Consider as well the relationships between the issues. Did they complement one another? Were there any contrasts between them? It may help to think of this exercise as "telling the story of the course," or as summarizing the main points of an article or book (for which the syllabus is the table of contents). Did this course have an "argument"? What made it hang together?
2) Describe your own experience of moving through the course. (You might think of this as "the story of the course" told from your point of view; your scrapbook/journal, if you have kept one, should help you.) How did the main themes or issues relate to (or conflict with) your previous education and your own concerns? Did the material surprise you, offend you, enlighten you, make you angry? Did your views evolve as the semester progressed? Be sure to includeand analyzeany difficulties you had with the material or the assignments. This section may include suggestions for improving the course. Did some readings or assignments work especially well? not well at all? Should some themes have been developed more fully? (NOTE: I will ask you to fill out the usual confidential course evaluation forms on the last or second-last day of class; save any comments you wish to make in confidence for this evaluation, which I will not see until all grades have been handed in.)
3) At some point or points in the paper, include a more detailed analysis of at least two readings (or other forms of evidence we have considered, such as the video on "The Women of Troy," the film Phaedra, or the slides for a particular unit). Try to choose readings or evidence that you found particularly interesting, compelling, or provoking. (You may include the articles for the papers if you wish.) Describe how these readings or items of evidence fit into the larger issues of the course and how they contributed to your own understanding of these issues.
If you wish, you are free to exchange drafts of this paper with a writing partner; the exchange is optional this time, and you need not submit a first draft with your paper. If you work with a partner, I ask only that you let me know the partner's name. Try not to be too influenced by your partner's perspective on the course: be faithful to your own experience of it. The questions raised on this assignment sheet do not have a finite set of right and wrong answers. I will assign grades not for specific answers, but for the care and thoroughness with which you explore the questions. If you would like to receive comments on your paper, please give me a stamped manila envelope (2 regular stamps should be enough for most papers) and mail it back to you.