Thursday, December 5, 2013

End of Semester Reminders

Due Dates

1.  If you turn your final project in by 6:00 p.m., December 11th (next Wednesday), I can give you reasonably detailed comments.
2.  If you turn your final project in after the first deadline, but before 6:00 p.m., December 12th (next Thursday), I can give you brief comments.
3.  Your final deadline (barring only a true crisis, which you would need to discuss with me) is 6:00 p.m., December 13th (next Friday).


1.  Final projects can be posted to the blog or emailed to me.  If you're especially nervous, just do both.
2.  I will read and respond to rough drafts as long and as well as I am able to do so.  If you send something to be over the weekend, you should expect a response.  After that, a response will be increasingly unlikely.


If you are turning in a self evaluation, it is due by 6:00 p.m., December 13th at the latest.

Here are the unchanged instructions from last time.  Only the date has changed.

Final Project Instructions

The instructions for the proposal are here.  Here are the final instructions (unchanged in essence - with only minor edits):

Broad Final Project Goals

Your final project should offer a serious contribution to the work of the class. It should show both that you understand our collective work, and that you have have your own direction or role within it (although this might even take the form of a challenge). You should have a clear, interesting, and worthwhile argument, which you make using both external sources and texts which we read as a class. Ideally, you will draw on your own individual strengths and interests in this project (including, for instance, material from your own fields of study). You may either begin a project from scratch or revise one of your existing essays, including existing revisions. You should ideally do work which interests you, and which you feel contributes in some way to the class as a whole.

Specific Final Project Requirements:

  1. Your essay must be at least 8 pages long, including at least 5 pages of new material (if you are revising). 8 pages is sufficient; I prefer that you not go above 12 pages, but this is preference, not a requirement.
  2. Your project must include at least 2 additional academic sources (generally, academic books and journal articles) beyond any that you might have used in an earlier revision. If you feel that you’re best off with non-academic sources, please discuss that preference with me. You should, however, do as much research as your argument requires.
  3. Your project must include some close readings of particular passages from at least one literary figure we have read collectively. Some projects, though, will need more close reading than others. Some highly research-oriented projects may do relatively little; some may revolve primarily around close readings.
  4. Your project must make sustained use of either Marcuse or another philosophical/critical source. This does not mean that you need to agree with your source, however. “Sustained use” does not mean that this critic needs to dominate your argument; they do, however, need to be part of the conversation, and you do need to show a good understanding of one of them.
  5. You should display a good understanding of all of your chosen texts, as well as of any relevant class discussions. I don’t expect perfection, and I do expect differences of opinion, but I also expect you to know your material.
  6. Your project should make a single sustained argument from the first sentence to the last. This does not mean you cannot make use of any tangents, nor does it mean that you must continually remind us of where you are, at a particular moment in your project, within the larger argument. Your goals and direction should, nonetheless, by clear, even if they might sometimes become subtle.
  7. Think of this as your lasting contribution to the class, and your opportunity to teach something to the rest of us.

Reminders regarding Creative Projects:

Creative projects should generally include research, albeit sometimes presented in a clever or indirect way.  They should have an argument, but the argument may be subtle or implicit rather than direct.  They should include 8+ pages of writing within them (sometimes much more), although much of the content may be in other forms.  You should not do a creative project unless you are planning to put in extra work.

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