HI224: Meaning & Religious Belief
Unit 3 Final Paper Assignment Sheet
Critical Essay Information:
Submission: Submit the assignment online through ReggieNet (reggienet.ilstu.edu) under “Paper
TR 12:35PM section: due 5/5 (Tuesday of Finals Week) at 3PM
MW 11AM section: due 5/6 (Wednesday of Finals Week) at 9:50AM
Assignment length: 1000 words maximum.
Assignment weight: 25% of your course grade.
At the end of Unit 3, we will read Elie Wiesel’s Night. As a take-home final paper, each student will write, in his or her own voice, a letter to Wiesel drawing on the sources we have read throughout the semester.
Students are free to respond to Wiesel’s statements in whatever way they choose. (You may, among other options, argue with or commiserate or console or question anything written in Wiesel’s Night.) Remember to express your own views on all topics you address.
I am more interested in the depth of your response than in the position you will take. As such, I will evaluate your essay on its adequate use of Night, on your responses to Night, and how well your responses are tied into other materials we’ve read this semester (in addition to concerns of spelling/grammar/style).
Your letter should be no more than 1000 words long. Assignments longer than 1000 words will receive a penalty (specified below). Because this is a take-home final exam, the very steep late penalty specified in the syllabus will be strictly adhered to.
You may talk with other people or do research about what you are writing, but you must do the writing yourself. If you quote or paraphrase from any source other than the texts we’ve read in class – including books, magazines, newspapers, a web page, or another person – you must cite that source.
Your paper must be typed and prepared for turning in via ReggieNet. That means that what you turn in should bear appropriate information at the top of the first page: The class’ number and name (e.g., “PHI224: Meaning & Religious Belief”), the class’ meeting time (e.g., “TR 8AM”, and your paper’s word count (e.g., “Word count: 1247”). All of this information does not count against your word limit, but any footnotes or citations do. Please do not include your name for blind grading purposes.
Papers are graded according to the rubric which is below. There are four categories, each of which is worth a total of five points. I occasionally, but infrequently, will assign half-point scores (e.g., 3.5 or 4.5) if the submitted work falls in between two categories.
Poor (0-2 points) Fair (3 points) Good (4 points) Excellent (5 points)
References No or poor use of Night, demonstrating poor understanding of the text Fair references to Night demonstrating partial understanding of the text Good references to Night, good understanding of the text Excellent references to Night, shows a keen insight into the issues the text raises
Responses Deeply inadequate response(s) to the issue(s) Wiesel raises. Acceptable & minimally coherent response(s) to the issue(s) Wiesel raises. Good, coherent response(s) to the issue(s) Wiesel raises. Excellent & very coherent response(s) to the issue(s) Wiesel raises.
Insights No or poor use of insights from the semester’s other readings and authors. Fair use of insights from the semester’s other readings and authors. Insights included in a choppy way. Good use of insights from the semester’s other readings and authors. Insights included in a relatively smooth way. Excellent use of insights from the semester’s other readings and authors. Insights are included in a smooth organic fashion.
Spelling, grammar, & style Numerous spelling or grammar errors interfere with coherence. Word salad. At least one consistent spelling or grammar error. Fair letter-writing style. Minimal, minor spelling & grammar errors. Good but not excellent letter-writing style. No spelling & grammar errors, excellent letter.
(Last semester, the “Insights” section of the assignment was where most students lost the greatest number of points. Remember that, for each issue you address, you should be relating it to some author we’ve read this semester!)
In addition, papers failing to display the required information as listed above in 6) will lose .5 cumulative points per violation. Late papers will receive the penalty specified in the syllabus’ “Policy on late papers…”
If your paper is longer than 1000 words, the following penalty will be applied: If w is the word limit and n is the number of words in your paper, then your paper’s score will be reduced by |20×(n-w)/w| points, or (simplified) |20n/w-20| points.
Papers submitted by the deadline will be graded electronically and returned via ReggieNet on or before 5/12. The grading queue will begin with those papers submitted first. Thus, those papers submitted closest to the deadline will be graded last.
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