Assignment Book Format And Evaluation

Purpose

The primary purpose of having students keep all assigned materials in one bound volume is to create a temporally continuous, self-contained record of the student's academic endeavors in order to facilitate the instructor's evaluations and the student's self-evaluations.

A secondary purpose is served in that when doing assignments, the student will have the advantage of having all relevant notes and preparatory materials ready to hand.


General Considerations

1. ALL entries must be written in legible handwriting.
2. No pages may be ripped out or defaced to the point of being unreadable. In the event that a student wishes to scrap a page and start over, the proper procedure is to draw an "X" through the page and start over on the next.


Format

Cover

The front cover of your book should be marked as follows, in this order:

The number and name of your class (i.e., "PHL 000: Example Philosophy Course Name")
The days of the week and time your class meets (i.e. "Mon. and Weds., 6:00-7:45 AM")
Your name (i.e. "Joe Student")

Your name should not appear anywhere else in the book.

Contents

In your course book you must maintain the following types of entries:

1) Class notes for every meeting
2) Answers to all study questions
3) All other assignments
4) Personal notes, questions and reflections about the material

The proper formats for each type of entry are given below.

Format for Notes

The first page of the notes for each meeting must be titled with the following information at the top of the page:

1. The words "Class Notes"
2. The day and date
2. The name of the author and work under discussion for the day's meeting, followed by the specific sections or pages of the work under discussion (if any)

Example Header

Class Notes, Monday, Sept. 1, 2011
Plato, Republic, Book I pp. 10-32

Thereafter students are free to take class notes in whatever format they think best. The amount of notes taken may vary, but a reasonable expectation would be that between one and three pages of notes per class will be written.

Be mindful that the quality of your notes will be taken into account when course notebooks are evaluated.

Format for Answers to Study Questions

Study questions must be done prior to class. Thus, barring unusual circumstances, the study questions about any given section of the reading should precede the class notes for the discussion of that reading.

The first page of the notes for each set of questions must be titled with the following information at the top of the page:

1. The words "Study Questions"
2. The name of the author and the work to which the questions pertain, followed by the specific sections or pages of the work under discussion (if any)

Example Header

Study Questions
Plato, Republic Book I, pp. 10-32

Each question should be numbered according to the number given in the assignment so we can refer to them in class discussions.

The purpose of all of the questions is to help students build the intellectual discipline needed for successful lifelong learning. The questions have the additional purposes of enabling students to engage the readings more thoroughly, preparing students for productive class discussions, and of helping students to prepare for quizzes and tests.

1. A serious attempt must be made to answer all of the questions. Answers like "I don't know", "I couldn't find it", or just leaving a blank space will result in denial of credit.
2. Each answer must be accompanied, where possible, by the page number of the text on which the answer was located.
3. All questions must be answered in complete sentences of standard English, not with bullet points or notes.
4. All questions must be answered "in your own words"—all this means is that you should not simply copy passages of text down as your answers, but make some attempt to synthesize and explain the material yourself.
5. You may work together outside of class on the review questions but copying is cheating. Any case of identical answers to the questions will result in the denial of any credit to all parties.
6. Remember that this is for your benefit. You will be using these questions to study. Put enough effort into them to make them useful in that regard.

Be mindful that the quality of your answers will be taken into account when course notebooks are evaluated.

Format for Other Assignments

The first page of the notes for each assignment must be titled with the following information at the top of the page:

1. The word "Assignment"
2. The day and date the assignment was given
4. The instructions for the assignment, as given by the instructor
5. The due date for the assignment, if applicable

Example Header

Assignment
Monday, Sept. 1, 2011
Instructions:
1. Find out when Socrates died and what the circumstances of his death were.
2. Find out what role Socrates played in the Athenian civil struggles of the 5th century.

Format for Personal Reflections

Students are encouraged to use the assignment book as a journal for reflection on the material and assignments. Ideas, questions, properly cited references (use APA format) and notes on the readings are all appropriate content for these entries. These entries should be clearly differentiated from those for class notes, question answers, and other assignments.

The first page of such notes must be titled with the following information at the top of the page:

1. The word "Reflections"
2. The day and date of the entry

Example Header

Reflections
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2011

Evaluation

Excellent Adequate Inadequate Poor
The student has done an exemplary job of producing complete, coherent, and original content of all the types described here, showing not just an effort to complete the assignment book but evidence of actual comprehension (where applicable) AND his or her work is legibly written, in the assignment book as the format directs, all instructions having been followed correctly AND all entries are written in clear, grammatically correct English. The student's assignment book is worthy of being a model for future students. A serious attempt has been made to produce complete, coherent, and original content of all the types described here (e.g. there are no items or content areas left blank or filled in with non-answers like "I don't know", or "I couldn't find it"), AND the student's questions are legibly written in the assignment book as the format directs, all instructions having been followed correctly AND a clear majority of the entries are written in clear, grammatically correct English. The work done is cursory or incomplete or mostly incoherent, poorly written or illegible OR the student has made an minimal attempt to answer each item but has not followed the directions OR has otherwise done the work incorrectly. The student's answers are illegible OR the student's work is copied word-for-word from another source (e.g. from the internet) or is near identical to the work of another student (both of these are cheating—this has further consequences as noted in the syllabus) OR the student's assignment has been submitted late or online without a prior arrangement to do so OR the student submits nothing.
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