Contents of this syllabus:
Time and place of Class: MWF 2-2:50; Morton 340
Class web page:
Class e-mail list:
Here is how the W&M Faculty defines the goals of the Freshman Writing Seminar:
"The primary goal of the freshman seminar program is to help the student develop his or her ability to engage in critical thinking and independent learning. To accomplish this, the seminars provide the student with an active small-class experience that includes opportunities for discussion, writing, and other modes of expression appropriate to the subject matter of the course."
(For further information on freshman seminars, see the link on the class home page.)
To fulfill these goals, most of your work in this class will be devoted to researching, writing and re-writing various written assignments and preparing oral presentations. In addition, this freshman seminar naturally has more specific goals related to its subject:
Some additional required readings will be available through the reserve desk at SWEM library or on Electronic Reserve.
In many ways this class will be different from most others you take at William & Mary. Only rarely will I be lecturing at you for a full 50 minutes. Most classes will consist of a brief lecture (or series of remarks) by me followed by discussion involving the entire class. Some of these discussions will be more formal than others, and some of them will be generated and punctuated by assigned oral reports by individual students. Our discussions will not only be on the assigned readings about the ancient cultures, but also on the process of writing and on the written work you will be doing throughout the semester. There is a heavy element of peer review in this course: the other students in the class will be reading a lot of what you write and, with any luck, helping you improve your writing. We will also continue our discussions outside of class in an e-mail discussion group. This course is designed to help you become an active learner rather than a passive receptacle into which the professor pours knowledge, and for this reason, I and the rest of the class are counting on you to come to each class prepared and ready to contribute.
Assignments and Grading:
Your grade will be calculated as follows:
NOTE: You must earn a passing grade on your final research paper to earn a passing grade for the course. Aside from that your grade will be calculated on a strictly numerical basis and converted to letter grades on the following scale: 93-100 = A; 89-92 = A-; 85-88=B+; 81-84 = B; 77-80 = B-; 74-76 = C+; 71-73 = C; 68-70 = C-; 64-67 = D+; 60-63 = D; 55-59= D-; Below 55 = F.
Explanation of Grade Components:
Important Course Policies:
No late papers or assignments will be acceptable without verifiable evidence of dire circumstances. No special arrangements whatsoever will be made if you do not notify me of your dire circumstances within 48 HOURS after the deadline of the paper/assignment.
Attendance will not be recorded every day, but your absences will be noticed and will result in a lower class participation grade, if they are excessive or if they occur at particularly inopportune times (for instance, when you are scheduled to participate in group work or are supposed to be helping to critique your classmates work, they will SEVERELY affect your class participation grade.
Tentative Class Schedule: This schedule presents the main topics to be discussed each week, and important scheduled deadlines and activities. More specific information on topics and reading assignments will be given as we proceed through the semester, but the DEADLINES for drafts, papers, etc. will stay the same unless there is some unforeseen calamity.
Week 1 Aug 30-Sept 1: Introduction Week 2 Sept. 4-8: Background: History and Culture Week 3 Sept 11-15: Home Life: Men & Women Sept 15 (Friday): Library Research Orientation: Meet at Swem (Room TBA) Week 4 Sept 18-22: Life in the City: Aristophanes' Comedy Sept 22 (Friday): Guest Lecture: Professor Linda C. Reilly Week 5 Sept 25-29: Alcibiades: The Good Life? Sept 25: (Monday) Tour of Writing Center: Meet in front of Tucker Bldg. Sept 29 (Friday): Midterm proposals due: Brief oral reports on topics Week 6 Oct 2-6: Love Life October 6 (Friday) Ancient Greeks: Film and Reality Week 7 Oct 9-13: Marriage and Death Oct 11 (Wednesday) DEADLINE for handing in draft of Midterm paper Oct 13 Critiquing session Week 8 Oct 16-20 Oct 16 (Monday) NO CLASS (Fall Break) Oct 20 (Friday) DEADLINE for final version of Midterm paper. Week 9 Oct 23-27: Roman Life: Background Week 10 Oct 30-Nov 3: Topics in Roman Society: Group work Week 11 Nov 6-10: Roman Homes Nov 6 (Monday) Final proposals due Nov 10 (Friday): Guest Lecture: Prof. J. Ward Jones; Week 12 Nov 13-17: Lives in Letters Nov 17 (Friday) Short reports on final paper topics; Due date for bibliography for final paper. Week 13 Nov 20-24: Life at Court: The Emperor's Circle Nov 20 (Monday) DEADLINE for first draft of final paper Nov 22-24: No Class; Thanksgiving Week 14 Nov 27-Dec 1: Nov 27 Critiquing Day Nov 29 Oral Reports Dec 1 Oral Reports Week 15 Dec 4-8 Dec 4 Oral Reports Dec 6 Oral Reports DEADLINE for second draft of final paper Dec 8 No Class (Professor out of town) Thursday, December 21: DEADLINE for final version of final paper